AOL Launches New Site Featuring Documentaries On Powerful Women
6:50 pm, March 1st | by Hillary Reinsberg
This week, AOL and PBS launched “Makers,” a website that will feature short documentaries on pioneering women in America. We chatted with AOL’s Chief Marketing Officer Maureen Sullivan, a driving force behind the project, about what Makers is all about.
The project was birthed, somewhat improbably, when a group of filmmakers wanted to make a documentary about Gloria Steinem. Steinem, Sullivan tells us, urged the filmmakers to focus on lots of women rather than just on her, and eventually, PBS and AOL got involved. For now, the series of videos about women like Condoleeza Rice and Hillary Clinton, will live on Makers.com, and PBS will air a 3-hour special of some of the highlights in January 2013.
AOL, like many other media companies (ahem), is taking note of the fact that inspiring stories about empowered women are a hot ticket item these days. Their readers, Sullivan says, are hungry for this kind of content, so the partnership to create the site was a natural step.
“We have an understanding of the type of content women are clicking on. People don’t just care about Kim K and a cat video and a dog on a skateboard,” she tells us. Hey, we agree! (Though, err, we do love a good dog on skateboard.)
Sullivan adds: “We have documentaries on baseball and national parks, but somehow we had forgotten to tell the story of the last 50 years…of the indelible impact that women have had on our culture.”
Despite AOL’s interest in focusing on powerful women, Sullivan says the team was adamant about avoiding a “girly”-sounding title for the project.
“The idea was that when we thought about these women and what their DNA was, what they had in common…Every single individual has made things happen and is continuing to make it happen. And we loved this notion of something not overly feminine.”
Sullivan jokes that she does worry about people associating the name with Makers’ Mark, the whiskey label. But hey, it’s better than being associated with Skinny Girl Vodka, don’t you think?
Check out the intro video here: