Russell Simmons’ New Venture: Digital Marketing Russell Simmons’ New Venture: Digital Marketing

Music mogul, Russell Simmons first made his debut with Def Jam Records, he then launched his clothing line Phat Farm. Now, Russell Simmons is presenting his latest venture in the advertising world.

Simmons recently launched Narrative, a digital marketing, entertainment and technology company, with his longtime business partner Tricia Clarke-Stone.

While many might label this latest venture as an advertisement agency, both Clarke-Stone and Simmons are quick to avoid referring to it as such.

“We want to make sure agencies don’t view us as a competitor,” said Ms. Clarke-Stone. “We’re not trying to be agency of record for different brands and clients. We believe we have a level of expertise that’s really rooted in creating immersive brand experiences across platforms.”

Narrative is a company that touts itself on providing marketing solutions for publishers, agencies and brands.

“We work for agencies, we’re not an agency,” Simmons added. “We’re a digital solutions [company]. We think our future is working for agencies, not working around them.”

The company’s purpose is to create digital campaigns driven by social media, branded entertainment and celebrity-driven content, using techniques such as crowd-sourcing, gamification and rewards.

These campaigns are also distributed through pop-culture, entertainment, music and lifestyle websites. Equipped with behavioral-data analytics and a custom ad-serving platform, among other technologies, the company is launching with high hopes of being just as successful as Simmons other businesses.

“We’re creating unique experiences that we’re producing, and then we have the technology to be able to scale it across platforms and then deliver really highly robust analytics,” said Ms. Clarke-Stone.

Narrative is launching with about 9 employees, and by end of year Mr. Simmons and Ms. Clarke-Stone expect to have close to 20, mostly based in New York, with some key people in Los Angeles.

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