Anonymous messaging app Whisper is doubling down on its advertising efforts.
The Venice-based startup has hired entertainment sales veteran Shelby Huston Haro as its first vice president of sales. Prior to joining Whisper, Haro was the owner of digital media consulting firm Maverik Digital. She also spent time as head of sales at second-screen app GetGlu and Penske Media Corp. She also spent three years as vp entertainment sales at Warner Bros.-owned Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes and seven years as a sales executive at Fandango.
“After a long career in entertainment, startups and sales, I wanted to be extra thoughtful when taking the next step,” said Haro. “After meeting the Whisper team, I realized that they have built a truly meaningful platform used by millions of people, on the foundation of empathy and authenticity. I am thrilled to join the team and am excited about sharing Whisper’s story and value proposition with current and future brand partners.”
Since its founding in 2012, Whisper has slowly waded into the advertising waters with custom brand campaigns targeted at its more than 10 million monthly active users who post anonymous — and often deeply personal — messages.
For example, Whisper worked with Fox to create special background images advertising The Poltergeist anytime someone posted a message about fear. Nearly 100,000 pieces of Poltergeist-branded content were created by Whisper users during the campaign. The startup has also worked with advertisers including FX, VH1, Hulu, NBCUniversal and Paramount Pictures.
Whisper, which is venture backed by Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and CAA Ventures, among others, is especially popular with millennial women and sees more than 10 billion monthly page views.