With the conclusion of the Cannes Lions festival last week, and with national media outlets discussing the viability of Facebook’s ad platform, there was a remarkable amount of buzz centered on native advertising and branded content. This was an especially momentous week for the growth of the brand content industry with Chipotle’s two minute video campaign “Cultivate A Better World,” taking home the Cannes Grand Prix. Also, Rick Webb, former head of The Barbarian Group, joined Tumblr to help steer their native advertising strategy and Facebook and Comscore partnered on new research to illustrate the sales impact of their native ads. Lots to catch up on, so get goin:
1) Digiday – “The Coming Native (and Creative) Ad Revolution” – Digiday held an interview with former head of The Barbarian Group, Rick Webb. If you are not familiar with him, he is the man, and is now a Tumblr consultant for their sales and marketing team. In this interview, he describes a digital ad world that is swinging away from the banner. According to Webb, “The pendulum is swinging back to creative, to native, to emotional brand advertising on the Web.” One key conclusion that Webb makes is that the banner may continue to be used as a type of branding, but it will never drive clicks, let alone inspire true sharing.
2) Mashable – “5 Ways to Get Creative With Native Ads” – OK, so this is an article written by our very own, but that does not make its content any less relevant. In fact, the advertising strategies outlined in this piece can help every marketer. From promoted videos to sponsored listings, this article looks at creative ways to facilitate the sharing of brand content. I mean just take a look anywhere on the world wide web – Gawker, Twitter, Cheezburger, Buzzfeed – everyone is doing it. C’mon, you know you want to…
3) The Guardian – “The insidious power of brand content” – It seems like the branded content craze has extended across the pond, as The Guardian (U.K) posted an excellent piece on how branded content is taking the ad world by storm. The article breaks down the differences in branded vs. traditional advertising in a very telling chart. It also discusses an important byproduct of branded content that has always been a holy grail for marketers and advertisers: the blurring line between editorial and promotional materials.
4) Forbes – Not Just for Bedtime, Marketers Corner the Market on Storytelling – Forbes tackled a subject that many in editorial have known for quite some time: storytelling is important. Regardless of how great the brand is, content is always king. And for content to be king, you must have a great story behind it. For those brands chasing the next viral hit, starting with great content can do wonders to increase your share rate once you launch your native ad campaign.
5) Adweek – “CAA, Chipotle Snag Two Grand Prix—in Film and Branded Content” – As we highlighted on this blog earlier in the week, Chipotle and CAA’s “Cultivate a Better World” campaign won the Grand Prix for branded content at the Cannes Lions festival. This campaign was amazing, and we were happy just to be part of the process. The “Back to the Start” video was a truly remarkable and groundbreaking piece of brand content.
7) Fox Business - Facebook’s Fight Against the Ad Critics – This story garnered a lot of attention from the mainstream business press, as critics openly wondered whether Facebook’s current ad platform has worked well for brands. Facebook defended its practices by saying that brand pages are attracting unique visitors and gaining earned media. As the reporter noted, the key is to infiltrate a user’s newsfeed. Once that happens, exposure goes through the roof. This will be an interesting story to watch in the coming months as Facebook continues to evolve its’ native advertising strategies.
8) Media Post – “P&G Replaces Branded Content with Branded Moms” – This article discussed Proctor & Gamble’s new branded content strategy: to create branded moms. This is another example of how the top brands in America are focusing more than ever on creating interesting story angles and awesome content.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s roundup! As always, we will keep you posted on what is going on in our world, so keep on coming back for more!