The Top 10 Branded Content Partnerships of May

At Pressboard, we’re invested in growing the branded content industry. Whether that involves connecting advertisers and publishers through our own platform or celebrating the incredible work of our peers, we’re dedicated to building up the industry as a whole. This is why I write about the best branded content every month. So without further ado, here are my 10 favourite pieces of branded content that publishers and advertisers created together in May.

(You can check out the top 10 branded content partnerships from past months here.)

 ask men branded content
Inside Out: How To Make Your Yard The Best Room In Your House – AskMen +   Scotts

I like this partnership because the content is perfect for both publisher and advertiser. With stories like “How To Build An Outdoor Mancave” and “How To Build A Backyard Gym,” it’s clear who the audience is and what AskMen and Scotts are trying to get them to do — and for a partnership like this, it’s great that they’re not trying to obscure the brand’s goal. By creating “backyard content” around four pillars, gym, man cave, kitchen, and office, they’re also able to use a single campaign to speak to a wide variety of guys with different needs and goals.

brides branded content

91 Engagement Ring Selfies We Love – Brides + Jewelers Mutual

Despite the fact that this article only features 10 campaigns, I’m a big fan of the go-big-or-go-home listicle because it’s helpful for readers and is great for SEO. Think about it, if you’re searching for a new hairstyle, would you rather look at a post with nine trendy haircuts or 37? Everyone is a publisher in the world we live in, and there are only so many ideas for listicles, so it makes sense to make yours the be-all-end-all. In just a few short weeks, this branded piece by Brides and Jewelers Mutual has already been pinned on Pinterest over 2,000 times!

brit and co branded content

The Ultimate San Francisco Travel Guide for the Color Obsessed – Brit and Co + Sherwin-Williams

This piece is a great case study in how branded content can be used in unique ways to showcase new and noteworthy products. Travel guides are ubiquitous in the industry, but this one stood out because of how they used Sherwin-Williams new ColorSnap® Visualizer app to build it. The app can create color palettes from pictures on your phone, so Brit and Co are wisely embarking on a series of travel guides that are all based on finding “seriously dream color palettes.”

People Who Hate Cats Work In A Cat Cafe – BuzzFeed +   Rachael Ray Nutrish

As a crazy cat-dad to three cats (yes, three — you read that right), this video hit me right in the feels. I too was once cautiously suspicious and disdainful towards cats. What that demonstrates is that this branded video works perfectly on its intended audience. It’s not really meant to convince anyone who isn’t already aware that cats are wonderful. Instead, it appeals to cat-owners like me who might actually buy Rachael Ray’s new line of cat food.

quaker oats branded content

Overnight Oats – Quaker Oats + Multiple Publishers

Quaker was looking to promote the use of their oats in overnight oats recipes, so they partnered with four Canadian publishers to create five stories that positioned overnight oats as the perfect solution to busy mornings. The content lived on health and parenting websites like Best Health and Parents Canada, and really resonated with readers, who converted back to Quaker’s site at a rate of 2.54%! That’s 1.3x the average conversion benchmarks for branded content.

(Full disclosure: This campaign was created through the Pressboard Marketplace)

esquire branded content

Ray Spencer Didn’t Molest His Kids. So Why Did He Spend 20 Years in Prison for It? – Esquire + The Marshall Project

You know you’re doing something right when your branded content is shared by @Longreads on Twitter. Esquire and writer Maurice Chammah did an incredible job telling Ray Spencer’s heartbreaking story for The Marshall Project, a “nonprofit news organization covering the U.S. criminal justice system.” If you only read one piece from this list, make it this one.

gizmodo branded content

Are Esports Really Sports? – Gizmodo + Gillette

If there’s one thing that Gizmodo Media Group does better than anyone else, it’s generating conversation. Their Kinja publishing platform was designed to foster discussion between both readers and writers and has been very successful at doing so. What makes this post from Gizmodo and Gillette’s Overclocked partnership stand out is that there is little to no “content” created by the publisher. The entire point of the post was to generate discussion in the comments!

vanity fair branded content

The Symbolism of the Color Red in The Handmaid’s Tale – Vanity Fair + Hulu

Up until a few weeks ago I was one of the rare Canadians who had never read any of Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novels. But after hearing that Hulu was about to premiere a TV adoption of one of her most popular works, The Handmaid’s Tale, and had cast Elizabeth Moss, I immediately set forth to rectify my literary transgressions so that I could binge the show asap. I mention all of this to let you know that I’m still not finished the book — so no spoilers please! What stood out about this piece was how it used interviews and quotes from relevant figures close to the project to tell an interesting story. Symbolism, and how it’s conveyed through costumes, set design, photography and colour grading is all relevant to Vanity Fair readers, and is a great way to get them excited about the show.

Chris Gethard is sick and tired of your dick jokes, thanks – A.V. Club + HBO

To promote Chris Gethard’s new comedy special, HBO teamed up with the A.V. Club to create this funny interview.  What makes it great is that it’s comprised entirely of real questions from A.V. Club readers, so it doesn’t come across like an overtly promotional “fluff” interview that you often get from entertainment outlets.

Second-Hand Van – Kijiji + Multiple Publishers

Kijiji, Canada’s most popular online classifieds site, wanted to showcase the new web series they created to a wider audience in Vancouver, so they partnered with four different publishers to raise awareness through branded content. Each story focused on a different episode of the series, highlighting the region’s unique vintage scene. This campaign is a great example of how advertisers can use branded content partnerships to help amplify existing content.

(Full disclosure: This campaign was created through the Pressboard Marketplace)

Did I miss one of your favourite branded content partnerships from the month? Share it in the comments!

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