AT A TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING AGENCY, the kind portrayed in Mad Men, people have distinct roles. Account folks work with clients; media buys airtime; creatives build campaigns. And talent — whether actresses, athletes or social media stars — aren’t brought in until the end. Until production. This really bothered 26-year-old Liz Eswein (Instagram’s @NewYorkCity).
“That system is totally antiquated,” Eswein explains. “Because so many of today’s celebrities are influencers — influencers are content creators. And they know their audiences better than anyone else, so, why wouldn’t they participate in strategy?”
Eswein’s issue is that advertising agencies and talent agencies remain separate. So, while an ad agency may hire talent to star in a commercial or post a product on their page, they don’t offer control over content. (Ex: post this purse with this hashtag.) To tear down these walls, Eswein partnered with Jason Stein, founder of Laundry Service, to build the world’s first advertising-meets-talent media network: Cycle. They manage 1,500 social personalities for a combined 300M followers.