The Top 10 Branded Content Partnerships of September

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 September, 2017.

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

The BAZAAR Commandments: Get a Flawless Face Harper’s BAZAAR + Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier is a world-renowned makeup artist whose name has become synonymous with a natural, glowing beauty look. Her brand partnered with Harper’s BAZAAR on a content campaign about achieving flawless skin. The shop buttons make it easy for readers to convert — and for the brand to directly measure ROI — but aren’t heavy-handed. Plus, the photo shoot is paired easily with a shoppable list of clothing and jewelry used, encouraging partner brands to further share this content and allowing readers to easily achieve the looks. This piece blends so well with their regular content.

Watch, skip or binge: The A.V. Club’s 2017 fall TV preview – A.V. Club + Pop Secret

Can you imagine a more perfect branded content partnership than movies and popcorn?! This A.V. Club collaboration with Pop Secret gives an extensive (over 8,000 words!) rundown of the movies, television and Netflix offerings being released this fall. This is branded content at its most useful, and completely in tune with the A.V. Club’s clever, geeky audience.

The #LifeatComplex squad makes #VansCustoms – Complex + Vans

Complex is the perfect partner for Vans, given that their readership is comprised of a large amount of sneakerheads. For this branded video, the #LifeatComplex team takes viewers through the process of designing their own Vans sneakers, competing for who can create the best final look. It offers a casual behind-the-scenes look at office life at Complex as the team riffs on their favourite upcoming TV shows, football season and what’s for lunch. As pointed out by fans of the piece, the only thing that could have made this video better would have been to show the final custom sneakers and crown a winner.

Automotive Marketing: Shifting Gears in a Slowing Market – AdAge + Deloitte

An accounting firm publishing automotive marketing content may not immediately seem like the most organic fit. So why do I love this partnership between AdAge and Deloitte? Because it takes guts to sponsor meaningful content for your target audience that doesn’t directly sell your brand. By sharing content that is highly relevant to readers and only lightly touches on their finance offerings, Deloitte used a hyper-specific publisher to achieve better results for connecting with their target audience. Show your audience that you understand their world. You’ll be able to create an emotional connection between your reader and your brand, without needing to overtly push sales.

Connecting America – Multiple Publishers + Destination Canada

As a proud Canadian, I know perfectly well what makes Canada so spectacular. But reaching American audiences with that message can take a little bit more work, and Destination Canada was up to the challenge. They worked with 12 American publications to create 28 original pieces of branded content that showcased the thrill of traveling north. The content highlighted uniquely Canadian activities that would appeal to specific US states and cities like houseboating down the Rideau Canal, visiting polar bears in Manitoba, and exploring PEI’s thriving culinary scene. Readers have responded positively, so it’s safe to say Americans are in love with more than just our charming prime minister.

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

Firsts: Women Who are Changing the World – Time + bai

Time Magazine has an ongoing content series called Firsts, with the goal of promoting women who are breaking ground and achieving success against all odds. A series like this helps to pave the way for the future generation of women, which is truly important. By aligning themselves with this message, the antioxidant-fueled beverage brand bai shows they’re not afraid to embrace change, support women and be bold.

Back to School – College Humor + primestudent

College Humor is a platform with a strong voice, so any piece that didn’t fit flawlessly with their tone would stand out like a sore thumb. So, when Amazon’s primestudent connected with College Humor, they simply let the publisher do what they do best — create witty, timely, shareable content. With comics, memes and listicles, all related to the joys and pains of heading back to college, Amazon is able to bring brand awareness to their exclusive student deals in a way that is relatable and appealing to their audience.

10 New Ways to Wear Your Wardrobe Staples – Cosmopolitan + Macy’s

Cosmopolitan has long been a go-to resource for advice for young women. Their partnership with Macy’s is an easy read, with style tips that suggest new ways to wear pieces that most women already have in their closet (think black leggings, white sneakers and blue jeans) with statement pieces from Macy’s. The calls to action throughout feel editorial, rather than aggressively salesy. Simple in concept, this content feels natural and completely on brand.

Atlanta – Tastemade + Airbnb

Tastemade is known for their excellent branded content with food products, so partnering with Airbnb was a clever twist on their typical bread and butter. With this partnership, they explored Atlanta’s culinary scene and culture like a local. Culinary traveling is at an all-time popularity (thanks, Anthony Bourdain), so this partnership feels natural and showcases the same level of sumptuousness you’ve come to expect from Tastemade.


Meet a new food delivery robot, and find out how it works – Mashable + Jack in the Box

The future is now: you can order a Jack in the Box meal and have it delivered to your door via robot! The restaurant partnered with Mashable to spread that good news to the masses through branded content. Jack in the Box proves they are forward-thinking by being the first brand to offer robot delivery, and Mashable’s modern, tech-focused readership is the perfect audience to try it out. With over 3.8k shares on a single piece, it’s clear I’m not the only one excited about the possibility of a robot delivering my dinner!

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


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

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