Brands step into the ring with Much Digital Studios

Puma gets boxing, Bell goes back to school and Virgin Mobile showed the VIP side of Osheaga in the MCN's inaugural set of brand activations.

You don’t need to tell Much that its viewers are increasingly moving online. That trend was the reason behind the May launch of its MCN, Much Digital Studios, which this week introduced its inaugural  brand sponsored activations.

First out of the gate in partnering with the millennial-focused MCN are Puma, Bell and Virgin Mobile. The MCN currently has a roster of 22 creators with a combined subscriber base of 2.1 million. Dave Caporicci, managing director, brand partnerships, Bell Media, says the USP his team has been pushing to brands is the ability for Much Digital Studios to promote not only on YouTube, but also on the linear Much channel and, and to create other channels – like podcasts, for the creators and brand partners.

Parent co Bell and its media agency, Media Experts, signed on with Much Digital Studios around the back-to-school season for a new campaign called #MuchDigs. The program enlisted creators like Tasha Leelyn and Tyler Shaw to present DIY “hacks” to upgrade homes and do tours of off-campus housing. And Bell’s Virgin Mobile brand worked with MDS to show off the VIP experience its members could experience at Montreal’s Virgin Mobile Presents Osheaga music festival. The brand brought creators Melissa Merk, Mila Victoria and Dan Talevksi to the festival, where they took in the side-stage viewing, artist meet-and-greets and visits to member lounges that Virgin Mobile customers have access to.

Much Digital Studios’ beauty vlogger Melissa Merk partnered with Puma in a brand integration that saw her wear the brand while working out with Much VJ Liz Trinnear, E! host Chloe Wilde and E! and Much host Tyrone Edwards. The videos premiere on Much Tuesday Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. during a special Puma-workout edition of Playlist. They will also be live online at The deal was arranged with ZenithOptimedia.