Digital content and talent veteran Karyn Spencer, who’s worked with prominent YouTubers like Casey Neistat and Emma Chamberlain, has joined influencer marketing firm Whalar as its first-ever SVP of partnerships.
Whalar has created social media influencer campaigns for more than 300 brands and organizations, including Burt’s Bees, HP, Hyatt, Tommy Hilfiger, and the United Nations. It also operates its own talent management division called Whalar Stars with a roster of more than 50 creators including fashionista Lorna Luxe, photographer Anna Devís, and married “#dadbloggers” Burton B. Buffaloe and Dustin P. Smith.
Spencer joins from Target, where she was its first director of talent partnerships and influence marketing. In that role, she produced the big-box retailer’s top YouTube series, Let’s Target!, which pairs digital talent like Neistat, Chamberlain, and Michelle Phan with Hollywood celebrities like The Office’s Angela Kinsey and actress Tiffany Haddish. The six-episode series has collectively netted more than 34 million views.
Spencer also launched Target’s yearlong influencer initiative, #TargetTalent, featuring creators such as The Try Guys’ Ned Fulmer and Bobby Berk from Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot. The initiative saw creators roll out social media posts on platforms including YouTube and Instagram for a variety of Target products.
Before onboarding with Target in February 2019, Spencer worked at AT&T and Fullscreen’s content generator project Hello Lab. Prior to that, she spent two years as head of creator development at Vine, where she cast and produced flagship series Camp Unplug, featuring creators like Cody Ko, Danny Gonzalez, and Lauren Giraldo.
Spencer has also worked as Tyra Banks’ director of communications, and was VP of brands for influencer agency theAudience from 2013 to 2015.
At Whalar, she’s stepping into a newly-created role where she’ll be responsible for expanding its relationships with brands and creators. She is joining because Whalar’s U.S. business has seen rapid growth in brand collaborations and revenue, the company said in a statement.
“I was first introduced to Whalar when I met with them at Target, and when I saw how they are driving both creative and measurement innovation in the market, I couldn’t resist joining them,” Spencer said in a statement. “For the last few years, I’ve worked in-house with brands to build digital creator and celebrity initiatives. With Whalar, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with multiple brands at once, helping them evolve their influencer strategies to create more resonant, relevant partnerships.”
“Karyn is one of the original leaders in influencer marketing, having proven time and again her unmatched ability to pair incredible brands with the world’s freshest creators, delivering business results with truly compelling and unique content,” Neil Waller, cofounder and CEO of Whalar, said. “She will be an exceptional partner to our clients across the U.S.”
Spencer will work out of Whalar’s Los Angeles offices.