When researching last month’s best content marketing, I quickly realized that nothing about the solar eclipse was going to make the list. In July, Warby Parker beat everyone to the scene with a campaign that was equal parts goofy and educational. But in August, everyone from Corona to Krispy Kreme tried to cash in. It was a good example of why newsjacking is a no-no. If your company has no connection to a big pop culture event, it’s okay to sit one out instead of forcing your way into a conversation.
When you do find that marriage of topic and format, that’s when marketing can make its mark. LinkedIn and salary data? A perfect fit. A stock video company and a spoof of millennial ads? Now we’re talking. A dating site and 3D models of eligible bachelors? Okay, you’ll have to trust me on that one. Here are the pieces of content from August that gave us something we couldn’t find anywhere else.
LinkedIn: State of Salary Report 2017
One of the main reasons Microsoft acquired LinkedIn last June for $26 billion was data. The social network for professionals doesn’t generate engagement like Facebook, but it does house valuable insights about where we work and what we do. And LinkedIn’s new State of Salary is the perfect vehicle for that data.
This report is a richly detailed examination of how factors like industry, locations, education, and gender affect our paycheck. It also pairs well with the site’s new Salary tool, a helpful resource sure to reach millions of people for years to come.
Old Spice: Invisible World
The summer box office stunk this year. Why? Netflix, for starters. But also because studios keep betting big on boring action movies that all look exactly the same. Do we really need another film in the Marvel universe? (We really don’t.) We’ve gotten to the point where people are craving something different, even if that means watching an invisible two-hour movie.
Earlier this month, Old Spice and W+K released Invisible World on YouTube and Twitch. And even though the movie is basically a blank screen, save for a few moments with subtitles and quick easter-eggs, it’s been viewed more than 7 million times. This project may not be your typical multimedia project, but it’s attracting serious attention, and some would argue that a blank screen is still better than a lot of what’s in theaters.
Volkswagen: Pete Eckert’s Light Paintings
Car ads always flummox me. They all look the same. There’s a closed track with a nice backdrop, a buffed car, some juiced sound effects, and Jon Hamm explaining why this car is the best/fastest/safest option on the market.
I’ve already mentioned J.D. Power and his mysterious associates on this site, but its 2016 Auto Avoider Study is very clear: The appearance of a car, both interior and exterior, is the biggest influence on purchasing decisions. That’s what makes Peter Eckert’s Volkswagen photographs so effective. Eckert, who lost his eyesight as an adult, shoots photos that manipulate exposure and light. His work capturing the Arteon sportscar is elegant, unique, and artistically cool. If you’re interested in learning more about Eckert and the project, I’d recommend checking out Patrick Coffee’s Adweek profile.
Match.com: Model Males
3D printing has all sorts of practical applications—soap dishes, organizers, keychains—but who needs that when you can make dating site action figures? Last month, Match.com opened a pop-up shop in London full of toy models of bachelors from the site. (The figures weren’t for sale; people who came into the space could take them for free.)
Even though so much of our daily activity takes place online, it’s always interesting when brands go for an event or experiential marketing approach to show off their creative work. Pop-up shops are fairly common for companies that want to sell goods to people. That’s not the case for a dating site, though. As Jamie Rigg from Engadget points out, the campaign “would’ve almost certainly become national news if the genders had been reversed,” but the switch pays off here. Maybe we’ll start to see more digital-first brands finding ways to meet people in-person for a different kind of marketing interaction.
And/Or + Dissolve: This Is a Generic Millennial Ad
Stock video footage is never interesting—unless it’s used like this.
Think I missed anything? Have suggestions for next month’s roundup? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach me on Twitter @JordanTeicher on Twitter .