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Earlier this month, News Corporation's vice president for strategy highlighted how publishers can bring their storytelling skills to the table to work with brands in different ways.

Different approaches are being taken by different publishers in terms of creating content for brands, from sponsored content carried on a publisher's own site, to bigger, standalone branded projects.

And Vice Media is also harnessing the opportunity to work with brands, powered by its understanding of, and strong engagement with, Generation Y.

Carsten Kritscher, commercial director of Vice Media, explained at the Digital Innovators' Summit today why this audience is so important, and how Vice Media is working with brands to help them reach this generation.

Generation Y

According to Kritscher, Generation Y is a $2.45 trillion opportunity, and as they distance themselves from traditional media it means publishers and brands are having to meet them on new digital platforms.

This generation are effectively "always on", he said, in terms of being connected to a device. This means publishers and brands "have to be 'always on' as well".

And Vice has learned that this generation like to communicate around "highly visual" content.

All in all, this presents a "massive opportunity for brands to capitalise on", but they face a challenge.

The challenge for brands

Brands are not first-and-foremost publishers, and they can fall down in certain areas, as Kritscher explained.

"When brands try to speak 'authentically', it comes across like your dad dancing in a rave," he said, "it just doesn’t feel right."

Brands "lack the ability of transmedia storytelling", he told the conference, they are also "not structured to scale content" and have "no experience in building reach, just buying reach".

And this is where a publisher like Vice can come in.

The opportunity for publishers

In comparison, Kritscher said, "Vice is able to communicate with Gen Y in a way they understand and like".

They use this understanding and own reporting experience to create "immersive experiences" for brands, which offer that 'authenticity' Kritscher said brands themselves can struggle to achieve.

He identified three principles which underpin Vice Media's work with brands, including a focus on the immersive experience with the aim of turning the audience "into brand evangelists".

He also stressed the importance of placing "content first".

"This is then digital currency of young people today. Tell compelling stories. Also give them something to talk about, be entertaining and enrich their lives."

One example of such a project was one Vice worked on with Intel called 'the creators project', which, according to a slide from Kritscher's presentation was part of efforts "to make the brand relevant to young people internationally".

The campaign, which centred on "an arts and technology vertical channel and global events series" recorded 50 million unique visitors and 375 milion views of its video content.

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