While exploring various types of branded content, I have noticed that many businesses create additional websites to promote specific campaigns or products. Often we don’t consider these websites to be anything more than advertising, but more and more we see them acting as information hubs. These sites often live within an entirely new domain outside of the brand’s corporate website and they offer all kinds of additional content about a particular product or service. Here are a few of the best branded content websites I have seen in the past few weeks.
To promote their newest multi-device sharing platform, Samsung created a website dedicated to the art of sharing. The company invited the public to contribute to a crowd sourced film entitled “We All Share” that was unveiled this past week at the CES conference. The website was created with the purpose of discovering what sharing means to the world and included a compilation of tweets and Instagram posts that used the hashtag #weallshare. The site gives visitors the ability to view all the submissions as well as the Ustream of the film’s premiere at the conference.
This website has been around for a few months to help improve the public image of Internet Explorer. IE has gotten a lot of flack over the years for being difficult to use and design for. Browseryoulovedtohate.com is full of positive feedback for the new versions IE8 and IE10. Tweets, images, and video applaud how great Internet Explore has become. As a web designer, I will always have my personal doubts about the browser, but I do appreciate the pithy navigation tabs – “Curious? It’s Good Now. No Really.”
The UK department store, Selfridges, has launched a new campaign that aims to give customers a break from the overwhelming “noise” of the world. Instead of being bombarded with logos and packages and branding, Selfridges would prefer that its customers experience a calm shopping experience. In order to do this, Selfridges has teamed up with several brands, including Heinz and Levi’s, to create products void of brand labels. The store has also launched the site nonoise.selfridges.com to promote the effort. It’s interesting to note that in de-branding their products, Selfridges is re-branding themselves.
This site is a little different from the others because it’s a completely fake website intended to look like a legitimate one. Though the site looks like it is for a product called SkiBrogues, it’s really a promotion for Hertz ski destinations. Very sneaky Hertz. The website is full of video and links to very official-looking social media profiles. At first the site got publicity for being a cool product, and how Hertz is getting attention for creating such a creative campaign. Overall, it’s a win-win.
As branded content continues to be an integral part of every marketing campaign, I believe we will see this unique website creation trend continue. It is a seamless way to promote a new product or service without completely changing the look and feel of a brand's corporate website.
If you have a suggestion for another branded content campaign you believe I should cover, please feel free to mention it in the comments!