Ant Farm launches ad venture Fork Media

MUMBAI: Ant Farm, an innovative sandbox that aims to create global brands ideated and built out of India, has announced the launch of its first venture in the advertising space, Fork Media.

Founded by Samar Verma and Upen Roop Rai, both of whom recently stepped down from leadership positions at the Times Group, Fork Media offers advertisers innovative content-led marketing solutions, high engagement ad formats and exclusive access to the country‘s leading publishers across the online, mobile and video platforms.

"Our constant feedback from advertisers is that the typical ad formats prevalent on the web and mobile today are flawed. Users tend to tune out advertising; as a result click-through rates and engagement are trending downwards. We saw this as a great opportunity to create seamless, brand-led content propositions that give advertisers longer-term engagement with their target audience," said Verma.

Roop Rai added, "There is a genuine need to address challenges such as low benchmarks set on pricing, lack of innovation and broken ad formats. This is an exciting proposition for both the publisher for driving optimal revenue levels and the advertiser for creating longer-term engagement with its target consumer group. Our aim is to create meaningful, conversation-based advertising for premium brands. We have seen tremendous success in the past in creating synergies between brands and content, and we want to extend that philosophy at Fork."

According to the company, Fork puts the brand before measurability and has created a unique index that helps advertisers reach out to their intended audience via the right publisher collaboration. It focuses on alternative revenue streams that can run parallel to the publisher‘s existing monetization efforts. Further, Fork‘s core proposition is the content marketing arm THINKTANK, which is the network‘s in-house ideation, content creation and design cell. Fork‘s biggest asset, besides its people, is its rapid execution and deployment ability across content and formats.

The current roster of publishers onboard the Fork platform includes HT Media, The India Today Group, The Hindu, and The Daily Mail.

"When Samar first approached us with the Idea of Fork Media we immediately saw the potential. He has had one of the fastest growths in the online industry largely due to his disruptive ideas and aggressive approach to monetization. We are excited with the traction Fork has managed to gain in such a short period of time. It‘s a winning proposition for any publisher or brand," Antfarm MD Rishi Khiani said.

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