Why Monotype bought UGC platform Olapic
According to the Monotype CEO, his company will now have one more asset to help brands define their marketing identity.
At first glance, the recent acquisition by type technology firm Monotype of user-generated content (UGC) platform Olapic seems like an odd combination.
Type and user-generated content? So I reached out to Monotype president and CEO Scott Landers to get some perspective.
The $130-million purchase, he emailed me, is part of Monotype’s efforts to “expand its business beyond typography.” The connection, he said, is that UGC is “part of the design mix” that includes fonts and that is intended to foster a brand’s visual identity.
“Whether an ‘asset’ is type, branded emoji or chat, and now user-generated content, they all serve a similar purpose, which is to elevate a brand’s identity both online and offline,” he said in a statement.
Monotype has been providing “new design asset classes” beyond type, he told me, including emojis and GIFs. He added that the user-generated content on Olapic is yet another way to “help companies express their brands in richer, dynamic ways, and help individuals express their passions and values.” He also pointed out that Monotype has been advising clients on managing their visual transition to HTML5 ads through the use of web fonts.
Olapic helps brands find and employ user-created images and videos that can be repurposed for marketing efforts, like email campaigns or websites. Photos from consumers are found through brand hashtags on various social platforms, in addition to other means. The platform’s machine learning-driven predictive engine helps select the most relevant UGC for a brand’s needs. Here are Olapic-collected UGC photos used in a brand’s email:
Olapic will remain as a separate division, Landers said, with its own customer service and sales reps, but it will become “the centerpiece of our Brand Engagement platform” that is designed to offer new ways for brands to engage with customers.
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