Captivate and WeWork: The Impact of Our New Partnership on Agencies and Brands

Captivate and WeWork recently announced our strategic partnership to bring digital content and advertising to WeWork locations across the U.S. and Canada. We are getting quite a bit of interest in this new venture, so we’d like to explain why we felt this partnership was necessary and what it means for agencies and brands as much as WeWork members. First, a little background.

WeWork, the global, flexible workspace provider, modernized the 1990s “coworking” concept and laid the foundation for flexible workspaces around the globe. WeWork is recognized as shaping how we view coworking: an inspiring, collaborative, open work environment where professionals from varying backgrounds and industries share leased space and creative ideas. 

Coworking spaces were once reserved primarily for startups and entrepreneurs who needed a more professional yet social workspace without the risk of long-term lease contracts. It has since morphed into a more flexible “non-office” office space for even established companies. WeWork proved anyone could enjoy a workspace where you lease what you need as you need it, complete with amenities and perks that make it fun to work there. The energy is addictive, making home offices and coffee shops less appealing, particularly now that the pandemic is in our rearview mirrors.

Forbes says office usage in 10 major metro areas is nearing 50% of what it was pre-pandemic, and that number is expected to grow the further we get from the shutdown. While some professionals prefer to still work from home, many more enjoy the benefits of working in an office, even if only a few days a week. Isolation is rarely a good thing for anyone, much less young professionals who need to build a network and learn from others. WeWork is often the answer.

Why Agencies and Brands Should Care About the Captivate-WeWork Partnership

Our primary goal at Captivate is to provide agencies and brands with unrivaled access to high-value audiences at scale in brand-safe environments. WeWork attracts everyone from freelancers to Fortune 500 professionals, an attractive demographic for brands looking to capture hard-to-reach professionals with money to spend and influence over business purchase decisions. Captivate now powers digital screens in 175+ WeWork locations with content and advertising, screens that are strategically placed in high-traffic common areas where WeWork members frequent throughout their day.

Agencies and brands who work with us at Captivate will have the same access, extending your audience reach, but more importantly, enhancing your reach to some of the most valued, sought-after audiences. What’s even more impressive is that Captivate uses advanced targeting and programmatic to pinpoint the right audience for your messaging. Brands get more ROI, a winning proposal for agencies.

WeWork provides the coveted environment and Captivate serves as the turnkey communication solution. Our team of editorial experts curates a programming mix that our research shows is most interesting and engaging to the WeWork members. From top news segments and sports reports to entertainment news, stock market updates and weather reports, your ads run with content WeWork members value. 

Let’s break down some of the research that proves this is an essential tactic of any ad campaign. 

Ad Impressions Are Not as Valuable as They Once Were

Harvard Business Review says of capturing and retaining consumer attention, “What matters most is tailoring advertisements to the appropriate context. The positive side is that the amount of attention that consumers are likely to give to ads, regardless of brand or product, is quite predictable. For instance, people in the cinema tend to pay high attention to ads and trailers. On the other hand, media multitaskers — for example, people who watch TV with a computer in their lap — tend to pay less attention. If they are young and also have a mobile phone by their side, then they pay even less attention. Therefore, the best content for ads depends on the context in which viewers will be exposed to these ads, and the predicted level of attention they are likely to provide…In general, today’s consumers will pay significantly more attention to content designed to entertain them. This holds true for B2B and B2C audiences alike.”

Ad impressions are a fair measurement of how many people were exposed to an ad, but ads are meant to engage and persuade. The first step is to get the viewer’s attention, and that is not always guaranteed, even if the viewer is exposed. 

Digital advertising has made it possible to reach audiences at all hours across multiple channels, but the downside is that people are tuning out because there’s just so much content pounding them over the head. There have never been more ways to get your ads out there, but at the same time, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to get enough attention on your ads to engage, much less persuade. This phenomenon has been dubbed “the attention economy,” and it’s a thorn in agencies’ sides.

Forbes says that on average, people are exposed to between 6,000 and 10,000 advertisements per day, yet the human brain cannot process the majority of them. Millions of dollars are often spent creating ads that audiences ignore or forget within seconds of their impression. This fact is why we always say quality impressions always outperform the number of impressions.

The Value of the Captivate-WeWork Partnership

Our partnership with WeWork gives brands access to coveted professionals who often make personal and professional purchasing decisions during their workday. The typical WeWork member is 41 years old, placing them in the millennial category, which includes anyone born between 1981 and 1996. Gen Xers are in the mix, too, being born in the years just before 1981. Why are these details interesting to agencies and brands?

