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Digitas Signs Agreements with BuzzFeed and Epic Digital

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DigitasLBi created the digital content newfront seven years ago, and while Digitas's event has changed over the years, it remains the heart of NewFront week. At this year's Digitas NewFront, the company announced content deals with BuzzFeed and Epic Digital, and showed off a brand measurement tool created by SimpleReach.

Digitas and BuzzFeed have created the BuzzFeed in Residence program, where BuzzFeed Brand Team staff will work inside Digitas's New York City office, collaborating on client projects. Digitas will supply the clients, while BuzzFeed will bring a knowledge of pop culture and trends. Participating clients will get a consistent presence on BuzzFeed, where new social strategies will be continuously tested.

Digitas announced a first-look deal with Epic Digital, which publishes non-fiction writing. Digitas is the first and only agency to have such a deal with Epic, and it will look for stories it can develop with clients.

Working with content measurement company SimpleReach, Digitas announced a useful new metrics tool called the NewFront Brand Content Index. This index will show brands how any piece of online video content they've developed performs against benchmarks for the whole of the web and for their own specific industry. The index will let brands compare stats for page views, shares, traffic from social networks, time spent, reach, and more. The index will be available solely to Digitas clients for the rest of the year.

The Digitas NewFront is more of a conference than a sales pitch, one that seeks to engage and inspire the online video brand marketing community. This year's theme was "Fearless," which involved a lot of talk about not being afraid to make bold decisions. Business Insider's Henry Blodget started the day by talking about his fall from the investment world (“I felt this physical weight of shame and humiliation") and subsequent rise as a journalist (“The only way forward is through trial and failure"). TV host Meredith Vieira interviewed CVS executive vice president Helena Foulkes about her company's decision to turn down $2 billion in annual cigarette and tobacco sales, while host Jason Silva talked about people's addiction to novelty (“If you don’t have ADD today, you’re not paying attention").

LinkedIn executive editor Daniel Roth brought the conversation back to marketing and content creation (“Your content is only successful when it takes on a life of its own") while Ivan Wicksteed, senior vice president and global CMO for Old Navy, launched a group experiment by asking everyone to shake hands with a neighbor and introduce themselves (“That is far and away the scariest thing that anyone’s going to ask you to do today"). The best presentation of the day by far came from Harley Morenstein, creator and host of "Epic Meal Time," who gave the sleepy room the wake-up call it needed (“You want to know how to make excellent content on the internet. Google it. What am I, your mother?")

The event closed with a two song performance by Betty Who.

Meredith Vieira interviewing CVS executive vice president Helena Foulkes

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