SkiddMark was formed (originally known as Drivers Republic in 2007) based on the belief that the writers and content producers for the digital generation would need a new set of skills and behaviours. No longer could publishers preach to their audiences, instead creating news and entertainment would be more of a collaborative process.
We also sought to embrace a much wider cohort than the traditional 'petrol-head', especially female enthusiasts, who continue to be ignored by both brands and media alike. The result was Drivers Republic, officially launched in June 2008, and becoming the UK's first digital automotive magazine, using bespoke page-turning software long before today's native app format was born.
We also created the world's first fully-functional social community platform for cars, using this to learn about the preferences and demand for branded communities which we built for Porsche, Peugeot, Caterham and Subaru. At its peak in 2009, Drivers Republic was the fastest growing automotive publication in the UK, with more than a quarter of a million unique users, 2+ million page impressions and over 10,000 registered members.
In the years since, we've turned our attention to support up-and-coming magazines, blogs and digital service providers including ROAD Magazine, Car Throttle, GreenCar Design and Unruly Media, the global leader in social video advertising which has delivered 1.65 billion video views across 2,000+ successful social video campaigns since 2007.
SkiddMark publishes high-quality stories about cars, motorsport and the marketing activities used by brands and their agencies. We look behind the news and produce reviews that inform, challenge and hopefully inspire our readers to seek further information from a variety of sources before making up their minds.
We are neither a one-stop destination nor 'the only' authority on these topics, but because of this, we find people use SkiddMark to understand the full scope of a subject before taking action.View our media pack
We don't believe in an audience comprising solely of petrolheads - most of us value the utility of our cars as much as their performance - even so, the SkiddMark reader is someone who's made a choice, whether that be a £9,000 smart fortwo or £180,000 McLaren 12C.
We are enthusiasts with an interest in understanding the reasons why a particular car warrants more of your hard-earned cash than another. Mainstream media has only scratched the surface of the internet's potential as a recommendation tool - over the next few years SkiddMark will demonstrate the value of an on-demand model for automotive retailing.
SkiddMark covers the automotive stories that everyone can relate to. We are pro-driver rather than pro-car, which means a great driving experience holds more value than the latest clever piece of technology.
* Images (above): The talented interaction designer, Jesper Bentzen, created a series of visual idents for our DR TV channel. His brief was to interpret the brand and present it as a visual story. Jesper exceeded our expectations and we highly recommend his work.
Now and then as well as reporting on the news we create a few headlines ourselves, here are just a few of them.
In 2009, we were featured in Issue 16 of Orange Exchange Magazine as an example of success in a tough economy. Acclaimed portrait photographer, Laurie Fletcher, known for her work with Helana Christensen, Gordon Ramsay and Martina Navratilova, joined us at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, together with ex-British Rally Champion, Martin Rowe (in the Renault Megane R26.R).
Despite the inclement British weather and Bruntingthorpe's unforgiving winds, Laurie was a pleasure to work with and commendably patient.
Main picture (L to R): Chris Harris, Neil Carey, Alan Pattison and Steve Davies of Drivers Republic magazine.
Unruly Media is one of the fastest growing digital ad companies in the world, having delivered, tracked & audited 1.65 billion video views and executed 2,000+ successful social video campaigns for global brands across multiple online platforms.
In 2011 SkiddMark began collaborating with Unruly on branded campaigns as one of its premium publisher sites - we also write a column for its social video site, "Meme Machine Viral Video Chart", with our most popular being 'Darth Vader Can't Gymkhana' (1.4 million views, 2,946 shares), 'Controversy Sells: Nine Successful Car Ads That Crossed The Line' (690,000 views, 1,428 shares) and 'The Future Of Digital Advertising Is Offline' (49,000 views, 98 shares).
Web development agency Lightmaker was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Website Development by the Interactive Media Awards™ for its work on the Drivers Republic Website.
The judging consisted of various criteria, including design, usability, innovation in technical features, standards compliance and content. In order to win this award level, the site had to meet strict guidelines in each area - an achievement only a fraction of sites in the IMA competition earn each quarter.
"In the Post-Advertising age, the brands that tell the best stories win". Story Worldwide, one of the most innovative of advertising agencies publishes a regular blog about the post-advertising age.
"What's this all about? - We at Story Worldwide believe the Interruption Age - the time for traditional ads - is over. The Post-Advertising Age is what's now and next: Great content driving deep consumer engagement; less and less money wasted on expensive traditional media (like TV) as free media take over. It's inevitable, it's a good thing, and it's already upon us.
Matthew Valentine writes for Marketing Week about the climate of gloom surrounding traditional print media. He argues that this climate is not shared by its digital and customer publishing counterparts which are embracing creativity to drive change.
"Drivers Republic is inviting readers to attend integration or brand immersion events supported by manufacturers. These will see between 30 and 50 readers invited to a race track to enjoy a range of cars, with demonstrations by professional drivers, filmed laps and direct experience of the manufacturer's brand values. Digital is not a cheaper route to market, it's about interactivity.
For 2009, Caterham Cars selected Drivers Republic as their media partner for the Roadsport race series.
Caterham's motorsport manager, Simon Lambert, said: "As a web based entity, Drivers Republic offers a whole new dimension as a media partner for Caterham and our drivers. The prospect of the online community with its videos and comments from the drivers is very exciting."
Chris Harris, of Drivers Republic, said: "We have considerable history with Caterham, racing them in national and international competitions, so we're thrilled to be title sponsor of the 2009 Roadsport Championship."
If you're interested in working with SkiddMark, contributing a guest post or just saying hi, then get in touch using our 'Feedback' tab or using the form on the right.