According to World Economic Forum, Gen Xers spent the most money of any U.S. generation, followed by millennials. These two generations are prime targets for many brands because they have money they are willing to spend — outspending their counterparts in nearly every category: housing, food, transportation, entertainment, apparel and services, personal care products and services, education, and alcoholic beverages.

WeWork members have an average household income of $109k. They are typically early adopters of technology and value a lifestyle that impresses others. They are also more likely to be an influencer to their peers. Members are often the purchasers of business products as well, making them a prime audience for B2B marketing. In fact, according to an MRI-Simmons Doublebase report (Spring, 2021),  professionals in WeWork powered by Captivate buildings are 59% more likely to be business decision makers.  Win them over and the unpaid media benefit can be massive. 

It’s easy to see why brands want to target this demographic, but as we said, connecting with them is challenging. The most opportune times are when they are not distracted and are already engaged with something enjoyable. That’s where Captivate comes into play.

Go for Moments Where Viewers Are Likely to Pay Attention

Most of us use our phones throughout the day, whether we are at work or not. We scroll and swipe past ads to get to the content we want. But what are we doing when we aren’t on our phones? What happens when we are standing at an elevator bank watching for our elevator or on an elevator in our apartment or office building where there is no internet or wifi reception? What are WeWork members doing when they need a break or are waiting for a meeting to start?

WeWork leadership recognizes their opportunity to provide a meaningful amenity to their members with valued content during brief moments of non-distraction. Members appreciate seeing the current weather and the forecast while they wait. They enjoy news highlights, entertainment clips, sports updates and WeWork announcements when they’re looking for a brief distraction. 

The Captivate content captures their attention with information and content they value, making the ads that come with that content more likely to engage and persuade them. There is a greater chance members will recall the ad when it’s placed in a contextually-relevant space.

Captivate offers this highly targeted, contextually-relevant ad placement, along with advanced measurement and attribution solutions to track performance. It’s a win-win-win for WeWork, its members, and brands who want to reach them. Agencies can ensure greater ROI for their clients and WeWork continues to attract and retain members with unexpected amenities that benefit members throughout their day.

The Captivate Experience for WeWork Members

A mix of weather, news, entertainment and interesting content is prominently displayed on the digital screen. Ads and WeWork messaging appear alongside engaging content that gets members’ attention. According to an Alida survey, 86% of viewers “enjoy watching Captivate,” while 92% “find Captivate informative.” When they’re reading about a sports highlight, they’re more likely to see the ad just above it. When they’re looking at the weather forecast, they see the building message about the upcoming social event. 

These types of messages not only keep viewers entertained and engaged, but they can foster camaraderie that helps people love working at WeWork so much, they renew their leases. For instance, riding in an elevator with strangers can be awkward, but if a WeWork message pops up about an upcoming member event, it gives riders something to talk about, something that connects them. When a news update or interesting stat comes up, they can discuss it, building new relationships in unexpected yet unforced ways. 

A New Avenue to Boost Member Satisfaction and Loyalty

WeWork expects the digital screens will get more members to participate in member-building activities to help them enjoy where they work. One of WeWork’s primary goals is to give members a sense of community. They can plan all kinds of social and networking events, but if members aren’t seeing them during opportune times, they’re likely not showing up. Captivate screens are located in prime areas, making it nearly impossible to miss the messaging. And when combined with a scrolling programming mix intended to capture and retain their attention, members aren’t going to ignore it.

Remember what Harvard Business Review found — people want to be entertained and will pay attention to content that does just that. Consumers aren’t just B2C audiences. They are professionals who make business purchases, too. It’s essential to see WeWork members as B2C and B2B prospects, entertaining them with content they can use. Ads may not do that on their own, particularly print ads, but when those ads run concurrently with entertaining and informative content, the ads become part of the experience and are much more likely to be remembered.

What Can Captivate Do for You?

We at Captivate are thrilled to be part of the WeWork ecosystem of flexible workspace. Our partnership extends the Captivate network by an additional 180+ locations in top metro areas in North America, bringing the total Captivate office and residential building screen count to over 14,500. 

Brands who want to reach, engage and persuade hard-to-reach, valuable audiences should seriously consider the WeWork audience our Captivate | OFFICE network can deliver. Captivate has a team of editorial experts that curates a brand-safe programming mix that delights on-the-go professionals. Add to that our ability to buy ad inventory direct or programmatically across all major DSPs and SSPs, and our measurement, attribution, and advanced targeting solutions, and the WeWork digital screens become a powerful channel to move consumers through the buyer’s journey faster.

Contact Captivate to learn more about our partnership with WeWork and how you can take advantage of this opportunity.

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