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Live at MIXX: Ashton Kutcher, media mogul

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Brands & Campaigns

This guest post is from Adam Mazmanian, SmartBrief’s media and advertising editor, who attended the IAB MIXX Conference and Expo in New York earlier this week.

While he’s known to most of the world as a star of the TV comedy “That ’70s Show” and the producer of the reality show “Punk’d,” he holds a special place in the hearts of social-media mavens. As of this writing, the star who goes by the Twitter handle aplusk boasts more than 3.6 million followers.

Kutcher was interviewed by IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg on Tuesday, at the close of the MIXX Conference & Expo. He was there to talk about the efforts of his studio Katalyst Media. He showed off a recent effort on behalf of the snack food Hot Pockets. It was a branded video called “KatalystHQ,” shot at his company’s headquarters and starring real-life employees. In one episode, an obviously unqualified and somewhat lecherous trainer is hired to whip company employees into shape. After an employee takes a spill during a workout, a colleague rushes off in search of ice, only to find the freezer filled with Hot Pockets.

The webisodes appear on Facebook. Kutcher noted that he leveraged his own social-media popularity to garner views, but gained additional distribution through a highly successful pass-along campaign. Reportedly, the average viewer passed the content along to 62 contacts.

Kutcher’s personal celebrity seems to give him special insight into how brands are perceived in the marketplace and in the microcosm of social media. He said, “We’re trending toward a space where we’re living in public,” adding that successful brands have already come to grips with that reality.

Image credit, IAB