In the whirlwind proliferation of publishers uploading video content to Facebook, the story of Jungle Creations stands out as particularly impressive. In just three years, the company’s social video stock now gets over 3.7 billion views per month, and as one of the world’s most-viewed media properties, its solid stable of Facebook Pages averages an extra billion views a month compared to this time last year. With its flagship Facebook channel, ‘VT‘, generating an average of 3.8M views per video, it’s no wonder the industry is sitting up and taking notice.
So successful has the media publisher been in tapping into the public’s insatiable appetite for engaging video content, it has grown far beyond its initial offering. Jungle Creations has firmly established itself as a leading producer of sponsored video content both in the UK and beyond, and is working with some of the world’s leading brands on a range of innovative campaigns aimed at reaching a wider audience. We talked to Jungle Creations about its programming and distribution strategy around social video, and how it has grown its sponsored video package so that the big brands are flocking to work with them. But first, a little about the company and the impact of sponsored video on the UK market.
Jungle Creations: A Viral Phenomenon
So, who are Jungle Creations? One title I had in mind for this post was ‘the biggest media publisher you’ve never heard of’, which while catchy, is no longer strictly true. If you spend any time on Facebook then the chances are a Jungle Creations video has popped up in your News Feed – either because you have subscribed directly to one of its Pages, or because one of your connections has engaged with one of their video uploads.
The publisher has an enviable portfolio of Facebook properties including ‘VT’ (fka Viral Thread), ‘Twisted’, ”Food Envy’, ‘‘Nailed It’, ”Four Nine’, ‘‘Bosh‘, The Aardvark’, and ‘Joystix’, and it consistently appears in Tubular’s leaderboard of most watched media and entertainment properties, alongside BuzzFeed, Disney, and The LADBible group. Not bad for a company that founder Jamie Bolding started from his bedroom, right?
Bolding kicked off his multi-million pound venture with a listicle post (“Twenty People You Will Meet at Fresher’s Week” for you fact fans), and the brand has since grown to employ well over 100 people. It operates out of East London, with state of the art video production, and post-producion facilities all under one roof. The fact that all its operations are in-house is a huge plus not only for the publisher, but also for the brands and partners they work with.
The company has fully embraced the verticalization of content on social platforms, and now offers a huge variety of video to many different audiences. Its original channel, ‘VT’, has been joined by a range of others including ‘Twisted’, ‘Bosh’ and ‘Food Envy’ which cater to food lovers, ‘Nailed It’ which uploads videos around DIY, and ‘Joystix’ which is all about the gaming community.
Viral Thread rebranded to ‘VT’ in August, and is shifting its focus to producing more original content. However, engaging viral content uploaded to the page remains a firm favorite with its 18.3M followers, and the views generated on the page made ‘VT’ the third most-watched property on Facebook in August 2017.
The most viewed, and most engaged ‘VT’ upload of the past 90 days is ‘When you meet someone new and find out they’re rude’. To date, it has attracted 115M views (47.4M in the first 3 days!), and 3.7M engagements in the form of likes, shares, and comments.
Sponsored Video Content in the UK: £100M Industry
The UK market for Facebook branded content is growing at a blistering place, and Jungle Creations are perfectly positioned to bridge that gap between consumer demand and brand outreach. According to a brand new report from Tubular Labs on UK Facebook Sponsored content (which you can download by clicking on the blue button below), the number of UK partners and sponsors publishing branded content on Facebook has grown nearly 300% year-on-year.
Facebook branded content in the UK is estimated to be worth over £100M per year, with the British market for this form of branded advertising growing at nearly 500% year-on-year. You can get the latest insights on sponsored video in the UK by clicking the link below.
Jungle Creations is one of the major players in the UK sponsored video ecosystem, partnering with household-name brands to publish sponsored content on its Facebook properties. Partnerships with brands are an important part of the Jungle Creations business model, and successful campaigns with Oreo, Stork, and Baileys among many others mean that the publisher tripled its share of sponsored views between Q1 and Q2 2017, and grew their share of sponsors by 65%.
Jungle Creations and Sponsored Video
We spoke to Mitch Strong (Commercial Partnerships Director), and Melissa Chapman (CCO) about how the Jungle Creations works with partners to create sponsored video campaigns while remaining faithful to the JC brand.
Tubular: What sponsored video brand campaigns have you been really excited to work on?
JC: Oreo was our first really big campaign, and we worked with them as part of our ‘Twisted’ channel, to create engaging content around the promotion of two new flavours – Mint Choc Chip and Strawberry Cheesecake. We created 6 recipe videos for the ‘Twisted’ channel, plus two video articles, and a live stream with an influencer to help raise awareness for the new flavours. We guaranteed 8M UK views but actually generated 13M, and the added value of global views was huge because we didn’t cage the campaign.
Note: You can read more about the Twisted/Oreo case study here. The video below, for Mint Oreo Dirt Deserts has generated 3.4M Facebook video views to date:
The brand was so pleased with the return on investment they become a repeat customer, and we recently worked with them on another successful campaign. We created an idea, and sent it over on spec to see if it was something they might be interested in us creating for them. They confirmed they had some budget money left off the back of a different campaign so asked us to create a set of videos based on our idea. We turned the videos around in 3 days and the videos went live the week later. The whole process took only about 3 weeks which is an incredibly fast turnaround for this type of campaign. We continue to work with Oreo to get their brand message out across the UK.
With ‘Twisted’, we also worked with Stork on a new baking range they were launching. The target audience was Millennial women, and housewives with children, which is very much aligned with the ‘Twisted’ audience who are 63% female, mostly aged between 18-35. We created some really cool recipes, for grown-ups, and for grown-ups to create with children. In the past, their digital campaigns have tended to be very traditional but they trusted our creative process.
Tubular: Are most of your campaigns UK focused?
JC: We’ve built up a massive global reach so can support any client that wants their campaigns to go active around the world.
Tubular: Do you have all the resources you need in-house?
JC: Yes, we have everything here – sales, creative, social, video production, post-production, distribution, analytics, paid advertising, and more. We don’t outsource anything, and that’s the USP to agencies and brands. We keep everything under one roof and all departments feed into each other, and fully support each other. Because we immediately see the results from our pitches and our campaigns, we can go directly to the teams involved and discuss what did or didn’t work, and fix anything we need to. It also speeds up the process, both for us and the client, and with the help of Tubular software and data, and our own social team, we have access to all the analytics data we need.
Tubular: Do you put a lot of paid resources behind campaigns?
JC: We can but we try not to. Most of the time we can achieve the results we set out to via organic distribution and promotion. The way we see it, if sponsored content is going to live on any of our channel properties, we are acutely aware of the audience for those channels, and that content should do fantastically well based on the audience we have built up. If we have to put money behind any content we publish to our channels then we haven’t done enough organically to get it where it needs to be.
Tubular: What’s your strategic plan behind building your social channels?
JC: As we’ve expanded over the past 4 years, we’ve created 14 different verticals for very specific audiences, so we can offer almost any one of those verticals as a good fit for a particular brand. That’s a huge advantage because we don’t have to rely on just the one channel, and then constantly adapt that channel to fit the content.
With ‘Twisted’, we saw the opportunity to work with major food and drink brands, keeping in mind there always has to be a consumer, B2C demand too, because you need that growth for it to be sellable to brands. So we keep both those goals in mind when we launch a channel – that there’s a market for this vertical, and also an audience for it. We had a very specific goal for ‘Twisted’ which was to focus on the ‘wild and wacky’ side of food, and that really hit a nerve with our audience. We built up a following on Facebook of 1 million in just 8 weeks – and we didn’t pay for any kind of promotion! Our audience just got it right away, especially with content like our ‘Camembert Hedgehog Bread’ video.
Our clear goal is to build something that we can take to the agencies and brands and say look at what we’ve got and understand how we can leverage that for you. We are really dedicated to building these channels as the stats look so great on sales decks (for example: 1 million followers in 8 weeks for ‘Twisted’). Our social and content teams love growing the channels and find it very rewarding. So, we put a lot of investment, time, and effort into growing the channels, not only to be able to sell them to brands and agencies, but also to build a solid brand and a voice for Jungle Creations, and that’s invaluable to us.
Tubular: If you’re creating video content for a brand, does it always have to sit on one of your own channels?
JC: 99% of the time it does, yes. We usually state in the contract that we would post any sponsored video content on our channel although we can set the brand up as an advertisers so they are able to carry out digital targeting to hit a niche audience. But we also sometimes supply white-labelled content that they can post on their own channels, which sets us apart from a lot of our competitors.
But influencer/recommendation channels are much better in terms of reach and engagement. For instance, Oreo has many followers but we can generate significantly more engagement for Oreo content on Twisted. Our content team makes sure that when sponsored videos are published, we are nurturing that engaged audience on our channels so there’s that build-up of trust in all our posts. People don’t mind being advertised to, as long as it’s good, entertaining content, and that has always been our mantra. It’s also why we consistently get high engagement on an advert, and that’s why we are confident in selling our service to brands and agencies.
People don’t mind being advertised to, as long as it’s good, entertaining content.
One bad campaign can effectively ruin your chances with other brands, particularly when we are reliant on a central group of agencies to broker on our behalf. We have faced a few stumbling blocks where the brand has wanted a little more creative control, and we’ll work closely with those brands to gently confirm why their ideas may not work with our audience. We back those assertions up with insights and data and build that trust. We’re not saying no to be arrogant, we saying no because we know what works. It would be very easy to take the money for some of the distribution deals we have been offered, but we also have to consider our channels and the impact one misguided ad can have.
Using Tubular’s Dealmaker software, we can mine the data to find sponsored partnership opportunities and also confirm which brands our competitors are working with. Of course, we’re also aware that our competitors can use the software to mine the details of our campaigns, and we don’t want to give any deals away due to poor performance or judgement on our part – the JC brand is too important. We have such a good track record with all the brands we work with because we don’t just approach a deal from a sales perspective. We’re also going to be looking after that brand from a content perspective and make sure those campaign goals are achieved.
You can find out how Tubular’s software has helped Jungle Creations gain a competitive edge when it comes to brand partnership deals:
Right now, we don’t really create independent video content for brands where it doesn’t feature on our own channels. But as a production house, we may consider this more and more in the future.