Thanks to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more, fans are now able to get closer to their favorite celebrities and learn what they're wearing, where they're going, and what's going on in their daily lives. In short, celebrities have become more accessible. Adly, a startup based in Los Angeles, realized the potential of working with celebrities through social media to spark engaging, branded conversations.
Adly helps brands find the right celebrities that speak to their target audience and start authentic online conversations between celebs and their fans. The company claims to have the largest network of celebrity publishers in the digital world. Adly has relationships with 75,000 influencers, 2,000 of whom are celebrities in the traditional sense – that is, those you would recognize if you saw them on the street. Though, the other 73,000 have influence that's useful to advertisers.
“We are a very good mechanism for raising awareness,” says chief executive officer Walter Delph. According to him, Adly's services are similar to that of TV commercials. The average celebrity on Adly has over 1.5 million followers, which is about the same reach as a mid-sized cable network.
Unlike television commercials, however, Adly doesn't just place a brand in front of an audience, but also generates conversation and engagement. Adly tracks these conversations and identifies the factors that make content go viral as well, measuring the reactions and behaviors of consumers for optimization. Depending on the level, an Adly campaign can cost between $25,000 and $500,000.
“We try to market that we are a technology company that provides this consumer insight about celebrities,” says Delph.
This past May, Adly raised $2 million from GRP Partners and Siemer Ventures, bringing its total funding to $7.5 million. The funding will go towards adding more engineers and sales staff to the Adly team.