-- Developed with leading U.S. media buying and content solution company Channel Factory,
"I Do" marks first scripted branded content for Cotton Incorporated --
TORONTO/LOS ANGELES, Sept. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - shift2 and Smokebomb Entertainment, the brand agency and digital production arms of Shaftesbury, have tied the knot with Cotton Incorporated on I Do (https://youtu.be/8J-A3MC8YfY), a new scripted short-form lifestyle series that explores the growing millennial demand for non-traditional, custom weddings. Cotton Incorporated has signed on for integration in the first phase of the series, with shift2 pursuing additional brand partnerships for further episodes in a wide range of categories including finance, travel, jewelry & accessories, cosmetics, fashion, retail and entertainment. Developed with U.S. media buying, social video and influencer marketing company Channel Factory, I Do launches today on new scripted lifestyle entertainment YouTube channel Union & Ace, created by shift2 and Smokebomb, with new episodes set to roll out weekly each Wednesday.
"Millennials now account for more than 70 percent of weddings*, which is a $56 billion industry** in the U.S. and Canada," said Kaaren Whitney-Vernon, CEO, shift2. "We see a huge opportunity to engage young adults with forward-thinking brand partners like Cotton and authentic, scripted lifestyle content that will help them custom-create their own unique weddings and creative expression of their lives."
"Video content is rapidly becoming a core component of our media strategy," said Ric Hendee, senior vice-president of Consumer Marketing at Cotton Incorporated. "Collaborating with shift2 enables us to develop and distribute creative and compelling cotton messages to our target audience. 'Wedding' is an exciting category and one that showcases the versatility of cotton, which can be found in everything from the invitations to the bridal gown."
In I Do, when 29-year-old wedding planner "Sophia" (Winny Clarke; Almost Adults) discovers that her two-year marriage to hipster project manager "Tim" (Kyle Hickey; Everyone's Famous) is illegal due to a clerical error, she puts in plan a motion to have a do-over wedding – but their own way and their own style this time. In doing so, she launches a wedding advice vlog on YouTube tracking her journey, with the goal of becoming the go-to destination for spouses-to-be interested in planning non-traditional weddings.
Also launching with I Do is Union & Ace, a new scripted lifestyle entertainment YouTube channel from Smokebomb Entertainment and shift2 that tells engaging stories about pivotal, life-changing moments for millennials. The companies' first and flagship YouTube entertainment channel for millennials, VervegirlTV, has 30 million views to date for the hit YouTube series Carmilla, which is funded by the U By Kotex® brand, and fashion-focused series MsLabelled, produced in partnership with Shaw Media and Schick® Quattro for Women®.
The Cotton Incorporated episodes of I Do, developed by Smokebomb Entertainment and shift2 in association with Channel Factory, are produced by Jay Bennett and Alex House, directed by Molly McGlynn and written by Stephanie Tracey and Mika Collins. Toronto-based wedding planner Lynzie Kent serves as wedding advisor. Kaaren Whitney-Vernon and Christina Jennings are executive producers.
*Source: ThinkSplendid.com (http://www.thinksplendid.com/2012/02/marketing-weddings-to-millennials.htm
** Source: Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and Bloomberg.com http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-06-28/the-51-billion-wedding-industry-toasts-a-post-doma-bump
I Do on the Union & Ace YouTube channel:
I Do Social Channels:
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About Cotton Incorporated
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. cotton producers and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, conducts worldwide research and promotion activities to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton.
shift2 is an innovative agency that helps brands explore their millennial voice using scripted series and social media to drive measurable results. shift2 employs proprietary YouTube software to research and develop targeted content-driven campaigns, optimize audience engagement and deliver measurable results. Powered by Smokebomb Entertainment, which produces all content for the agency, shift2's projects include the hit YouTube series Carmilla, funded by the U By Kotex® brand, and fashion-focused series MsLabelled, produced in partnership with Shaw Media and Schick® Quattro for Women®, which have generated 30 million views on shift2 and Smokebomb's popular VervegirlTV YouTube channel for strong, empowered millennial women. Launched in June 2014, shift2 is a co-venture between millennial agency Youth Culture, Shaftesbury and Smokebomb.
About Smokebomb Entertainment
Shaftesbury's award-winning digital media studio, Smokebomb Entertainment, produces convergent experiences for television and groundbreaking original projects including branded content. Combining world-class storytelling, integrated second-screen experiences and innovative social campaigns, Smokebomb builds compelling storyworlds for tweens and the 16 – 34 demographic. Projects include YouTube branded entertainment series Carmilla and MsLabelled; Totally Amp'd– the world's first tween app series – named a "Killer App" by Wired; comedy series Backpackers for The CW and CTV Extend, Canada's first digital series to migrate to U.S. primetime television; the Digi Award-winning sci-fi series State of Syn for Hulu and Google Glass; and the International Emmy-nominated Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs.
About Channel Factory
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Channel Factory is a social video, media buying, and influencer marketing company. In the business of providing a better way for advertisers and agencies to buy, optimize and amplify video marketing campaigns, Channel Factory offers solutions both on and off YouTube. Through its proprietary "Content Factory" division, top brands and agencies can get premium content through an exclusive slate of high quality pilots. And with Channel Factory's unique one-stop shop, clients can have their videos watched, shared, and tracked with a unique formula of targeted distribution, advanced analytics, and influencer/branded content creation.
For further information: Emily Claire Afan, Shaftesbury/Smokebomb, shift2, email@example.com, 416-363-1411 x177 or 905-783-5753