2017 brought us some spectacular examples of content marketing, with brand stories that made us laugh and cry, and will be remembered for years. Here are some of our favorites:
President’s Choice from Loblaw celebrated the 150th anniversary of Canada with a comprehensive #EatTogether campaign. Videos, experiences, social postings, a dedicated microsite, and TV ads carried the message from January through July, encouraging people to forge deeper connections by eating together. The campaign focused on emotion and connection, with minimal brand messaging. The initial broadcast spot aired January 1 during the Centennial Classic hockey game, and has been viewed more than 11 million times, with 27,000 social shares. The campaign got the attention of the country, and President’s Choice plans to iterate it in 2018.
Banana Sun. While President’s Choice was centered on Canada’s 150th, Chiquita’s biggest content marketing campaign was also focused in time. It leveraged the attention on 2017’s total solar eclipse in a series of bizarre and funny videos, a branded microsite, a social campaign, and even an installation at the Flatiron Building in New York. The campaign, conceived in partnership with agency Wieden and Kennedy and Funny or Die, included a Facebook chatbot and distribution of Banana Sun glasses. The remarkable campaign garnered attention from traditional media outlets like The Wall Street Journal and CBS News. Taking credit for the eclipse is a bold move, but Chiquita promises to repeat the feat in 2021.
The Stanley Park Sanity Test: Toyota BC and Vancouver is Awesome partnered up to bring us the hilarious Stanley Park Sanity Test. In order to test the fuel economy of a new Toyota Prius, Vancouver is Awesome challenged one poor couple to drive around Stanley Park until they ran out of gas. Unfortunately, the test took much longer than anticipated, and the couple gave up after 12 hours. The video of their journey dramatically proves a point about the fuel consumption of the Prius, showcases beautiful Stanley Park, and is funny, charming, and relatable. The video has been viewed on Facebook over 88K times, and was accompanied by a social media campaign where people who shared content on Facebook or Twitter could win a $500 gas card. The video is particularly effective because we learn first-hand just how far a Prius could go on $500 worth of gas. It’s a charming and playful example of a great brand partnership between a car dealer and a media outlet.
Be Olympic. Canada does love the winter Olympic games, and this campaign celebrates that fact fully. The Be Olympic vision emerged from conversations with athletes and fans, and the message is clear: the athletes want their influence to reach beyond individual games, and transcend wins and losses, and Canadians feel the call to rise in leadership in uncertain times. The result is a stunning series of cinematic videos with the mission of “inspiring all Canadians through the power of sport”. A comprehensive social media integration includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Google +, with exclusive content on the BeOlympic.ca website. The campaign is evocative and inspiring, tailored to meet the desires and aspirations of the whole country at this moment in history.
Content marketing creates entirely new ways for brands to tell their stories, differentiate their message, and respond to what people are feeling in the moment.
With content marketing campaigns like these, brands are showing audiences that they can be funny, creative, inspiring, and human. In so doing, they are forging deeper and more memorable connections with their customer. We are also seeing a trend of more unusual and effective brand partnerships and collaborations, for both wider reach and greater local impact.13