Announcing the acquisition during its NewFronts presentation Friday afternoon, Vice is putting a greater emphasis on its ability to produce live events and activations for advertising clients. The company is no stranger to hosting events sponsored by brands, but the Villain acquisition will allow Vice to expand its work in this area with a help of a team with a proven track record, said [Vice Media’s president of digital Josh] Cogswell.
“Demand [from advertisers] for experiential offerings is very, very high, and we’re proud to have a reputation in the industry as a team that can activate unique and immersive expressions for brands interested in reaching young audiences,” Cogswell added.
While Vice is using the NewFronts to pitch advertisers on custom branded events (its ad agency, Virtue, will also be able to enlist Villain’s services), the company is also planning to use Villain for editorial-related events. Existing Vice editorial events include a concert series called Noisey Nights, Munchies Fest and a women’s leadership event from Broadly.
“We also know that eight out of 10 young people would rather spend their hard-earned money on an experience rather than a physical purchase,” said Cogswell. “So a natural extension for us is to build even more opportunities to reach our audiences directly and help them experience something new.”
Where’s the Nightlife Mayor when we need her?