Retraction of Earned Media Gave Birth to Owned Media

When Facebook and Instagram decided to monetize the community you worked so hard to build, your “fans” were reduced to “likes.” What that means to marketers is that we have to pay to connect with the communities we invested to create. Yes, social media is a moving target. What used to be earned media is becoming paid media, and that gave birth to the owned media revolution. DBA is a leader in forging these new paths…


IT ALL STARTED WITH THREE NO. 1 HITS IN A ROW: Our client couldn’t gamble on Yogi Bear “going viral” in social media. They needed a solution to sell DVDs in stores and streamed videos on Netflix. So, we looked to moms. By syndicating digital games and quizzes to mommy bloggers and family movie review portals, DBA invented Hollywood’s first digital content syndication.

Our model set new records for Warner Bros. and Disney apps, followed by three back-to-back home video sales records for Yogi Bear, Winnie the Pooh and Tangled, passing theatrical box office results for the first week of retail sales. To this day, the social influencer and branded content strategy we pioneered is used at Disney and Warner Bros. In fact, this was the first syndicated mommy blogger network ever built. Since then, we asked the question, “Can this ‘Main Event’ strategy work on Main Street for other consumer packaged goods?” The the answer even blew us away.


THE RENEGADE LUNCH LADY GOES “HOLLYWOOD”: Whole Foods was our first venture outside of Hollywood. We introduced Chef Ann Cooper, “The Renegade Lunch Lady” to join our mommy bloggers in a live chat about healthy ways to pack school lunches. The event garnered 80,000 seed views and nearly 720,000 secondary impressions. After we realized we could make a school lunch lady go viral, we knew we were on to something.



Building on our mommy blogger network, we launched Warner streamed movies and DVDs including Harry Potter, Journey 2 and The Hobbit as well as the History Channel launch of “The Bible” in partnership with Walmart. Results set new records again with up to 25 million impressions and 300 million page views.



With massive results in entertainment and consumer packaged goods, we decided to bring our content distribution model to the QSR industry. Chick-fil-A found huge success announcing cow watches for Christmas, followed by “Surprise it Forward,” the most shared social post among the millions of last year’s memes…

The shares and likes in response to this meme with 4.3 million views placed this meme No. 1 in the fast food category for the year. These types of strategies, combined with our in-store events including “Daddy Daighter Date Night”  helped Chick-fil-A pass McDonald’s in “Kids Meal Appeal” for the first time any brand has done that in 20 years.*

People trust the word of these mommy bloggers 212% more than they trust paid advertising. However, until now there has been no way for marketers to control messaging of such large groups of third party influencers. Currently, our expertise with influencers is made up of mommy bloggers and entertainment portals, but we are expanding to financial bloggers as well as automotive reviews and medical support groups.



It was 1998. Before Survivor. Before Extreme Home Makeover. Our production team began pitching and creating reality TV shows for brands. It started with a series of TV shows produced for Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, expanding to prime time syndicated medical programming across the country on ABC, NBC and CBS.

Breaking out the series hosted by Paul W. Smith, titled Minds of Medicine into a separate production entity, it became sponsored by hospitals and pharmaceutical brands including Merck, GSK, Astra Zenica and Eli Lilly. We became the leading branded entertainment creators in the USA, gaining program ratings as high as an 11, and even beating the NBA playoffs and The World Series in their own time slots.

Since then, we have produced short films and hundreds of entertainment properties for numerous industries. Today, DBA is the only producer of infomercials to ever win an Emmy Award, and the count has recently reached 17 Emmys. Combining our content model with our social distribution strategy, we’ve partnered with the Lions to create the trailer for the following Emmy Award winning social content…


Join the participation age

Surfing the Black Wave Book Cover This is not only the age of the empowered consumer. It's the time to participate in media. We coined the term "Participation Age" and wrote the book on building brands in this new digital economy. Learn more by reading the book, Surfing the Black Wave: Brand Leadership in a Digital Age, by our CEO and Chief Strategy Officer, Daniel Brian Cobb.

Contact us about building your own Customer Relationship Network and start aggregating premium content for your brand.