Keith Blanchard (left) has worn many hats during his career, most recently founding The Daily Lowdown, a content aggregation site for young men. But the Huffington Post columnist and former editor-in-chief of lad mag Maxim is now making the leap to advertising.
On Monday, Blanchard will start his new job as North American executive creative director at Story Worldwide, which bills itself as “the only advertising agency with a full editorial department.” Seemingly, Blanchard will be putting his experience as a journalist, author and former online editorial director at Wenner Media to use as he oversees “the development of all brand storytelling initiatives” at Story, which boasts clients such as Unilever, Lexus and Agent Provocateur.
In a press release, Blanchard said he doesn’t “believe traditional ‘adjacency’ ads will ever come back, now that advertisers have real options and can control their own destiny.”
“The future, the cutting edge of storytelling innovation is directly sponsored content, and Story Worldwide does it better than anybody on Earth,” he added. “That’s where I want to be.”
Cleverly-titled release after the jump
BREAKING NEWS: JOURNALIST GETS JOB!
Story Worldwide, The Only Advertising Agency With A Full Editorial Department, Hires Former Maxim/Rolling Stone Heavyweight To Lead Creative Team
â–¬Keith Blanchard joins Story Worldwide as North American Executive Creative Directorâ–¬
New York, NY (May 07, 2009)â€”While traditional media cast about for direction in the brave new world of merging media and brands, what’s a heavily-qualified creative director to do for work? For Keith Blanchardâ€”former Wenner Media online editorial director and ex-Maxim Editor in Chiefâ€”the answer was easy: join the storytelling revolution. This coming Monday, Blanchard will take the creative helm at Story Worldwide as North American Executive Creative Director, where he will oversee the development of all brand storytelling initiatives. He will report directly to Story Worldwide’s COO Simon Kelly and indirectly to Storyâ€™s Global Creative Officer Lars Hemming Jorgensen.
“From the very moment we met with Keith, it was obvious he was a great fit with Story. Our editorial DNA sets us apart from the advertising crowd and Keith is of the same mold. What impressed us the most was the way he has applied his editorial skills across many other channels, much like us. It’ll come as no surprise that there are a number of highly-qualified candidates out there and in the end it was a really tough choice. Keith is super smart, fascinated by the way that the advertising industry is beginning to look a lot like publishing, is extremely personable and has clearly demonstrated the depth of his creative talents. I’m thrilled we’ll be working together and I really think Keith’s hire puts more distance between us and the competition.” Simon Kelly, COO, Story Worldwide.
Blanchard first ventured into new media in 1996, when he launched the website for Cosmopolitan magazine under the direction of Bonnie Fuller. Since then he made his mark as first the deputy editor then the editor in chief of Maxim magazine. Along the way, he also led the launch and editing of Stuff magazine in 1998, and oversaw the creation of numerous media extensions of the Maxim print enterprise. In 2006, Blanchard served as online editorial director for Wenner Media, managing all online content for US Weekly, Rolling Stone and Menâ€™s Journal. Most recently, he worked as the vice president and director of programming at Kuma Reality Games, the world’s biggest online episodic videogame company, and as the founder of online start-up Expanding Media, LLC along with its website The Daily Lowdown. Currently, Blanchard writes for The Daily Lowdown and has a regular column for The Huffington Post.
“Story Worldwide is smart to hire Keith, because the future of advertising is leveraging the ability provided by the online world to engage in a deep and ongoing relationship with target markets,” said Blanchard’s former colleague Bonnie Fuller, Founder, Bonnie Fuller Media. “With his editorial experience and understanding of audiences, Keith will give Story a huge leg up.”
“I am thrilled, absolutely thrilled, to be joining the Story Worldwide family,” says Blanchard. “The media world has been turned upside down by the new age dawning onlineâ€”it isn’t just newspapers that are burning. I donâ€™t believe traditional ‘adjacency’ ads will ever come back, now that advertisers have real options and can control their own destiny. The future, the cutting edge of storytelling innovation is directly sponsored content, and Story Worldwide does it better than anybody on Earth. That’s where I want to be.”
About Story Worldwide
Story Worldwide (www.StoryWorldwide.com) believes the key to brand success is effective storytellingâ€”in any channel, anywhere in the world. Incorporating this philosophy into work for some of the worldâ€™s most-recognized brands, Story Worldwide is the driving force behind the post-advertising age, producing the trendsetting marketing that is replacing traditional ads. With its decidedly unorthodox approach to marketing, Story Worldwide crosses traditional boundaries to redefine the way businesses engage their current and potential consumers. Story Worldwide’s signature approaches, “storytelling” and “narrative branding,” set the stage for stand-out results in what is an otherwise oversaturated industry. Story Worldwide has created loyal consumer audiences for companies including Unilever, Lexus, Coty, RCI and Agent Provocateur. With over 150 employees and offices in New York, Seattle, South Norwalk, London and Hong Kong, Story Worldwide is quietly leading the global post-advertising revolution.