Recently, I have been thinking a great deal about the ways that brands use various means of technology to create branded content. It isn't enough just to have just one piece of written content or a video. Instead, there needs to be some integration within a branded content campaign. Here are a few brands that have implemented unique and integrated branded content campaigns this week.
Bank of America – Merrill Edge Face Retirement
In order to encourage Americans to save for their retirement, Bank of America corporation, Merrill Edge has introduced an interactive application that allows you to see what you might look like as you age. The somewhat frightening website lets you see what you might look like at every decade of your life until you’re 107 years old. You also have the ability to share your completed photos for your friends to enjoy on Facebook. I guess the tactic here is to scare people into setting up retirement plans by showing them that good looks fade, but financial security is timeless. (Our Graphic Designer/Digital Marketer,Spencer, gave it a try. See the result below.)
Putting a new spin on a classic game, Blu Dot has found a creative way to engage with the Twitter community. The furniture company enlisted the help of Minneapolis agency Mono to craft an innovative digital version of musical chairs. The game is fairly straightforward. First, you follow Blu Dot on Twitter to find out when the next round of the game will take place. Then you go to the musical chairs website and wait for the band to start playing. When the music stops, a special message appears containing a tweet. The first people to tweet that exact phrase to @bludot earn a spot in the next round. Game play continues until only one competitor remains. The winner receives an actual chair! The unique interface and the integration of different types of technology add up to one very cool way to interact with customers and promote the brand.
MTV’s newest project, the MTV Insights Tumblr, aims to teach everything you could ever want to know about Gen Y. It’s a tricky generation that uses all sorts of crazy lingo, but MTV helps to close the gap between generations by compiling a bunch of useful information in one single place. Though the website is essentially a blog, the creators have taken care to provide both visual and written content. Images vary from Instagram photos, to Gifs, to Infographics like the one below. All together, it acts as one go-to source for learning about youth culture from a trusted entertainment/pop-culture entity.
Lexus - Restaurant Impossible
Following in the footsteps of other brands-turned-content-providers like Target, Lexus has paid for a special airing of the popular Food Network show, Restaurant Impossible. Food Network retained total control over the episode that sends Chef Robert Irvine to Joplin, MO to help out restaurants affected by the 2011 tornadoes. It also seems that, going forward, Lexus will be featured heavily in upcoming seasons of the show. Having an entire episode of a TV show sponsored by one brand represents a very interesting shift in sponsored content and shows just how eager big brands are to become publishers.
I hope you've enjoyed the best branded content of this week! I also hope that these campaigns provide you with some inspiration for different ways to create branded content in the future. If you have a suggestion for another branded content campaign you believe I should cover, please feel free to mention it in the comments!Follow @jaceyleigh