I recently interviewed the co-founders of social marketing startup Niche, when they took the stage at AOL HQ with Robby Ayala, who leads creative partnerships for the company and is also one of their resident Vine stars (with 2.8 million followers).
I first covered Niche last fall, after the company raised a small seed round. The team has a built an online platform that connects users who are popular social media with brand marketers so that they can collaborate on ad campaigns.
In the 30-minute video above, co-founders Rob Fishman and Darren Lachtman (whose cousin, by the way, is TechCrunch writer Josh Constine) talk about how they created company, recount how they convinced Ayala to quit law school and join the team, and show off some of the actual ads.
One thing that comes through, I think, is the opportunity that social media offers for creating fun, creative ads, but I was also curious about the risk that it presents for putting your foot in your mouth. Asked how Niche might be affected if one of its creators get embroiled in some kind of scandal, Fishman acknowledged that it is “part and parcel and working in this space,” especially since many of those creators are teenagers.
“One of the decisions we made in the begining was not to represent anyone,” he said. “We’re not a talent agency, we do not have formal ties with any of the creators in our network, other than that we provide them software and we work with them on a campaign-by-campaign basis. So for us, when someone on our network, there’s some faux pas or they slip up or they do something unprofessional, that doesn’t mean that we are cutting ties with them, it just means hey, maybe we’re not going to work on campaigns with them in the near future.”
And if you’re a creator who’s posted something that seems to piss everyone off, Ayala had a simple piece of advice: “Just delete it.”