The use of ad blockers reduced the effectiveness of obvious promotional techniques. To win the user’s loyalty and attention again, you should inject your business marketing by a dose of witty tricks and take a drastically new approach to the content.
Branded content has become a natural response to the needs of the increasingly saturated market. It neither looks for a direct conversion nor promotes a product. It’s time to come up with a uniquely branded approach to build long-term relationships with your target audience, connecting to it on a more intimate level.
In this article, I’ll gladly share with you 9 best branded content examples crafted by the world commercial giants. These masterpieces actively sparked conversations around their brands and evoked the whole tsunami of brand mentions on the web.
Red Bull deservedly got the title of “The King of Branded Content,” and here is why. This corporation practically re-invented branded entertainment.
The energy drink giant neither does product placements nor sponsors sports events. It creates and organizes them, thus, giving a target audience exactly what they need, want, and strive for – sports coverage, events coverage, and exclusive content.
Red Bull’s sprawling multimedia arm sits comfortably at the intersection of sports, music, culture, lifestyle, and entertainment, by organizing incredible events in all these areas and creating amazing movies on the related topics.
Below, you can see a great example of what we call the fascinating branded video content. A breakdancing world championship. They’ve done this many times, and they’re doing it again in 2019.
You might notice that Red Bull does not force people to buy its product. Instead, they associated a brand with all the world-famous championships and started producing awesome marketing solutions.
It’s quite common for leading companies to cooperate with film directors and combine efforts to create eye-catching and remarkable content. Brand integration in films is very effective. It’s not absolutely useful for every type of business, but it was the winning decision for BMW.
Collaborating with National Geographic, BMW filmed the powerful movie “Behind The Shot” telling a story of a ranching family. What can be a better way to promote a car brand than creating a sponsored content piece about a human-interest story where this car is continuously appearing in the shots?
Moreover, BMW has many other great branded content examples. One of them is organizing the IBU World Cup 2018/2019. No promotion, no sales. They simply hold an event. But all of us understand the power of customer loyalty that appears after such events.
A great way to interact with a target group without obvious promotion is the launching of your own branded in-house magazine such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
Minimalist, visually stunning and saturated with unique content, this mag contains not only stories and visuals related to Four Seasons Hotels and their interiors, but also breathtaking shots from the most mysterious parts of the world. It emphasizes the idea of beauty and aesthetics in all its manifestations – from the natural one to human-created.
It doesn’t promote a particular hotel. It doesn’t praise the whole hotel chain brand name. It just interacts with people who are interested in the hotel culture and design itself. Four Seasons showcases the brand values and design preferences to their consumers. It’s one of the best branded content examples and printed magazines in the industry.
Nike is continually trying to “change the world” with its motivational stories and short videos. They do not say a word about their sneakers or other Nike products. Instead, they are talking about the most incredible life challenges and real stories. And they successfully catch the audience’s attention with their smart branded content marketing.
One of their last successive attempts to motivate society for a better and brighter life was Nike Italy’s so-called ‘Stop at Nothing’ (Nulla Puo Fermaci) movement, a video about female empowerment.
There are dozens of similar Nike videos on the web. They’re quickly conquering the world of branded content and winning the customer’s hearts. Nike perfectly knows its consumers and the over-actual society concerns and weaknesses. And their brand is enriched with the heart-touching and memorable content that seems to be able to “change the world” indeed.
Netflix took a very interesting approach to branded content marketing. In collaboration with the New York Times, they created an amazing article “Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work” that has greatly boosted Netflix popularity.
This piece conveys a strong marketing message and is truly engaging and informing. The interactive images, captivating video, and powerful journalistic style easily catch the public’s attention and win the hearts of a thousand readers.
Apple has become a master of creating web-reports and social videos on minority equality. They annually release an inclusion and diversity report where Apple representatives talk about the latest key data points and comparisons with the previous year report.
Apple says that to create products that serve everyone, a company team must include “everyone.” They highlight that at Apple, they’re all different, and it’s what makes Apple products suitable for different target groups of modern society.
This social report doesn’t promote Apple products but the brand’s social values – the very accepting culture and individuality.
Apple’s diversity reports are a great way to increase customer loyalty by showing that a brand cares about the world’s issues. It is not indifferent, it shares people’s values and maintains the same ideas. Isn’t it the feature of the best branded content?
When it comes to any kind of extreme sports, no matter if it is skiing or snowboarding, many people like to film themselves. Guess which camera they most often use to do it? Right, GoPro is the king here.
GoPro can be called “the laziest” and “the luckiest” company in terms of successive branded content. Thanks to its user-generated video base, GoPro has been able to create visually stunning and engaging materials without any extra effort or time spent on video production. The GoPro product is literally a content creation machine.
Considering the branded video content related to extreme sports, there are two big rivals whose powerful media content gains the most public attention – Red Bull and GoPro. There can be no mistaking that branded marketing solutions, in all their forms, are GoPro’s forte, too.
Above, you can see the stunning user-created video that has become a part of GoPro’s branded content marketing campaign this year. It really amazes and makes you fall in love with GoPro’s product.
Harley-Davidson tried to bring their relationship with a target audience to a totally new level by launching a branded HOG magazine. In the attempts to elevate a motorcycle culture to art, the company created a high-quality publication about motorcycles published four times a year. They acted pretty logically by giving consumers exactly what they love and what they need.
Harley-Davidson’s fans are passionate motorcycle lovers; consequently, the web-magazine content is entirely devoted to this topic and reviews the coolest models of motorcycles.
Intel used a smart technique of creating branded content that does not sell a product directly but uses it as the storytelling medium itself. Collaborating with Uproxx, Intel created the CRE8: Celebrate the Process campaign where 10 heroes used laptops loaded with Intel’s Optane Memory.
IEM Katowice 2019 served as a battleground for the best women’s CS: GO teams around the world to fight it out for the Intel Challenge. This event became part of Intel’s branded content marketing strategy which cost $50,000 for the company.
If you want to make your product stand out of the crowd, there is no way around it but to invest in an exclusive branded content marketing strategy. Start with re-thinking your brand’s values and choosing the right words to talk to your audience.
People do not want to listen to your promotional talks. They want to see how your company is contributing to world prosperity. Learn from the best branded content creators and generate your own masterpiece that leaves no one indifferent.