BuzzFeed expands empire, opens Tasty to Australian advertisers

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 14 September 2016

BuzzFeed is expanding its video empire, opening up its Tasty channel to Australian advertisers.

BuzzFeed Tasty just celebrated its one year anniversary, launching last year as a Facebook-only cooking channel.

The channel, with content created out of the US, has more than 70 million likes on Facebook, building on the global appetite for food content that has exploded over social media.

BuzzFeed Tasty global GM Ashley McCollum tells AdNews the “made-for-advertisers” videos have a lot to offer commercially, with the format blending mobile, social and video components to attract huge millennial audiences.

“In general, advertisers have been slower than they should have been to social, video and mobile globally. We moved into these markets quickly so we are ahead of the pack and I think Australia is ready for us,” she says.

“Advertisers come to us for social, branded content. It’s what we do best. Tasty is a good fit for CPG food and beverage products – they are at the core of our success.”

Previously, BuzzFeed Tasty has worked with US brands including Nestlé and Purina. Now, Australian brands have the opportunity to advertise through the popular video content.

Nestlé advertised its Butter Fingers products through Tasty in March this year and the video drove more search results for the brand than any other marketing this year, including its Super Bowl ad.

While Tasty is now open for brands to get on board, it will not be building a team on the ground in Australia.

BuzzFeed doesn’t have plans for a team, as the business likes to think of itself as a global network model. Tasty currently has a staff of more than 60 people creating content for seven countries.

“Tasty is our fastest growing business,” McCollum says. “We have sold advertising in every other market in the world and had immediate massive scale results that feel like TV advertising.

“On BuzzFeed you can get 10 million views a day and it wouldn’t be an insane figure. We are in a really good place as ad dollars continue to shift from TV to digital – we will benefit from the shift.”

Tasty’s top-down, soundless video strategy has been emulated by media companies globally. In Australia, News Corp has signalled a major move into video, along with the likes of Pacific Magazines.

McCollum says BuzzFeed isn’t concerned about established competitors in Australia, adding they have different offerings.

“We reach almost 10 million Australian’s per month. We know we have reach in Australia and with an existing editorial team here, it was a no brainer.

"We are flattered by copycats and when you have an impact on culture and society people are going to try to emulate that. But if a publisher is going to try to copy us by making top down food videos, they will fail. There's more to why we are successful than that style." 

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