The Top 10 Branded Content Partnerships of October

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. That’s why I write about my favourite branded content partnerships every month. So without further ado, here are 10 incredible pieces of branded content that publishers and advertisers created together in October, 2017.

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

genius branded content

White Famous – Genius + Showtime

To promote their new TVseries, White Famous, Showtime partnered with music publisher Genius to get six celebrity rappers to weigh in on what “selling out” means in hip-hop today. The Showtime drama is centered around a black comedian who is trying to achieve success within white America without losing who he is, making this celebrity-influencer driven content the perfect way to address these concepts.

The way we treat gay couples on vacation is absurd – ATTN: + Virgin Holidays

Virgin Holidays partnered with ATTN: to share their brand promise, “Everyone can take on the world.” Together they used humour to point out the tragedy of how gay couples are mistreated when travelling. It’s thought-provoking branded content, and a quick scroll through the video’s comments section shows how much it’s truly needed.

nat geo branded content

Amazing Green Route in Thailand – National Geographic + Tourism Authority of Thailand

True to National Geographic’s history of promoting environmental and historical preservation, their travel content offers something unique and off the beaten tourist trail. This partnership with the Tourism Authority of Thailand takes the magazine on a tour of the seven greenest activities that can be completed in an environmentally-friendly fashion, by foot, bicycle or rail. This branded content seems perfectly aligned with National Geographic’s audience, as I imagine they’re not the crowd that’s visiting Thailand to experience a raging Full Moon Party.

Hybrid Economics – Multiple Publishers + Toyota

Working with 12 different publications, Toyota created three videos and 10 stories to highlight the economic value of owning a hybrid. One of my favourites? Local publisher Vancouver is Awesome challenged a couple to drive around the city’s famous Stanley Park in a Toyota Prius until it runs out of gas. Unfortunately for the drivers, this took way longer than expected, but fortunately for audiences, the journey is hilarious. To top it off, the campaign also offered a $500 gas credit to one lucky winner – enough to keep a Prius-owner rolling for a full year.

(Full disclosure: This content was created through the Pressboard platform)

Upstanders Season 2 – Upworthy + Starbucks

This branded video series by Starbucks showcases “ordinary people doing extraordinary things to create positive change in their communities.” The first season was such a success that they returned for a second, this time in partnership with Upworthy, who is helping to test and distribute the branded content to wider audiences. The inspirational stories are in line with what audiences have come to expect from Upworthy, and shows a more personal side of Starbucks. Without any heavy branding or coffee-pushing on Starbucks’ behalf, it’s a great way for Starbucks to show where their company values lie.

men's health branded content

The Adventurist – Men’s Health + Fitbit

In this partnership between Fitbit and Men’s Health, writer Clint Carter was put up to the challenge of mastering three extreme sports in only five days, while tracking his heart rate and steps with a Fitbit. The first installment of the three-part series included an article, short film and a full print feature in the latest edition of the Men’s Health magazine. One thing that makes this branded content partnership unique is that the campaign was pitched by Men’s Health to Fitbit, not the other way around. Some stories are so powerful that publications are actively seeking out advertisers to support them, rather than simple creating branded content in response to RFPs.

Mom’s Table – Scary Mommy + Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers and notoriously-bold digital parenting publisher Scary Mommy took on a risky five-minute scripted video concept that paid off in a big way. “Long-form” video content like this can make it difficult to keep audiences engaged, but this witty parody of popular Netflix show Chef’s Table pulled off laughs from their audience. The struggle to maintain a healthy diet while also feeding fussy kids (and in this case adults) is very real to this publisher’s audience, and this campaign hit the nail on the head.

well and good branded content

Why Crafting a Morning Mantra is the Key to Boosting Your Confidence – Well and Good + Tropicana

I selected this campaign because its simple and practical advice for readers feels current and on-trend. Wellness and self-care are having a moment right now, and it’s smart of Tropicana to align with that to ultimately try and become a part of consumer’s morning rituals. This piece of branded content helps remind readers of both the health benefits and enjoyment of starting the day with something positive.

boston globe branded content

Grow Your Biz – Boston Globe + Mastercard and Bank of America

To promote their Grow Your Biz contest, Mastercard and Bank of America partnered with Boston Globe to create content that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses. The contest awards one winner $25K to really take their small business to the next level. More than a great way to promote the contest, the branded content also offers valuable advice to small business owners, positioning Mastercard and Bank of America as champions and supporters of Boston’s small business community.

(Full disclosure: This content was created through the Pressboard platform)

vulture branded content

6 Must-Visit Knoxville-Area Spots, As Told by Country Star Kelsea Ballerini – Vulture + Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Utilizing their partnership with country star Kelsea Ballerini, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development worked with Vulture to show her personal favourite Knoxville destinations. If your brand is already working with a celebrity influencer (Tennessee Tourism had already partnered with Ballerini as part of a Snapchat concert series), it’s ideal to capitalize on this relationship for additional branded content. This piece does double duty, promoting the concert series as well as the brand’s primary directive – driving tourism to the state.

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