Ad.Ly CEO Arnie Gullov-Singh was in town from the West Coast this week, pitching his brand of micro-celebrity endorsements to Madison Avenue ad firms and staffing up a sales team that will be based out of Silicon Alley.
“Someone should start a business renting umbrellas to L.A. folks,” he said, shaking the rain out of his hair. “I need it now, but not on the airplane back.”
Ad.ly does what it calls “in-stream advertising.” Basically they manage paid celebrity endorsement on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. The endorsements show up in followers news feeds.
That time Snoop Dogg shouted out the Sienna Minivan — aka The Swagger Wagon? That was Ad.ly at work.
Ad.ly is just one year old with twenty employees and $6 million in start-up capital from Allen Patricof’s Greycroft Ventures and GRP in California.
Celebrities have far and away the biggest followings of any category of users on services like Twitter, Facebook and Myspace. Advertisers love them because they have a big reach, targeted demogrpahics and a high level of user engagement.
“L.A. does celebrity and a little bit of advertising, but New York is the mecca for digital media,” Gullov-Singh told me. “We know that to make our business scale, we have to a presence here.”
Good to know that the future of celebrity endorsements still wants the savvy of Madison Avenue on their side.