A new startup assembled by a dream team of digital media pros is aiming to steer more advertising opportunities, and dollars, toward YouTube’s top creators. Fran Solomita, who until recently served as Maker Studios’ vice president of branded entertainment, will lead MoZaic Branding. During his time at Maker, Solomita organized successful partnerships with major brands like Quaker, PepsiCo, Discover and Universal Pictures, connecting them with some of YouTube’s top talent to create campaigns.
MoZaic will take that process to the next level, according to a statement released by the start-up today. Rather than represent a particular brand or advocate for a specific creator, the MoZaic team will “represent the deal,” advocating for the best possible match between the two. It’s a model that Solomita says will “give brands what they pay for and talent what they’re worth.”
The MoZaic team is made up of digital media and ad industry vets who plan to streamline the often clunky relationship between brands and creators. Solomita is joined by Mike Bienstock, the founder of Semaphore Tax and Business Solutions, as COO. Among many accomplishments, Bienstock was one of the chief architects of the deal which allowed Discovery Communications to acquire Phillip DeFranco’s digital media company. His Semaphore co-founder Nate Higgins will also join MoZaic as CFO. Together, the two have acted as business advisors to a number of prominent YouTube creators. The executive team will be rounded out by strategy chief Peter Bray, formerly of advertising giant Saatchi and Saatchi, and producer Todd Grossman as creative lead.
MoZaic will open offices in New York and Los Angeles leaving the startup perfectly positioned to exploit the paradigm shift that is already taking place in advertising. Huge glossy campaigns are already losing ground to grassroots efforts targeting social channels. MoZaic will offer brands a road map to YouTube and help brands to trust the instincts of creators.
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