Tumblr Launches an Ad Agency to Connect Brands With Top Creators

For brands, Tumblr has been a hard social network to tap. It’s a platform with huge potential, but it’s also a unique place where you have to hit all the right notes. Doing so may be about to get a heck of a lot easier.

The micro-blogging platform already has a network of about 40 million users—many of whom are showcasing some of the most creative work on the Internet—and a pool of high-paying advertising partners. Why not pair the two together to create campaigns from the inside perspective of an avid Tumblr user? Say hello to Tumblr’s new Creatrs Network, which will allow Tumblr’s top artists to work with brands in creating unique, Tumblr-optimized content campaigns.


The social network has a history of successfully partnering with advertisers to run sponsored blog posts, which have received an impressive 10,000 reblogs on average. But now, in order to find the talent to produce those posts, Tumblr will dip into its pool of 300 “Creatrs,” who will be able to syndicate their work to brands looking to expand their campaigns into the popular, GIF-filled space.

TechCrunch reports that Tumblr will also employ a more focused team of 10 of the best artists to work directly with Tumblr in creating campaigns for the platform itself—in other words, an in-house ad agency composed from its top content creators.

According to Mashable, artists will be compensated at an agreed-upon rate by Tumblr, and the work will also be licensed to parent company Yahoo’s publications. Tumblr has already begun testing the project over the past six months, having paid its Creatrs over $250 million collectively. These guinea-pig artists include Romain Laurent, Scott Borrero, and Cindy Suen, who was hired to create a campaign for the horror movie Ouija.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which make efforts to be users’ number one stops for fast-flowing news, Tumblr is a predominantly visual social network. It has therefore become somewhat of a haven for artists of various disciplines to share their projects, as well as providing a springboard for brands to launch visually compelling campaigns. It makes sense that Tumblr would want to bring these two pools of users together in a way that could be mutually beneficial.

Just like with other content marketing platforms, the setup provided by Creatrs Network could be a win-win-win-win for creators, advertisers, readers, and ultimately Tumblr. Artists get exposure and payment for their work; advertisers get to market their products with high-quality talent (who already have a history on Tumblr); readers get to see artwork by creators who are native to the platform they’re already scrolling through; and Tumblr gets to make everybody happy, all the while raking in new advertising revenue.

As Tumblr’s head of creative strategy, David Hayes, put it, the Creatrs Network will provide a “structure that brands want to come back to.” By sourcing artists from the platform itself to create non-intrusive ads, Tumblr hopes that its users will want to keep coming back too.

Image by Mark Lennihan

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