Marketing through branded content is way more different than traditional advertising as it mainly happens online via Youtube videos, influencer marketing campaigns or articles for instance. This type of marketing strategy allows a brand to increase brand awareness and drive engagement in general rather than promoting a specific product like in TV commercials. Many brands try to succeed in creating branded content but its success lies in storytelling. It’s more subtle than advertising and it must reflect the brand values. Usually, branded content is about issues that touch our society.
Here’s 5 examples of successful campaigns to inspire your brand and understand how to seize the advantages of this strategy.
- Dove’s #ShowUs campaign
The american personal care brand is well known for its engaged branded content campaigns against beauty stereotypes. They encourage every woman, regardless of their colour, size or background to speak up and be proud of themselves. The strong message they convey for almost a decade now in their whole marketing strategy built a powerful reputation for the brand. The #ShowUs campaign invented women to be proud of their difference by encouraging them to share their stories. The campaign featured Youtube videos as well as Instagram posts, like the ones you can see below. Through this campaign, the brand approaches many “issues” such as ageing, albinism, LGBTQIA, body imperfections and many more! Feel free to check up their Instagram account for inspiring content.
- Redbull Youtube Channel
Despite selling energized drinks, Redbull run a successful Youtube Channel (over 9 million followers!!) where they post sponsored videos of extreme sports and adventures. None of those videos features a Redbull’s product as they don’t look like commercials at all. Instead, Redbull is building a strong brand association with sports and adventures as sports fans identify Redbull as THE energy drink their favorite athletes consume. This subtle marketing strategy has helped the brand to be recognized as one of the main products used by professional players of any sport.
- Netflix’s partnership with The New York Times
Netflix found the most atypical partner to promote the release of Orange is the New Black season 2. The Netflix produced series shows the experiences of several female inmates in american prisons. Therefore, Netflix decided that the best way to subtly advertise the tv-show was to collaborate with The New York Times. They published an engaged article about the conditions of women in prisons. The article includes several testimonies from real inmates as well as facts and numbers in order to understand, and ultimately build empathy towards those prisoners. The article is well constructed and easy to read, which enables the reader to really dive into the situation and build interest towards this subject. The actual promotion is very subtle and at the very end of the article, as you can see below. Through journalism, Netflix succeeded to drive engagement and curiosity around this matter.
- Blendtec’s Will it Blend ?
The blender company created a Youtube Channel dedicated to blend everyday objects into their blenders and see the results. This humoristic way to show the power of their product allows the brand to reach 868K followers on Youtube. The videos include the shattering of various iphones, gaming equipment, food and many more. Some episodes even feature celebrities like Shia Labeouf. Instead of promoting their products with real applications, Blendtec decided to entertain their viewers in a way that the result has become more important than the product itself. However, anyone who watches these videos is certain to remember the brand name.
- Muji’s user-generated content
Muji is a Japanese brand known for its basic apparel line and household goods. The products they sell aren’t extremely original so the brand came up with an interesting marketing strategy to promote their high-quality pens. They launched an Instagram contest where people had to draw a piece of art (obviously with Muji’s pens) and share it on the platform using the #MUJIPENART. The hashtag generated more than 5000 posts. Through content created by consumers, Muji successfully raises brand awareness, especially in Japan where popular skechers also took part in the contest.