The ‘Ladsorption’ of LadBible and Unilad

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LadBible is a name most people would have come across whilst browsing the seemingly endless landscape of social media. The social media and entertainment social publisher founded in 2012, has amassed a vast 120 million social media followers contributing towards its status as the ‘second most viewed media property on social’ edging itself ahead of the likes of Disney and BuzzFeed – no small feat.

Today the LadBible group boasts a range of other brands producing a variety of engaging content which they claim reaches 80% of UK Gen Zers and as their web analysis unsurprisingly reveals a ‘Lad’ audience consisting of more than two-thirds male and one-third being aged between 25-34.

Last year the group acquired their bitter rival in the form of Unilad who like LadBible captured an audience in the early 2010s through ‘industrialised banter, viral video and fast news’ but suffered in recent times.

The brands remain separate entities and will each focus on a specific area with Unilad on music and LadBible in developing longer-form content. So, it seems their differences have been put aside but as LadBible co-founder Arian Kalantari says, the brands need to be better ‘differentiated, for both consumers and advertisers’ going forward.

Since the merger, social traffic dipped by 6.5% for both sites but direct and organic visits to websites increased. Also, a reduction in LadBible posts has been seen possibly suggesting a quality over quantity approach.

So, there are hints at the brands evolving but they still seem as they always have and it’s been suggested that owner, Kalantari, is nervous about the brand's reliance on Facebook.

Our Media Account Director, Ed Paine, shares his industry insight on the brands explaining there's still a job to do on shifting the perception among some advertisers. ‘LadBible, on the face of it, is innocent enough, but it does innately create a level of subconscious bias and assumptions about its content quality and style’ further detailing that ‘brand perceptions can take a long while to shift’.

Ed adds that while he believes the content is well received and reaches young affluent audiences, ‘relevancy, context, brand perception and brand safety must be evaluated too when looking at potential media partners.’

He recommends more flexibility in its client solutions and reminds buyers that a ‘Facebook video view (counted as three seconds viewed at 50% of the unit in view) is not equal to video views across alternative inventory sources.’

As featured in The Drum


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