January 10th, 2014
Branded Content Catchup: NYT’s Sponsored Content Launch & Snapchat Skinny-Dips Into Unchartered Waters
What a weird week: Either you found yourself stuck in the polar vortex, cursing global warming while simultaneously contemplating burning trash to keep warm, or stranded out of town because JetBlue cancelled all of their flights north of Raleigh. I found myself in the latter situation, hiding out in a Florida retirement community where the biggest entertainment draw was yentas playing shuffleboard in parkas. (The temperature had dipped to 65 degrees.)
Oh yeah, and for the first time in weeks, you actually had to tackle a full work week. These stories will help you get caught back up.
Brand publishing was one of the big trends of 2013, and you know what marketers love to do with trends—buzzword it! It’s time to give these brave cliches their due, high-school-yearbook style. The Prom King? Content.
(See what we did there?)
Could the Yahoo News revamp be a stealth branded content move? After all, if Couric and co. can turn Yahoo News into a prominent, cool and highly-shareable media destination, the brand-lift benefits will ripple through all of the company’s ventures, from Mail, to Search, through their advertising offerings, and beyond. We speculate and investigate.
The New York Times launched their “Paid Post” offering. The design set a new standard in transparency, but was the content good enough to impress the Grey Lady’s savvy audience?
Hit the play button and you see sweeping shots of New York, followed by the bright, colorful interiors of an office; later, a sledgehammer cracking a hole in a wall and a fierce man jumps out of it, growling fiercely.
This isn’t the trailer for a new blockbuster film, it’s the recruiting video for Carrot Creative, a digital creative agency in New York, and the type of employer storytelling that’s quickly becoming the key to attracting top talent.
With Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel headlining Forbes “30 Under 30″ list this week, everyone seems to be wondering the same thing: “How the heck will Snapchat make money?”
For starters, the red-hot social platform is the perfect vehicle for brands that want to get their hands dirty, so to speak. Some companies have already started skinny-dipping into unchartered content waters.
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