|LX Ventures and Mobio Announce Kim Kardashian as Newest Mobio INsider Social Media|
The drama that constantly swirls around the Kardashian family, whether it's Kim, Kourtney, Khloe or mother Kris Jenner, is polarizing to millions around the world. Reports surfaced in recent months that Kim’s popularity has dropped off drastically, although that’s only relative to the parabolic rise in popularity she experienced in the past couple years. Whether it’s because viewers love the ladies or just love to hate them (kind of a bit Howard Stern-esque), people are still tuning in each week to watch the reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
Companies are looking to capitalize on the popularity of the Kardashian name, whether it has slipped from peaks or not. As we wrote in November, Boldface Group, Inc. (OTCQB:BLBK) is generating its first revenues from the "Kardashian Beauty" line of products. On Tuesday, Vancouver’s LX Ventures Inc. (TSX-Venture:LXV) and portfolio company Mobio said that they have struck a deal with Kim Kardashian to serve as a social media influencer for the company.
Mobio’s flagship product is Mobio INsider, a free fan-directed content platform launched on December 1, or Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), click on their favorite star’s avatar and start asking questions. The most liked questions are answered and the stars provide exclusive content. Current featured influencers include Pamela Anderson, Paul Wesley, Slash and Li'l Wayne, to name just a few. What the platform ultimately does is reduces all the noise of chaotic requests of stars, streamlining the engagement with fans to give them what they really want, while creating social media content.
"As an early adopter of new social media platforms, I can see how Mobio INsider fills a gap and adds more meaning for my fans when liking my content. I'll more easily be able to identify top fans, publicly recognize them and respond in real-time with requested photos," Kim Kardashian said in a statement this morning.
Mark Binns, president of Mobio, commented that Kardashian’s more than 33 million fans will now have the chance to interact directly with her, thanks to Mobio.
This approach to marketing is being utilized more frequently as companies look to leverage the broad reach of social media and popularity of reality television stars to develop brand awareness. For example, doll maker One World Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:OWOO) has a partnership with Real Housewives Wife of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey who makes appearances and tweets about the company’s The Prettie Girls! line of dolls, including the limited edition Cynthia Bailey doll that was released for the holiday season.
Realistically, it’s a smart move by smaller companies that are often cash-strapped, making branding campaigns a serious challenge. Kim Kardashian has almost 19 million Twitter followers and more than 15 million likes on Facebook, which will allow LX Ventures and Mobio to reach an unprecedented number of consumers every time the actress/model/fashion designer has something to say about the company. Its also presumable that Kardashian will likely speak about the Mobio experience at appearances where she’s frequently asked what she’s up to at, where stars respond to fan requests. Users sign up via Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) at the moment.
Led by a group of serial entrepreneurs, LX Ventures is a technology incubator that acquires early-stage tech companies. The company has been mushroomed in share value since trading at only 14 cents late in October on acquisition news, a $3-million financing deal, additions to the Mobio family and new directors that include HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes and former Co-CEO of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group David Baxby. Shares peaked in November at 96 cents before consolidating back to 51 cents. Shares are back on the rise since, trading at 73 cents in Tuesday action. So far in 2013, shares have appreciated about 200%.