Cracking the content code

Corus offshoot so.da created "thumb-stopping" moments at scale
so.da worked with Mindshare and Appleton Estate Rum to create the Canada Hidden Gems series. While it began on social, so.da went on to create long-form content for Global, Food Network, StackTV and the Global TV app.

so.da worked with Mindshare and Appleton Estate Rum to create the Canada Hidden Gems series. While it began on social, so.da went on to create long-form content for Global, Food Network, StackTV and the Global TV app.

Since its 2017 launch, Toronto-based so.da has grown into a content powerhouse. It’s an offering unique in the market – part agency and part social publisher, all deeply integrated into one of Canada’s largest media companies. From its unique vantage point, so.da has access to more than 20 Corus media brands and uses its expansive capabilities to produce about 1,500 pieces of content per week, generating more than five billion views annually.

And, thanks to this positioning, so.da offers clients access to inhouse, state-of-the-art infrastructure, including multiple production studios, dozens of editing suites and social-first, broadcast-quality equipment.

so.da was purpose-built to tell stories through video – at scale – using content to create communities and generate engagement, regardless of where consumers congregate.

So it’s not surprising that so.da has forged close partnerships with Canada’s leading social media companies. so.da recently announced an original lifestyle content venture for Snapchat’s Discover section – the fifth social platform to partner with so.da, following partnerships with TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with a unique offering in the marketplace, Twitter Originals Fueled by so.da.
For the #PowerUp influencer execution for the Galaxy Note 10+, Samsung partnered with so.da and Director X (Julien Christian Lutz). The campaign helped elevate the product and brand during a key launch moment, driving more than one million engagements and earning two Digiday Content Marketing Awards.

For the #PowerUp influencer execution for the Galaxy Note 10+, Samsung partnered with so.da and Director X (Julien Christian Lutz). The campaign helped elevate the product and brand during a key launch moment, driving more than one million engagements and earning two Digiday Content Marketing Awards.

For the #PowerUp influencer execution for the Galaxy Note 10+, Samsung partnered with so.da and Director X (Julien Christian Lutz). The campaign helped elevate the product and brand during a key launch moment, driving more than one million engagements and earning two Digiday Content Marketing Awards.

Launched in 2018, the latter partnership has created 10 premium programs with top brands, including #ShopSmall with AMEX, #BestNightIn with Stella Artois and #PowerUp with Samsung Canada – each averaging over 50 million views. The Samsung partnership helped power the Galaxy Note 10+ launch, driving more than one million engagements, and earning two Digiday Content Marketing Awards (Best New Product/Launch Campaign and Best Brand/Influencer Collaboration).

so.da creates content for its owned networks, as well as clients’ brand handles (as in the case of Samsung), and supports brands with their social efforts (such as Amazon Prime Video Canada and General Mills), helping with strategy, content, community management, influencers, analytics and more. Corus’ 2019 acquisition of Kin Community provides so.da access to hundreds of thousands of creator/influencers in the arts, beauty, food, DIY, wellness, parenting and other categories.

The combination of assets was key for a recent Complex Canada series for Appleton Estate Rum called Hidden Gems, which features Jamaican Canadian trailblazers in music, style and visual arts. While the series began on social, so.da developed a 30-minute special to extend the content to broadcast on networks including Global and Food Network and streamers StackTV and the Global TV app, then layered on additional social and ancillary content.

OLG joined forces with so.da and Twitter for #OLGGamePlan, an interactive digital sports betting series. Developed under the Twitter Originals Fueled by so.da offering, so.da will produce more than 800 pieces of content over the course of the campaign.

OLG joined forces with so.da and Twitter for #OLGGamePlan, an interactive digital sports betting series. Developed under the Twitter Originals Fueled by so.da offering, so.da will produce more than 800 pieces of content over the course of the campaign.

With all that amplification, the campaign beat the impression benchmark by about 85%. It was an effort that clearly demonstrated so.da’s holistic approach to community-building.

“Five years ago, you would have defined buckets: ‘This is the PR bucket, this is the digital bucket, this is the stunt or experiential bucket,’” says Dervla Kelly, SVP marketing Corus Entertainment and GM, so.da. “Now the best campaigns cross over all of them.” (To cover all its bases, so.da launched its own PR arm last year.)

She stresses that in order to resonate, campaigns must be informed by good data, and that’s another area where so.da has an advantage. Its proprietary networks give so.da an opportunity to test and gain insights across verticals before they take that learning to clients. The agency evaluates data second-by-second – learning why audiences drop off, fast-forward, and other key takeaways.

so.da leads the organic social strategy and content execution for Prime Video Canada. To drive awareness, mass engagement and follower growth of Prime Video Canada’s social accounts, so.da developed a holiday campaign fueled by fandom. The campaign featured seven variations of custom produced ugly holiday sweaters inspired by Prime Video Originals’ titles that fans could win through a social-first contest.

so.da leads the organic social strategy and content execution for Prime Video Canada. To drive awareness, mass engagement and follower growth of Prime Video Canada’s social accounts, so.da developed a holiday campaign fuelled by fandom. The campaign featured seven variations of custom produced ugly holiday sweaters inspired by Prime Video Originals’ titles that fans could win through a social-first contest.

“Creating as much content as we are, we can piece together valuable insights,” she says. “We see patterns in the content well before your average agency or brand, and that informs where the strategy is going and what we’re going to lean into.”

So, what’s the key to consumer engagement? Kelly points to contextual relevancy: content can’t be forced, and the story must be compelling. That’s especially true for younger demos, who will willingly engage with branded content if they think it’s worth their time. Complex Canada’s branded content will often outperform editorial content, proof that so.da is able to create branded content that truly resonates with audiences.

Kelly says so.da asks itself, “What can we give consumers that’s adding value? Are we entertaining them? Are we educating them? Informing them? Because you’re driving engagement in that value exchange. What’s that ‘thumb-stopping moment’ that’s going to get them to pause and engage?”

“The average person now scrolls through about 300 feet of mobile content every day – that’s the size of the Statue of Liberty. We’re wired to fly by ads. Our brain recognizes the visual signal of an ad and we keep scrolling. But consumers will pause and engage when the content’s good, and we’ve seen that our branded content can outperform organic content.”

CONTACT:
Dervla Kelly
SVP marketing, Corus Entertainment & GM, so.da
dervla.kelly@corusent.com

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