News UK has announced the launch of The Fifth, an independent full-service influencer marketing agency. It will tell authentic brand stories – working with emerging social talent as well as established mainstream voices – by aligning unique verified audience data with storytelling creativity, studio production and trend forecasting.
Founded and headed by Oliver Lewis, formerly News UK’s Director of Digital Strategy and Partnerships, The Fifth will offer: talent identification and management, storytelling strategy, creative production, cross media amplification and events, for brands and talent.
Oliver Lewis, Managing Director at The Fifth, said: “Influencer marketing is one of the most exciting and fast-growing areas in brand communication. But the space is still in its infancy and with any industry in rapid growth, challenges persist. Brands require more support identifying the right talent, building longer-term partnerships, authenticating their background, proving meaningful ROI and delivering authentic and diverse stories.
“The Fifth helps brands elevate influencer marketing into multi-channel campaigns. We believe in a human-first approach to talent identification. We immerse ourselves in cultural trends and we build connections with the tribes defining them to help brands join the conversation at the right time and in the most genuine way.”
Moving beyond reach and frequency, The Fifth is aiming to redefine the term influencer. Rather than segmenting by micro, macro and celebrity categories, it has identified nine faces of influence to help brands connect with credible storytellers who resonate with their target audience and have a clearly defined tone and format. The nine faces of The Fifth are: The Artist, The Humourist, The Collective, The Enthusiast, The Tastemaker, The Journalist, The Expert, The Host and The Cosmopolitan.
As part of the agency’s mission to professionalise the space, The Fifth will work with talent to ensure brands have access to authenticated audience data, transparency of follower growth and the standardisation of reporting. The Fifth will be powered by an exclusive partnership with CORQ – an independent intelligence platform which combines journalistic insight and analysis to offer brands a talent selection strategy that goes beyond technology and automation.
The Fifth will also work with CORQ to discover, nurture and invest in the social talent of tomorrow, including emerging talent within News UK’s portfolio of brands.
Sara McCorquodale, Founder and CEO of CORQ, said: “The Fifth embodies everything CORQ stands for – understanding human stories, why they are so compelling on social media and how brands can be part of this new media in a positive way. There has to be more to this than ephemeral sponsored content and with Oliver and his team, we are excited to help brands and influencers build lasting partnerships which produce exciting work of true substance.”
Dominic Carter, Group Chief Commercial Officer at News UK, said: “As an established, trusted media owner, we believe that we have a responsibility to offer our brand partners transparent and effective solutions across all areas of the marketing mix. The Fifth is an exciting extension to our portfolio: it complements our existing offer, and diversifies our service offering to answer the needs of our brand partners. It’s a great example of how we are future-proofing our business.”
The nine faces of influence
The Fifth categorises talent through nine faces of influence, showcasing a clearly defined tone and format, rather than being reach-focused.
● The Artist: uses their craft of choice as a vehicle to portray a story and express themselves.
● The Host: leads from the front; welcomes guests and presents to their audience.
● The Cosmopolitan: well connected in culture and popular society. The party doesn’t start until they walk in.
● The Enthusiast: passionately focuses on and articulates their niche topic of interest.
● The Expert: Has heritage, pedigree and respect within a particular field of expertise
● The Journalist: professional writer or broadcaster for a news, magazine, online or TV company.
● The Collective: variety of voices and personalities joined together by a shared passion, skill or ideology.
● The Humourist: regularly tells stories using comedy. Irreverent, sketch-led, comedic by profession or format.
● The Tastemaker: early adopter, trendsetter, brand maker. Makes judgments on products or brands and their audience follows.