Okay, so we didn’t get lost. But it sure seemed like we traveled over and under many bridges and stumbled upon something amazing when we arrived at The Foundry in Industry City.
One of Time Inc.’s newest corporate initiatives is defined as the “state-of-the-art creative lab and content studio” that brings the “full potential of Time Inc.’s storytelling expertise, editorial know-how and creative spirit to help brands tackle their most demanding marketing challenge.” A group of employees (myself included) recently took a trip from Synapse Group, Inc. to Brooklyn to find out more about this space and the services they offer.
Walking up to the offices was like entering Gotham City – the wrought-iron structures with floor-to-ceiling windows certainly made a statement. We were immediately greeted by Edouard Portelette, the SVP, General Manager of The Foundry. He took us on a tour of the facilities and explained the history behind the space. Then it was time to enter the creative lab headquarters. Adorned with neon signage, the aroma of espresso, and uniquely decorated work spaces, the office was, to use a way overused adjective, cool.
Walking past the Extra Crispy team sparked a minor “fangirl” moment for me. The digital editorial brand writes about all things #brunch. Since they launched the site on June 1st, I’ve been a devout follower. My wandering eyes noticed a bunch of 7-Eleven Slurpee cups on their desks and I wondered: did their team just have a thing for slushies, or was there was a story in the works?
(Editor’s note: I did find this article published just a few weeks after our visit. However, I still maintain that they could have a thing for slushies.)
The offices are home to three arms of advertising produced by The Foundry: Enterprise, Branded/Native, and Editorial & Innovation. Enterprise advertising occurs when The Foundry is acting strictly as an agency – hired to create advertisements that will live on their clients’ sites. The 7-Eleven article written by Extra Crispy is a great example of Branded/Native advertising. Though the content of the article included more than just a customer review of the Big Gulp, it was peppered with promotions for 7-Eleven’s Free Slurpee Day.
The last branch of advertising is perhaps the most unique. The Foundry launched in August 2015 and shortly thereafter, they introduced The Drive, their first content vertical. This site has over 2.5MM unique monthly views and is dedicated to all things automotive. Even after a quick glimpse, you’ll be sticking around for the compelling videos, featured articles, and more. Extra Crispy was the second content vertical launched by The Foundry and there are a few more in the works. Portelette noted that in order to pick a new category, a few things must be discovered:
- Is there a strong (predominantly younger) audience surrounding the product/theme?
- Does Time Inc. already have a presence with this category?
- Can it be strongly supported through advertising?
With Jen Wong, President of Time Inc. Digital, at the helm of The Foundry, there is certainly more that we can expect from the newest member of Industry City. And in the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be rallying a group to attend the Extra Crispy BreakFestival in NYC.