One of the first things you notice about Adrian Grenier is his dedication to making the world a better place.
Adrian, an actor, producer, director and musician, gave a relaxed and informative interview to Nichole Kelly, president of SME Digital, the digital marketing division of Social Media Explorer, during the Demand Success 2014. Nichole asked about Adrian’s passion for social good and sustainability, his companies, current projects, and his excitement about the future of technology.
Known for his work as the character Vincent Chase in the HBO series “Entourage,” Adrian is also the founder of a film production company, co-founder of an online lifestyle platform and co-founder of a company that manufactures and distributes craft beer in old-fashioned flat top cans.
Each of his companies reflect his commitment to social good, sustainability and making change.
“I have a lot of ideas and am curious about technology,” he said. “I have spent a lot of energy in learning and I find it frustrating that so many times VC’s are scared to invest in companies that aren’t scalable. But not everything can be scalable.”
A commitment to niches
Adrian has a passion for building community, not mass consumption, and for robust and committed niche audiences dedicated to specific genres.
For example, Adrian talked about Reckless Productions, which focuses on producing socially-minded films and documentaries, and providing translateral media experiences for all of their films.
“We recognize that people are consuming in so many ways: theater, TC, phones, tablets,” he stated. “We appreciate that people want to feel part of something bigger and we’re giving them the opportunity to make the movie they’re watching become part of who they are with an experience that can go beyond just watching the movie.”
He discussed his current project, as the producer of a documentary titled “52.” The film will follow a team of scientists as they attempt to track down a whale called “the loneliest whale in the world” because it only sings at 52 hertz, a frequency higher than that of other whales.
“This film is about loneliness and the connection between beings, “ he said. “It’s also about the sustainability of the ocean. We want people to be inspired by the film and to take that inspiration and do something with it.”
To that end, Adrian has brought in partners to begin the build out of content and apps to help disseminate information found along the way.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “We’re looking at marketing and storytelling as telling a story on multiple different levels.”
Marketing to Millennials through sustainability
Adrian co-founded the lifestyle platform, shft.com, which operates with a mission to convey a more sustainable approach to the way we live through film, design, art and food.
“It takes a lot to make a movement on the quotidian level,” he said.
Adrian describes himself and his shft.com co-founder, Peter Glatzer, as filmmakers concerned with climate change who felt they could bring something creative to express the changes they hoped to see. “Shft is an online hub for Millennials who want to make more conscious decisions and buy things that reflect their values.”
The site is a feast for the senses and includes categories for watching, shopping, reading, featured products, related news and apps. For example, “Food Tripping” an app that is the result of a collaboration between Shft and Ford, makes it easy to find alternatives to fast food wherever you are by locating the closest eateries, juice joints, farmers’ markets, microbreweries and more.
Adrian also co-founded Churchkey Can Co., born out of the desire to someday experience a great beer in a simple can as the generations before had. Quickly realizing the flat top can was all but a memory, he and his partner set the wheels in motion to found Churchkey Can Co. The company is based in the Pacific Northwest and inside each Churchkey can, craft beer lovers will find a delicious Pacific Northwest-brewed Pilsner-style craft beer.
Adrian celebrates the burgeoning sustainable marketplace where great design and innovation meet. Millennials are looking for transparency and authenticity and businesses respond to the demand of their customers, he believes.
“Consumers have the power to make change. We no longer have to hide behind masks,” he stated. “Authenticity is not tangible and not quantifiable. Yet being authentic can be a private exchange between human beings and allows people to connect with each other.”