To promote “L.A.’s Finest,” the cop drama that’s the first show to debut out of Charter’s Spectrum Originals group, the operator is staging a variety-show-themed festival in Hollywood on Saturday, May 11, bringing in comedians, musicians and food vendors — along with show stars Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba.
To produce the unconventional invite-only event event, Spectrum Originals turned to an unconventional partner: ATTN:, the digital-media startup-up focused on “purpose-driven” content for millennial audiences. It’s a new business line for the L.A.-based company through the recently formed ATTN: Moment unit, focused solely on events and experiential activations. Last fall, ATTN: hired Lana Van Brunt, formerly head of experiential marketing at Vice Media, to run the group.
“I couldn’t think of a better partner to collaborate with for the launch of ‘L.A.’s Finest,'” Jessica Alba said in prepared statement. “ATTN:’s unique approach to storytelling is coming to life in this immersive and exciting way, highlighting L.A.’s finest entrepreneurs, creatives, and artists.”
The event Saturday at NeueHouse Hollywood will feature appearances by Alba and Union; a headline performance by comedian Zainab Johnson; and musical performances by Ama Lou and Gia Woods. The event leads up to the “L.A.’s Finest” premiere May 13, available to Charter’s Spectrum subscribers. The new show, a spinoff of the “Bad Boys” franchise by Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay, is co-production between Sony Pictures Television and Charter.
ATTN: is best known for producing short-form, issues-based video segments, including attention-grabbing partnerships with the likes of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Now it’s hoping to extend entertainment and brand partnerships to experiential events through ATTN: Moment, employing the same ethos to provide “meaningful interactions,” said co-founder Matthew Segal.
For ATTN: clients to illustrate their purpose-driven and corporate social responsibility initiatives, Segal said, “it really made sense for us to convene people in-person around [a sponsor’s] message.” Van Brunt added that live experiences are more engaging than simply watching a video, but “it’s fundamentally the same thing – it’s about fun and creating value for our partners.”
Given the vicissitudes of digital ad spending, which have knocked some start-ups out of the game, ATTN: also wanted to diversify its revenue stream, Segal said. Plus, he noted, the company is able to capture content from the events and distribute those on its channels, as part of amplifying a sponsor’s pitch: “It’s two bites of the apple.”
One of ATTN: Moment’s next events is with UCLA. For the university’s centennial celebration in September, ATTN: Moment plans to create a multidimensional pop-up space at the ROW DTLA that will include master classes led by UCLA alumni, art exhibits and interactive installations. Last summer ATTN: worked with Esurance to produce a 10-city, one-day activation trying to brighten up people’s Mondays — with teams in different locations giving out free makeup touch-ups outside a DMV, passing out pastries and coffee, and letting visitors play with kittens and puppies from a rescue shelter.
At some point, ATTN: may host ticketed events or conferences, Segal said, identifying the 2020 elections as a potential opportunity. But initially, the focus is on sponsored activations. “Obviously we’re beginning to just flex this muscle, and it’s nice to have brand partners going in so you’re not dependent on variable factors that are tougher to control,” he said.
ATTN:, founded in 2014, has raised about $24 million from investors including Evolution Media Capital, Main Street Advisors, Marc Rowan and Paul Wachter.