Brett Channer‘s new company, Edward Teach, allows marketers “to come in and play,” he says.
The venture launched in mid-January and focuses exclusively on sharable content such as apps and videos.
It’s a side project for Channer (who recently moved to Jackman Reinvention as its chief creative officer) and his co-founder Tim Godsall, who directs films and ads including Southern Comfort’s 2012 “Beach” work.
“We don’t see ourselves as competition to agencies or media. We think we’re an ‘and,’ not an ‘or,'” Channer says. “This is purely something you lay on top, or it’s an alternative if you can’t afford an agency at all.”
Edward Teach (named for the pirate better known as Blackbeard) recently released its first spot, a perky video advertising Wisconsin-based Simply Slick personal lubricant.
It’s also working with two other as-yet-unnamed companies.
“The dream of it is to give the place a much larger creative licence than we think is currently available in the marketplace worldwide,” says Channer. “The way you really win today is by creating content that takes a certain amount of calculated risk. Too often, I think the business becomes overly calculated.”
In addition to wanting more daring creative output, the company also sets itself apart with an unusual profit structure. It doesn’t charge fees on the front end, instead making money through royalties and click throughs instead. Channer believes the unique structure gives the company a more authoritative role – “because we’re taking the risk with them,” he says.
That’s one reason the co-founders and long-time friends hired a CPA, Bruce Young, as their general manager. He’s one of two full-time employees at the Toronto shop.
Since both Channer and Godsall have demanding day jobs (Channer at Jackman, and Godsall is currently working on a feature film), they’re being choosy about clients and trying to actively manage both their workload and their exposure.
“Both of us are taking on the role of mentoring new ideas. It’s taking our 30,000-plus hours of experience and applying it in a very specific way,” says Channer. “I think it keeps us fresh, and it keeps us young.”