Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson announced Seven Bucks Digital Studios, his channel in partnership with Studio71, in advance of its NewFronts presentation on Tuesday with an Instagram video.
Johnson promised the, “best, biggest, bad ass, baldest YouTube channel ever!” and vowed to create and curate content from creators that is “entertaining, provocative and funny AF - as we say in the streets.”
Studio71’s commitment to out-there entertainment was echoed by German DJ and Pitch Perfect 2 standout Flula Borg, who performed a looping dance number with his own face in the background reacting to NewFront buzzwords like “optimize” and “ snackable formats,” while teaching us words like “immersive.”
“What distinguishes digitally native content creators from film and TV stars is they’ve honed their craft on speaking directly to their audience,” explained Reza Izad, Studio71’s CEO, emphasizing the importance of authenticity for Studio71’s creators and viewers. “You wouldn’t partner with Ellen DeGeneres and try to write her monologue.”
Izad and co. showcased their own marketing efforts on produced content to show how they can bring success for brand messages as well. Studio71’s most recent success was the Natural Born Pranksters film. Izad explained that during production Studio71 produced 100 videos, generating 150 million views. The fanbase created an additional 14,000 videos, generating 800 million views. They went No. 2 in the iTunes store globally, falling only to Star Wars.
Studio71 also touted success outside of the video model. When Cyanide and Happiness wanted to make a tabletop game, Studio71 made small daily spends on Facebook and generated video shoutouts from other creators to generate $450,000 in sales, breaking the Kickstarter mold. Epic Meal Time also deconstructed the channel’s dominance in the bacon field, and how it landed a partnership with Hormel. For them, the entry point for a partnership was pretty low.
“They gave us endless bacon, that’s really all that’s required,” joked Harley Morenstein, before expounding on why it works for them. “There’s a bacon craze, whereas we just like to use bacon. We don’t get caught up in the bacon gimmicks. We wanted to pair up with somebody who has the same mentality in this.”
Studio71 showcased more partnerships, from Hawaiian Tropic and Shay Mitchell, and Smashbox for its lifestyle creator—announcing a product collaboration with YouTuber Lilly Singh, who created a lipstick called Bawse for the company.
“I want to partner with Smashbox Cosmetics because they’re all about empowerment,” said Singh in a promotional video.
Studio71 shared data from its Creators Insights Platform, intel on millennials derived from surveying fans of its top talent. It spiced up the occasion by having Borg return to “interpret” the announcement with sarcastic commentary.
While it was able to bring out several YouTube stars like Roman Atwood and Morenstein, Johnson celebrated his partnership with a pre-recorded video from him home.
“For those who wanted to work with us, the train is leaving the station,” prodded Johnson about involving advertisers with his robust social network. The team rounded out the event by showing a series of new pilots, including Matthew Espinosa’s The Text Committee, Family Fun Pack’s Family Fun Day, a weekend show from the Good Mythical Morning gang called Good Mythical Crew, and Matt Santoro’s Coolest Thing I’ve Ever Made.
“Don’t miss an opportunity to marry organic views and creative content,” Chief Content Officer Gary Binkow urged of the advertisers in attendance. Message received.