Mega giant talent agency CAA announced last week its sale of a majority stake to Artemis, an investment firm led by Francois-Henri Pinault.
If you don’t know Artemis, you’re not alone. But you do know the brands owned by its luxury goods group – Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Christie’s auction house.
Now, what does that big news in Hollywood have to do with you as a marketer?
CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose shares the big takeaway and more in this week’s CMI News video. Watch it below, or keep reading for the highlights:
CAA has been the biggest talent agency in Hollywood for some time. It gi-hugic status (yes, that’s Robert’s technical term for it) after acquiring ICM Partners a year ago. CAA represents just about everybody on the celebrity A-List – Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg, Zendaya, Ryan Murphy, Margot Robbie, Samuel Jackson – and sports stars, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Aaron Rodgers, and Dwayne Wade.
But it’s not CAA’s client list that’s so impressive. It’s a powerhouse because it built media businesses with assembled talent. It dedicated a division, CAA Ventures, to create media startups across industries, including marketing and content marketing with CAA Brand Studio.
Luxury brands innovate the business of content
But what does all that – and Artemis’ majority acquisition of CAA – have to do with content marketing?
“Over the last few years, luxury and fashion brands, the core staple of Artemis’ holdings, have leaned hard into digital content and act more like media and experience brands,” Robert says.
Gucci has been one of the more pronounced success stories with its experience-building and partnerships with celebrity influencers, such as Harry Styles. It features environmental, diversity, and other global issues in media-driven experiences.
Earlier this year, Saint Laurent launched a movie studio. Its first film, Strange Way of Life, starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
At the core of these endeavors is content marketing. But these brands aren’t just creating content; they are operating as media companies.
The CAA acquisition puts it all together – luxury brands with access to the best celebrity influencer talent in an organization with vast expertise in packaging new features and creating successful synergy between product brands, celebrities, and business operations.
“The future of businesses and content marketing is to adopt full-scale media operations. It’s just starting with these luxury brands,” Robert says.
Future of media from non-media brands
Yes, even if you’re in the B2B financial services, health care, manufacturing, etc., space, full-scale media operations are the future. They are rare, though not unprecedented, today.
Arrow Electronics, the tech manufacturer and distributor, acquired 53 electronics engineering websites, magazines, and events. It created a company called AspenCore to publish those entities and provide brand content solutions.
Two years ago, Salesforce launched Salesforce+ not just as a streaming network but as a dedicated group within the company responsible for producing, packaging, and putting together series to sit alongside the content they syndicate from other sources.
In the last few weeks, agency giant McCann launched a social and creator content studio. The Arena Group, publisher of Sports Illustrated, and others launched a content creator network. And the coloring crayon brand Crayola launched a kids and family content studio.
These leading indicators prompted Robert to think about what other kinds of brands will launch content models like these.
“Who will be the innovators in financial services, health care, manufacturing, technology, construction, engineering, or real estate,” he asks. “Who will create, acquire, or build a group that can operate like a media company – packaging together talent, brands, and media ventures meant to create ongoing operations that differentiate and create engaged audiences?”
Who will follow the thinking shared by luxury brand consultant Robert Burke in The Drum’s piece on the CAA deal: “There is no separation between fashion and entertainment anymore.”
It’s still early, but the same is true in your industry. There’s no separation between engaging audiences and your industry. Robert explains: “See this is the opportunity to not only act like a media company to optimize your marketing but to operate as a media company to optimize your business.”
What do you think? Tag me on social @Robert_Rose and use the hashtag #CMWorld.
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute