Adly Inc. offers brands a unique and much-needed service in this digital era. The African-American led, Beverly Hills-based firm matches advertisers with celebrities best suited to promote their brand across social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
According to the company, they “spark authentic conversations between celebrities and their fans about your brand.”
Adly also measures the reactions and behaviors of consumers for more efficient targeting and optimization. Explains Walter Delph, CEO Adly, who took over leadership last year, “Most brands don’t really understand how to directly reach the fans of celebrities. They are used to the tradition of using celebrity spokespersons, but who they really want to reach are the fans of that celebrity. We put them in direct touch through social media platforms. Through our database, we have a better understanding of who these fans are and how to reach them.”
So how does Adly’s process work? Say you are Nikon and you want to target your products to photographers. Adly may match you with a celebrity brand like the Kardashians, who attract countless photojournalists daily.
When Delph, who is a graduate of Middlebury College and Harvard Business School, came onboard he redirected the company. Prior to joining Adly, he served as senior vice president of digital media for News Corporation, general manager for Photobucket.com and vice president of strategy and corporate development for Fox Interactive Media.
At Adly, Delph has re-staffed the company with new hires–from heads of product to engineering to sales. And he lifted the company from somewhat of a social media scandal that involved actor Charlie Sheen. Prior to Delph’s arrival, Adly brokered an endorsement deal between Sheen and Internships.com. Sheen was to send out tweets to his followers about the company and it was initially successful until the actor began sending out somewhat bizarre tweets that didn’t bode well for Adly. So after cleaning up this social media mess, Delph repositioned the business away from merely talking about celebrity tweeting. Now the company works with, not just celebrities, but artists, musicians, chefs, physicists and business leaders. Under Delph’s watch the company also expanded from Twitter to Facebook to YouTube and other platforms.
Another move Delph has made is a new partnership with Legacy Growth Partners. Recently, Adly teamed up with Legacy Growth Partners, another African American led company, as their first celebrity investor. It seems like a perfect partnership. Adly works with celebrities and connects brands with consumers via celebrated people in social media, while Legacy Growth Partners is a strategic business development and direct investment company.
When looking at the advertising targeting African Americans, there has been a drop of ad sales in Black media. Delph says this needs to change. African Americans are prime ad targets in social media as Blacks and Hispanics over-index in most digital platforms. “When looking at the multicultural consumers, I say if you can successfully market to them, then you will successfully be able to market to the general market. If you can successfully market to millennials you can successfully reach the youth market. And with Adly, you can do this.”