Optimize My Brand

Strategy, tactics, ideas and tips from Creative Company.

Stealthily branded content

Branded content we like!

Branded content is one of the predicted 2011 marketing trends. And I’m not going to lie, when I first heard it I immediately thought … branded content?? That can’t be a new trend … we brand content all the time. But this approach, otherwise known as advertainment or brand generated content, is more than just producing a newsletter that aligns with your brand identity, or a blog that portrays your brand persona.

Forget ads and corporate identity.

Branded content revolves around the idea of producing content – articles, pictures, videos, websites, blogs, etc. — that entertains and engages customers while (in some cases stealthily) advertising a brand. Some of our favorite examples of branded content have very little corporate identity presence. Instead, companies are identifying what their consumers are interested in — what makes them tick as opposed to just what makes them purchase. And then they’re building online communities or content hubs around these interests.

With so much busy-ness, more choices than ever before, and what seems to be ever dwindling amounts of time … companies are beginning to interact with consumers less in the ad space and more in their interest space. All signs and predictions point to increased spend in branded content in 2011, and increased results. Here are some of our favorite examples:

Mount Gay rum – Sailing Spoken Here

Mount Gay rum recently launched a microsite to create community amongst sailors. The company has found through customer research that a great deal of their customer base enjoys sailing … so at www.sailingspokenhere.com customers can engage with one another, plan sailing excursions and form relationships. While the site is paid for by Mount Gay rum (with an estimate $1 million budget for the campaign), you will find very little of their branding.

Subaru – Fight Mediocrity

Subaru also launched a microsite at www.fightmediocrity.com that created a fake car line that delivers on customers’ desire to have a car that looks just like every other car on the road … wait, what? Exactly. Alright so this site might not exactly create community among individuals with like-interests, but it definitely entertains. Watch one of their videos here:

Other honorable mentions:

American Express’ Open Forum

Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP

Anthropologies’ The Anthropologist

About the author

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Jennifer's four decades of work in the industry, starting as a designer and adding marketing, copywriting and digital marketing, has generated response for clients since 1978.

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