SMW NYC 2018 Meet the Speaker: Mike Rothman, CEO & Co-Founder, Fatherly
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Leading up to SMWNYC, we sit down with some of our featured speakers to get a preview of the insights they plan to share in April. Here we talk to Mike Rothman, who has built a media company around the changing definitions of parenthood.
SMW: Give us the 5-second elevator pitch for Fatherly.
MR: Fatherly is the leading digital media brand for this next generation of parents.
SMW: Can you talk a little bit about authenticity and how Fatherly’s genuine approach to parenting benefits your brand partners?
MR: Authenticity starts with being genuine and accurate. Fatherly is driven by a central mission to deliver our readers evidence-based parenting recommendations along with emotionally honest stories across an array of ages and perspectives.
Our partners recognize that this approach—one that inherently appeals to moms as well as dads—accurately captures the sensibilities of young Gen Xers and Millennials as they transition into this next phase in life. Not only do we offer marketers access to this audience, but a set of rules for communicating with parents in a language that feels familiar.
SMW: What are some success stories you can share by way of branded content efforts?
MR: While we’re proud of all of our branded content efforts, a few that come to mind are New York Life and GMC. For our NYL campaign, the team created the video Dads Can Do (Almost) Anything, which is now the number one branded video on Facebook of 2017. The video was highly shareable and celebrated the “dad hacks” that fathers use to bring a sense of levity to parenting. As one of our readers told us, “It’s the kids’ job to grow up, not the parents”.
As part of GMC’s “Dad Like a Pro” we followed adventure photographer Chris Burkard as he kayaked next to seals and sledded down sand dunes with his son. The quality of the video that we captured really shows the commitment we’ve made to branded content and that we’re continuing to set higher standards for what marketers can expect from publishing partners.
SMW: You recently launched a podcast. Can you tell us a little more about that?
MR: The Fatherly Podcast is hosted by our editor at large, Joshua David Stein, and centers around an interview with a celebrity who happens to be a father.
The show is bookended with product recommendations and the latest news from our Science editor, Josh Krisch, who aims to answer: can married men and women be “just friends” and how bad is yelling at my kid?
The interviews have been remarkably compelling and feature parenting insights from Ken Burns, Tom Colicchio and Michael Strahan alike.
SMW: WPP recently took a minority stake in Fatherly. How did this partnership come to life?
MR: I’ve known members of the WPP team for a while now. They’ve been familiar with the Fatherly brand and what we’ve been building since inception. As we thought about the strategic investors we wanted to bring on for our Series A, we knew that WPP would complement our other partners by providing an eagle-eye view of the digital media and marketing landscape that will be invaluable as we navigate these ever-changing waters.
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