Blue Hour Studios formalizes native short-form video offering


Mavin aims to cut back on repurposed commercials dominating short-form video feeds.

Photo credit: Getty Images

NEW YORK: Blue Hour Studios, the creator marketing division of Horizon Media, has formalized its short-form video offering to speed up production and distribution.

Called Mavin, the process begins with quickly turning client briefs into creative ones, then pairing brands with creators, producing and distributing content across the ever-growing array of short-form video platforms and finally measuring reach, engagement, conversion and other standard paid media metrics.

Mavin is designed to increase native short-form video output for clients and cut back on repurposed commercials dominating a brand’s social media posts. 

Monika Ratner, head of growth, is overseeing Mavin.

Native short-form video content has driven higher engagement rates compared to secondhand spots, said Sarah Bachman, EVP and head of Blue Hour Studios. 

She pointed to recent work for ShipStation, a shipping and order management business, that sought to drive sign-ups for the company’s services on TikTok and Instagram. After creating native content for those platforms, ShipStation saw sign-up goals surpassed by more than 100%, Bachman said.

“We’re seeing significantly higher engagement rates and CPAs…for the campaign because there’s a strong connection with the creative idea, the message and the assets we produce,” she said.

Blue Hour Studios also ran tests outside of its work for ShipStation comparing how Mavin content compared to recycled material. Results were not immediately disclosed. 

“We ran head-to-head tests of creator-led, Mavin-produced creative assets versus cut-downs of traditional TV and online video assets and [Mavin] was exponentially better,” Bachman said. “There’s more relevance and it’s in the right style.”

Blue Hour Studios created Mavin in response to the meteoric rise of short-form video and high performance of branded content in that style, Bachman said. The creator marketing agency pointed to a recent report from Insider Intelligence, which shows that video accounts for half of the time spent on social media and that more than half of adult users’ time goes to social video in 2023 compared to 33% in 2019.

Blue Hour Studios beta-tested Mavin for nine months, gradually rolling it out to select clients before making it more widely available. Roughly a quarter of its clients are actively working on Mavin-driven campaigns today, and Bachman expects that percentage to increase throughout the year.

“Our connection to Horizon plays in because there’s an opportunity for us to expand with the Horizon client base who are buying short-form video and looking for creative assets, and we’ve created an ecosystem that is connected,” she said.

Horizon Media counts Kohl’s, Lionsgate and BlueTriton Brands in its portfolio, according to the media agency’s 2023 Agency Performance Review from PRWeek sister brand Campaign US. 

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