Introducing "Studio Spotlight," with launch partner T Brand Studio
Several months ago, I started to think about ways that I could bring even more value to the subscribers of my native advertising newsletter, The Overlap League. Up until now, the list had been entirely un-monetized and un-marketed to—a pure passion project focused on educating and connecting people in the native ad industry. But with limited resources and time, I wasn't sure if I could expand the offering without support from advertisers.
The Overlap League audience is savvy and has very specific interests, which limited the number of sponsors who would be a fit, and I didn't want to validate their trust by providing anything off-topic or off-brand.
The only way I could introduce sponsorships or marketing opportunities to this audience—I knew—would be to do it transparently and in a way that brought as much value as the regular issues of the newsletter. It had to be the perfect marriage of advertisers that my audience wanted to learn more about, and information that would provide them value.
The solution needed to be truly native. And I believe it is.
A Studio Spotlight is a sponsored issue of the newsletter, wherein all the news, examples, jobs and other information are curated in partnership and with a focus on a single content studio. The goal: To provide the knowledge-hungry TOL audience with insider information about the teams, creators and work they know and respect, while giving those same teams and creators a chance to speak directly to the audience most interested in learning more about their process, achievements and the myriad ways to work with them.
Let's face it — To have anyone but T Brand Studio as the sponsor of the first "Studio Spotlight" Special Issue would have been unnatural. You can check out the web version of T Brand Studio's "Studio Spotlight" issue here.
(And if you're not yet subscribed to the newsletter, be sure to sign up here so you get future issues.)
As many of you know, I got my start as an Editor of Branded Content at T Brand Studio, where I wrote the "Women Inmates" piece for Netflix and the "Grit & Grace" piece for Cole Haan, among others. I felt honored to work with and learn from the talented folks at NYT, many of whom are still there today.
It's been incredible to see the continued growth of both the studio itself and its body of work, and to watch as the T Brand Studio team continuously raises the bar on what great native advertising should be.