SuperAwesome, the European ad network and marketing platform for kids and teens, continues to roll up talent in the space.
Meanwhile, I understand it has quietly hired Kari McCreath from Stardoll as its new Head of Business Development, after the virtual world for girls outsourced its UK and U.S. ad teams.
Today the ambitious UK company is making another talent grab by acqui-hiring the sales and ad operations teams from Bin Weevils, with whom it’s also forming an exclusive partnership to manage the kids virtual world’s ad business. Terms remain undisclosed. In case you haven’t heard of Bin Weevils, it claims to be the leading kid-safe virtual world in the UK, bigger than Moshi Monsters, apparently. SuperAwesome CEO Dylan Collins says the new ad sales partnership puts the majority of the UK’s premium kids digital brands on the SuperAwesome platform.
Along with Bin Weevils, Swapit, and Box of Awesome, it has over 70 content partners across mobile, web and online video. The advertising brands it works with include Lego, Warner Bros, Hasbro, Disney, and Nintendo.
“SuperAwesome is now very big with scale far, far in excess of any individual kids property and many companies are now realising that partnering with us is simply much more effective than trying to build their own kid-compliant ad platform,” says Collins when I asked him the thinking behind Bin Weevils effectively outsourcing its ads business.
“Bin Weevils have always been focused on making entertaining games for kids and they have a huge opportunity on mobile. We had known each other as competitors and one night we started to compare notes on our strengths and it became pretty obvious that there was a very elegant solution that would let the companies focus on their core strengths,” he adds.
Similar to the reasoning behind Stardoll’s decision to get out of selling ads direct, the partnership with Bin Weevils frees up the company to concentrate on developing its browser-based world and the production of a new cross-platform title, ‘Weevil World’, which will be released in the autumn and initially target iOS. It also speaks to a wider trend whereby games companies — and just about every online industry — is having to re-invent itself because of the rapid transition to mobile and tablets. Kids’ properties are no different.
In fact, if anything, the younger demographic has moved even faster, hence SuperAwesome’s decision to launch a premium mobile ad network targeting kids, while also helping app publishers wean themselves off spammy in-app purchases. To that end, I’m hearing from sources that the ad and marketing platform has recently signed up a number of major mobile games makers as content partners (including one with a well-known temper!).
“From day one, we always had a very big vision for what SuperAwesome needed to be. Not because we were trying to fit into cliched Silicon-Valley-speak but simply because the fragmented nature of the kids audience needs a very large-scale infrastructure which can bridge mobile, web and physical,” says Collins. “If you’re not reaching this audience in multiple ways then you’re really not being effective. That’s why we talk about reaching 30 million uniques in the UK despite there only being about 8 million kids.”