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Popular Pays’ content creation platform proves value to advertisers during pandemic and beyond

September 28th 2020

Producing a 30-second national television commercial could take $1 million, a studio full of actors, and hours of shooting and edit time.  New social media platforms like TikTok could require immense research and observation by brands before launching content.  Or, it could just take access to thousands of content creators in their homes, allowing brands to quickly procure both advertising and social content that’s faster-to-market, more relevant, and at a lower acquisition cost than traditional methods.

That’s the immense value proposition Chicago-based Popular Pays offers its customers, among them some of the world’s largest consumer brands.  The immediate shift in behavior resulting from the pandemic in March 2020, including consumers spending more time on social media and the prohibition of mass gatherings in production studios, meant that advertisers had to quickly change the commercial production model.  Popular Pays’ Aana Leech, marketing director, recalls: “Popular Pays has always thought a combination of scalable software and access to a network of content creators is the future of advertising, so I think the transition would have happened eventually.  The pandemic just pushed more traditional advertisers along.  They’re realizing that on Popular Pays, they can find great content that’s cheaper, faster and more scalable.”  

New tools, like Popular Pays’ free TikTok Search Tool, let customers try social media networks with less risk and more access to creators.  First movers can take advantage of the power of the platform, go from concept to content quickly, evaluate performance, and change course quickly if necessary. TikTok Search incorporates filters that range from number of followers (starting at 5,000), average views and average number of likes to make discovery quick and easy. Profiles that match a brand’s needs can then be saved to make future activation seamless.

Popular Pays Co-Founder and CEO Corbett Drummey says his team “wanted to give brands and agencies an easy way to discover talent on TikTok since there are so many amazing creators on their platform. The reason we’re so excited to release this tool is that it gives people a frictionless and free entry point for brands to start testing the waters.” 

Popular Pays doesn’t just offer tools for digital media creation.  When COVID-19 put traditional advertising shoots on hold, brands like Frito-Lay were challenged with shifting their messaging and getting production scheduled to fulfill their media buy for summer.  The ad team at Frito-Lay leveraged Popular Pays’ network of creators and to successfully select and collaborate with 25 unique creator partners, supplying 118 video assets.   The resulting television commercial was produced in just six weeks, or half the time it might normally take, at one-third of the typical cost compared to an average production studio. 

“Since COVID-19 hit, we’ve seen a big validation of our software and creator communities’ value to major advertisers.  The Frito-Lay spot was the first-ever TV commercial made remotely by our creators, and it had blockbuster results.  The quality was impeccable, and ad recall and attention paid was really high,” said Leech.  She expects to see more major brand advertisers take advantage of this style of ad creation during the pandemic and beyond, as Popular Pays continues to expand its platform to allow customers to connect, collaborate, and track the work with influencers and content creators one-to-one or at scale.