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Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2023: Justin Tse explores the future of advertising with Feature Media

Youth Entrepreneur of the Year 2023: Justin Tse explores the future of advertising with Feature Media

Performance Marketing and Ad Tech Entrepreneurship CEO

The Victoria-based digital ad agency started as a YouTube channel

You’d think that looking back on videos you filmed in middle school would be a universally embarrassing experience—but 13-year-old Justin Tse wasn’t pulling questionable pranks or lip-synching to Maroon 5. In fact, Tse’s first YouTube channel would eventually become Feature Media, a digital advertising agency with a total social following of 1.4 million.

The young entrepreneur did start with a typically teenage goal in mind: to get the newest iPod Touch. He saw tech Youtubers getting free products in exchange for making videos and wanted to do the same. “I got my iPod and ended up using that to film anything I could find related to technology, and that’s how I learned about the tech industry—finding products, researching them and talking about them,” he explains.

His first few hundred videos were all one-take wonders (at the time, he didn’t have access to any kind of editing tools). “Influencer marketing” was hardly a recognized term, but Tse was doing it—and big brands were taking notice. He began receiving products to review, then started doing brand partnerships (now, 95 percent of the company’s revenue is made via the latter). Victoria-based Feature Media expanded from tech into the real estate world—as the founder bought his own property, documenting every moment—and found a particular niche in more masculine-leaning design. (“A lot of the interior YouTube channels are very female-focused,” notes Tse.) This grew into Feature Collection, the media company’s short-term rental division. 

Some of the company’s latest brand partnerships took Tse south to Apple’s HQ in California, north to the Arctic Circle with Mercedes-Benz and straight up, documenting the interior of a Four Seasons luxury private jet. The world of sports has many tech sponsors as well, so Feature Media has also worked with Formula One and Wimbledon. “We’re strategically creating content that that not only reaches the audience that we want to reach, but also the brands that are out there,” says Tse of his team of five. “In the past few years—especially in the last year—all the work came together, and we were able to really do everything.”

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Media Contact : Alyssa Hirose, BC Business

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