Tribune Publishing Partners With Contend For Native Advertising Deal

Tribune Publishing Company -- whose portfolio includes 10 daily titles, more than 60 digital properties and over 150 verticals in key markets -- this week announced a strategic investment in Contend, a content creation company that develops and produces entertainment and marketing solutions for local, regional and national brands.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This partnership is designed to help marketers engage and reach customers cross-platform -- including print, online, social, and mobile -- through creative, relevant content. To that end, Contend will provide advertisers with short- and long-format content for multiple distribution channels and networks using data to understand what each and every audience likes to watch in terms of genre, length, characters and what devices they are watching it on.



“Brands today seek creative solutions that help them connect emotionally with audiences, and our partnership with Contend marries our deep reach with advertisers with Contend’s exceptional storytelling capabilities,” said Bill Adee, executive vice president of Digital for Tribune Publishing. “Together, we provide marketers with short- and long-form storytelling solutions that engage and activate audiences.”

With the partnership in place, Tribune will likely approach Contend with opportunities from its local and regional advertisers. Contend may also bring opportunities to Tribune. Tribune Publishing also offers an array of digital solutions through its 435Digital group, which delivers SEO and SEM solutions, content marketing, paid search, social development and Web development for local and national companies.

This arrangement grew from proximity. Contend, which has been working with publishers since the agency launched earlier this year, formed a strong relationship with Tribune executives since the two companies work under the same roof in Chicago and Los Angeles.

"[We] saw firsthand the value that they are sitting on in terms of audience and what audiences need, [including] news, content, [and] information," says Contend founder Steven Amato. "We saw how Contend can add immediate and lasting value to a bunch of amazing legacy brands, specifically around premium video content."

Thus far, the companies have collaborated on an inaugural campaign for Jewel-Osco, a supermarket chain in greater Chicago. The campaign, designed to reinforce Jewel-Osco’s “Something Fresh” brand promise, includes a series of videos featuring Chicagoans selecting fresh produce at their neighborhood market. The prominent video campaign is being brought to life on the brand’s Web site, mobile and social properties, in-store and other platforms, including Taxi TV.

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