Former BuzzFeed Australia director Brad Arnold has unveiled a new content specialist media company, ‘We’re in Cahoots’.
Arnold, who left BuzzFeed at the end of 2017, has spent much of this year experimenting with creative projects, collaborating, consulting and listening to the client challenges before fine-tuning the new venture for market.
“As a team, we have been leaning in, taking chances and learning via experimentation in various fields all year,” he said.
“We knew Cahoots was the end goal – we just needed to finalise our facility and distribution model/platform before feeling self-assured we are more than just competitive in the space.”
We’re in Cahoots aims to streamline the entire content process for brands – something Arnold believes is currently being missed when working in a traditional process with agencies and publisher houses.
“The media landscape has evolved productively from the standard client to agency to publisher model,” he said.
“Brands playing it safe with that traditional and antiquated mindset are limiting their true potential for creative freedom.
“Let’s face it, media agencies are biased to where budgets are spent, creative houses can add dollar signs to a simple project budget, while publishers have politics and internal restrictions that limit the true evolution of an idea beyond their own platforms.
“These are just some of the reasons you have seen a growing progression in clients building their own experienced in-house media teams, and more presently, the rise of the consultancy model.”
For a brand playing in the content space, Arnold reckons the waters are even more polluted.
“Just the other day I sat with a brand who shared that while producing their last content lead project they collaborated with a strategy agency, their media agency, their creative agency and a production house – each with their own agenda, view and direction,” he said.
“Their diagnosis: a big fat mess, a challenging experience and the end product was vastly off what they wanted and may now not see the light of day. Yikes!”
Arnold said We’re in . Cahoots looks to be a modernistic player in the content specialist space, independent and free from the legacy of a conventional business model, and instead a hybrid of a content consultancy, media agency, production house and content distribution platform.
Arnold wants to streamline the entire process for brands from content strategy, channel planning, talent management, production, and distribution.
He claims it’s intentional the business is blurred between the lines of a label, and by doing so, ensures We’re in Cahoots isn’t limited and that its output is more efficient, collaboration more meaningful, ROI of greater value, and creativity running free.
“As a collective we wanted to step back and be true to why we all got into media; the love for creativity, the art of the craft, and working with genuine people in true collaboration,” he said,
“Everything we do aligns to this ethos from the talented team of experts we collude with, the brands we partner with, to the creative process itself.
“We are not for everyone, nor do we want to be. We do things differently and work with brands wanting to get something different in return.”
Arnold comes from a deep history leading teams having spent time in the agency landscape at Carat, Universal McCann and Starcom, before taking on director roles within publishers MTV, MCN, REA and most recently BuzzFeed Australia.
He said experience and state of play for the latter was a big reason for forming the new Sydney-based venture.
“The content space as a whole is challenging. We’ve seen the trade press, there is a lot of dispute and question in the space. Both local and global businesses struggle to strategically evolve to the present needs of the market here and now,” he said.
“Some create content really well – others distribute content well. I’m not sold that anyone is really owning the entire process from a completely neutral position. I can only speak for us and our only goal is to produce amazing work and strong engagement results for the brand.
“We are truly agile, with no biased agenda, meaning we are totally rights free, with no limitations in how, what we create and how many.
“We embody creative freedom with all we do and aim to truly evoke the meaning of partnership by becoming an extension of your business. We love genuine collaboration.”
But it’s We’re in Cahoots’ distribution offering that has Arnold really excited.
“Traditionally in the content space, you find 85 per cent of time and budget being spent around the idea, creation, production,” he said.
“For us, it’s a 50/50 split – the audience and distribution is thought of at every stage of the process. We provide a tailored distribution plan to meet all your objectives, ensuring engaged, targeted views at market leading cost-per-engagement rates.
“Our execution team has experience across all video distribution units, across thousands of videos for over 700 brands, ranging in length from six seconds to one hour, and so have the insight to execute on a plan to meet your exact requirements.
“All campaigns are flexible and optimised daily to ensure maximum return on your investment. We have taken time to ensure we are more than competing in this space and it’s exciting.”
We’re in Cahoots is currently working with brands and specialises in branded content, yet Arnold said it will also be an incubator and house for other creative projects to help others with their craft.
“Outside of working with brands, we will do our best to elevate and help emerging creative afficionados through creative projects, content and collaboration.
“There is so many amazing and interesting people out there doing wonderful things – I love to hear their story and lessons. We look forward to creatively exploring more through the year.”