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Hires, Wins & Business

Vox Creative Launches The Explainer Studio

Vox Media’s in-house branded content practice evolves and accelerates its fastest-growing content offering

Vox Creative Launches The Explainer Studio

Today, Vox Creative, the branded content practice within Vox Media, announced the expansion of its latest video offering for brand marketers: The Explainer Studio. The Explainer Studio, operating within Vox Creative from Vox Media’s New York City office and studio space, is exclusively focused on creating signature Explainer-style content for brands. Explainer videos are designed to break down and give context to the most mind-expanding, mystifying and misunderstood topics across brand categories including food, tech, sports, finance, auto and more.

“When it comes to creating branded content, much of the advertising industry struggles to balance quality, speed and scale,” said Armando Turco, General Manager of Vox Creative. “The Explainer Studio enables our advertising partners to achieve editorial-level depth of quality at newsroom speed and scale, through Explainer videos that go deep into a subject matter with authority, unparalleled expertise and beautiful creative.  The response has been outstanding - audiences spend close to five minutes on average with our Explainer videos and advertiser demand continues to grow. We’re excited to expand our capabilities and open up The Explainer Studio to an even broader range of brand marketing partners.”

Vox Creative was founded upon the idea that a branded content studio can borrow data insights and audience learnings from Vox Media’s eight leading editorial brands, and translate this expertise  into superior quality branded content in partnership with brand advertisers. Vox Media’s news brand, Vox, has built a world-class editorial authority , having pioneered explainer journalism and the “explainer” video format, generating billions of views to date and garnering four Emmy nominations this year alone. Vox’s editorial work demonstrates that videos explaining everything from complicated topics on world events to the inner workings of pop culture appeal to audiences in real and meaningful ways. Now, The Explainer Studio is open to marketers, collaborating with partners to translate everything we understand about human curiosity and passion, storytelling that goes deeper, and building massive and engaged audiences across platforms. 

Each video from The Explainer Studio offers brand advertisers multi-platform distribution, turnkey efficiency and value, and superior performance. Recently, the team has launched explainer videos in partnership with leading global brands, to go deep in explaining a specific piece of information, product, or moments in the cultural zeitgeist, including the genesis of NFL Fantasy Football in partnership with the NFL, and why people indulge in ice cream from a partnership with Ben & Jerry’s [link to come], and the magic behind Spotify’s algorithm.  

“Discover Weekly had become our most successful product innovation and our community of fans were asking how the algorithm gave them such eerily accurate personal recommendations,” said Alex Bodman, Global Creative Director at Spotify. “The Explainer format was kind of perfect for answering that need as part of a larger campaign and Vox Creative took a complex algorithm and made it digestible. We were hopeful for strong results, but the content did even better than we expected in terms of driving adoption and awareness.”

Vox Creative has named Graham Nelson as Creative Director of The Explainer Studio, overseeing the studio’s team and creative vision for each campaign, as well as playing an active role writing, directing, narrating and occasionally appearing in branded videos. Lloyd D’Souza has been named Executive Producer of The Explainer Studio. Both Nelson and D’Souza will continue to report to Armando Turco.

"The Explainer Studio takes one of Vox Media's most beloved formats and makes it available to every brand advertiser - every brand has something complex, multifaceted, or mysterious to explain,” says Graham Nelson. “We work with our partners to unearth these stories, and expand and explain them, through killer design, quirky animation, texture, personality, curiosity, and the special sauce that makes it completely customised.”

Vox Creative’s video campaigns, including those developed within The Explainer Studio, are distributed at scale via Concert, Vox Media’s sibling company and publisher-led marketplace for branded content. Concert, which recently announced that it is offered programmatically across Concert’s valuable audiences and inventory - reaching over 200 million people via it’s network of premium editorial brands.

Vox Creative is Vox Media’s in-house branded content practice, and the industry’s only branded content technology stack that brings creative, publishing, distribution, and data analysis capabilities under one roof.  Vox Creative works with advertising partners to develop branded content that taps into Vox Media’s deep editorial subject matter expertise. In 2016, Ad Age awarded Vox Creative’s Visit Seattle campaign for Best Branded Content Partnerships and has seen success in a multi-year partnership with Infiniti, with the debut of the first food and drink museum in the US (MOFAD), and the launch of travel brand, Meridian, in partnership with an advertiser. In 2017, Vox Creative launched The Explainer Studio to offer Explainer-style branded content videos customized to a variety of advertising partners.