Black Media Firm Blacture Edges Closer To Finally Launching (#GotBitcoin?)
Pras Michel, co-founder of the hip-hop group the Fugees, advertised in last February’s Super Bowl to promote Blacture, a media platform for African-American voices he expected to make live by March. Black Media Firm Blacture Edges Closer To Finally Launching
Fugees co-founder Pras Michel spent big to tease his new venture.
Nearly a year later, Blacture still hasn’t arrived.
“This was a little bit of a more ambitious undertaking than we were expecting,” said Josephine Zohny, chief communications officer at Blacture. “We were in the process of developing the site. It took us a long time to be pleased with what’s being presented to users. Right now, we’re in the final states of developing it.”
The matter slowed Blacture’s development by dividing Mr. Michel’s attention, but the rest of the team remained focused, Ms. Zohny said. Mr. Michel declined to comment for this article.
Now Blacture’s media platform is on track to debut in the first half of this year, Ms. Zohny said, complemented by additional offerings such as a blockchain-powered phone.
There is little precedent for buying Super Bowl commercials—which cost an estimated $5 million per 30 seconds last year—without offering the products or services advertised soon after. Other than previews for movies that don’t hit theaters until months later, the closest other example may be a 2012 Acura advertisement for a so-called supercar that was still years from production, an exercise in brand polishing designed to rub off on existing models.
“There are a lot of brands that have appeared on the Super Bowl one time and then we haven’t heard much from them, but I can’t recall any brands that have done a Super Bowl ad without having a product in the market or very quickly in the market,” said Tim Calkins, a clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
The attention that Super Bowl commercials generate fades very quickly, Mr. Calkins said. “The challenge for a Super Bowl advertiser is you’ve got to move quickly to convert the interest and the excitement,” he said.
The Blacture team endured its frustrations as well as could be expected, Ms. Zohny said. “The site we had up the night of the Super Bowl was poorly done and we were unable to even collect information, so we’ve had a series of little heartbreaks along the way,” she said. “But, knock on wood, things have really turned around into something we’re really proud of.”
The company is in talks with potential investors, according to Ms. Zohny, who declined to elaborate. It also may run an ad in the next Super Bowl, she added.
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