A few of the brands looking to connect with artists
Brands don’t become part of the cultural conversation unless they have excellent content that merits attention. The key to a brand’s success is to combine a solid message with the best demographically appropriate influencers who can share their story while ideally encouraging others to do the same. While history has demonstrated that rock stars, actors and sports champions wield tremendous influence, the Millennials have thrown a rock into the machine. This generation likes to discover new heroes and influencers from among their own ranks. In an attempt to ride this new trend, the top three talent agencies have gone in search of new talent. How’s that working out? Better ask those who were signed to agency contracts, reshaped, packaged and then dumped by the agencies when everything original about them had been exploited and they subsequently failed at their impossible endeavor.
Creative talent is the source of all good content. Millennials aren’t concerned about whether that talent is represented by a big name agency or tucked away in an anonymous loft somewhere unknown. Rather, they are interested in how that talent makes them feel about themselves and the world around them. An additional generational affinity involves the process of searching through options and mining for the talent they can then discover and promote. The harder they have to look, the more they seem to enjoy the prize of discovery. Until a few years ago, there was no centralized location where this opportunity was available. Then Talenthouse burst onto the scene with a simple goal of empowering the artists who work in film, fashion, music, art/design and photography to make money from their art.
Talenthouse is essentially a social networking platform designed to cultivate and foster relationships between talent and the brands that sponsor their creative product. Building on the Millennial need for connection, Talenthouse enables brands to offer creative opportunities to the entire artistic community in a dedicated forum. The artists can view open invitations from well-known brands looking for interesting ideas from talented individuals. Whether it’s remixing a track for Mumford & Sons, filming a musician on tour, or designing an outfit for the next Gillette commercial, artists have the opportunity to both post their creative efforts and get feedback from the community forum. The work is judged by the audience, who have the ability to vote the artist up or down based on their design and idea. Not only does this enable the artist(s) to understand how their work is received, it also helps in creating a viral fan base for future success in the field.
Talenthouse may be one of the more addictive social networking sites today. Pinterest enables the viewer to wander endlessly among visual delights, but it usually requires extra effort to discover the original source of the posting – which makes it all the more disappointing when the source is a professional publication. On the other hand, Talenthouse is powered by the people who participate. You know exactly who created a piece of art and can immediately view other works by that artist. This combination of immediacy and emotional connection has enabled Talenthouse to earn 2.2 million members, with approximately 100,000 more joining every month. In quarter two of this year alone, the number approached 600,000 new members. At last count, the site contained over 28 million pieces of original art.
Founder and President Amos Pizzey believes that “to be creative is to directly affect universal intention,” adding that “we are what we’ve made ourselves and what we’ve worked on.” He began his creative journey in the London music scene in the late 80s and eventually transitioned into advertising. Ultimately, Pizzey and his team have opened the world of branded entertainment up to the creative masses. Yet, he remains humble in his belief that “all we’ve done is take the idea of collaboration and put it online.” Investor and CEO Roman Scharf points out that Talenthouse “makes dream come true every week” by enabling unknown artists to find paying creative assignments.
A snapshot of the many opportunities currently available on Talenthouse
Talenthouse has opened the playing field for artists of all kinds by combining collaboration with new social technologies. Brands are becoming the new patrons of artists in this situation. The artists retain all rights to their work unless they win a posted competition. In that case, the brand purchases the rights to that piece of work – thus funding the continued success of creatives while keeping the field open for further innovation. Currently, Pizzey and Scharf agree that their biggest problem comes from the fact that their company doesn’t fit into a specific box. But if you ask any artist, they’ll most likely tell you that real art rarely fits into one.