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Connecting Brands with Content: Tumblr Launches Creatrs Network

These days, content is king. Content is the quickest way to get your brand in front of more people — and content can ultimately net you more clients.

But you can’t present just any old content. You can’t leverage something stale, outdated, repetitive, or benign. Marketing moves at 100 mph, and you’ve got to move at 150 — always ahead of everyone else.

The best brands don’t follow trends, they create them. But no one can create inside a vacuum — and even those brands that are big enough to employ a team of skilled designers can’t stay ahead of the curve using in-house talent alone.

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That’s why Tumblr, a microblogging platform, is launching a new program called Creatrs that aims to partner artists and brands. Creatrs is an elite pool of hand-picked users whose work Tumblr believes will be the next big thing. The goal is for Tumblr to act as a talent manager of sorts for these artists, facilitating a wide variety of publicity opportunities and ensuring they’re getting compensation and recognition for their work.

At the same time, a component element of the program called the Creatrs Network will serve the business side, delivering just the right Creatrs artists to match each client’s unique advertising goals. Boom — a bottomless well of fresh content for brands to cull.

The Creatrs program is interesting because not only does it work to relieve brands of the pressure of discovering and pursuing new content, it works to advocate and represent artists’ talent. In a business culture that seemingly devalues creativity by asking artists to work on spec or outright stealing their ideas, this measure of protection is a breath of fresh air.

Creatrs is currently capped at 300 artists — Tumblr plans to open it to more of their qualified users after an initial trial phase. So far, though, the program looks promising. VentureBeat related an early success story via Tumblr’s head of creative strategy, David Hayes:

“[Hayes] started with Tumblr user Cindy Suen, who creates vibrant bubbly cartoons of monsters eating burgers and dogs wearing hamburgers for shoes. Shortly after discovering Suen’s work, Hayes got her to work on a Sizzle campaign for Tumblr. Then, Hayes asked Suen create art for a T-shirt to be sold as part of a charity campaign. Finally, six months later, Hayes began connecting Suen with projects for major ad campaigns, including work for the movie Ouija, as well as background art on the singing competition show, The Voice. Suen got paid for all this work.”

With Creatrs, Tumblr is building a new kind of two-way advertising and talent agency that remains faithful to artists while leveraging business opportunities. The only question is: will it work? Let’s watch and see.

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