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24: Laurel Hodge and Imgur keep it real to connect with millennial men

Laurel Hodge

Laurel Hodge is director of creative strategy at the online image-sharing community, Imgur, which she says is “on a mission to lift people’s spirits for a few moments every day.”

But there’s a lot more to it than that. Imgur has more than 150 million monthly active users, and among those, 86 percent are millennial men, the most ad-adverse and toughest audience to reach for marketers.

With a new native advertising product called Promoted Posts, Imgur uses its cultural fluency to help brands connect effectively with this coveted target. “We help brands enter this space and connect with them [millennial men] in a way that feels authentic, in a way that they actually appreciate and enjoy,” said Hodge. She later adds, “When you use the language in an authentic way and you actually provide information that people want to hear — or information that is relevant to people — then you’ll see some really great results.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • “We want to create ads that don’t suck.” (3:00)
  • Overcoming the culture of ad blocking. (5:25)
  • Creating brand engagement with a brand-skeptical audience: Imgur’s partnership with eBay. (8:05)
  • Three things marketers can do to reach ad-adverse audiences: (1) Localize. (2) Always add value. (3) Respect your audience. (10:25)
  • Making an impression: Up-and-coming brands usually do one thing and do it well. (19:23)
  • Adding value: Brands have to work harder in a hyper-distracted world. (20:41)