By David Tapp of Eclipse Creative
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore branded content. Say what you will about the future trends in branding, advertising and design, but the shortest way to my heart is in distinguished, witty and undeniably engaging content that has my eyeballs glued to what you’re selling from top to bottom. There is still something to be said about the art of storytelling.
“68% of companies said they were shifting from traditional forms of marketing to more emphasis on aggressive forms of branded content.” – EMarketer
For those who don’t know, branded content (in my opinion) is one of the strongest forms of brand positioning and a trend that was declared “the next big thing” of summer 2010. The most common definition we see of “branded content” is “content produced by a brand” that is not directly linked to the brand product or service. Therefore it can’t be just a promotional message produced by a brand, but it can involve many types of content. For some, “branded content” is mainly about entertaining consumers.
Does my boring definition still have you confused? Here are some examples of branded content executed masterfully:
1. Louis Vuitton – NOWNESS: Using photography, writing and film, fashion powerhouse Louis Vuitton created a website (and subsequently a common high fashion pop-culture saying) called NOWNESS. Sidenote: You can’t just create a word!?! Or can you …? Check out other awesome fashion forms of branded content here.
2. Vitamin Water: A food-dye water drink with minimal vitamins that puts their brand personality on display using engaging content. Every time a new Vitamin Water makes its way onto shelves, I pick it up and read the story on the label for a good laugh. Vitamin Water also consistently executes on solid branded content using their online/offline mediums. I vividly remember seeing and loving their transit ads during the 2010 Winter Olympics. See some examples below.
3. @DeathStarPR: As you can imagine, the rise of social media (entirely based on engaging content) has certainly pushed the importance of branded content even further along. @DeathStarPR is a fictional Twitter account entirely based on the bad rap Star Wars’ Galatic Empire has received over the years and is out to set the record straight.
4. Seven Eleven – Slurpee.ca: Ultimately, what inspired me to write this post was when I stumbled on the perfect execution of Seven Eleven’s “Free Slurpie Day” Birthday bash that was held yesterday on the 11th day of the 7th month … get it? Their website is loaded with awesome branded content that made me smile and eager to read through the whole darn thing! For the full website, go here and make sure to read their recipes and disclaimer at the bottom of the site.