Rogue Report Episode 4

Content marketing stuck


Most surgeries in the 1800’s were conducted by surgeons with their bare hands. In fact, many did not even wash their hands before heading into surgery. A patient’s luck with regard to surviving a surgery was about the same as predicting a coin flip. The idea of germ transmission still hadn’t taken hold. Though this was beginning to change. One of the factors in this change was an 1888 publication called Modern Methods of Antiseptic Wound Treatment. What is interesting about this particular publication was that it was created and distributed by Johnson & Johnson as a way to speak to surgeons, a key target for their bandages. This is an early example of what today we call content marketing.

While content marketing is not a new concept, the proliferation of platforms from which we choose to entertain, educate and share has renewed the importance of content for brands as a differentiator.

IRL content

Redbull is a pioneer when it comes to exploring new ways to connect with audiences. Not only did they launch their own content studio but they have created events that traditional media is enticed to cover. From the Felix Baumgartner Space Drop to Crashed Ice, the Red Bull Music Academy, and AdrenaLAN, an e-sport event, they have been able to generate content that represents pure expressions of the brand.

What does this mean for your brand?

The definition of content is extremely large. It does not reside solely within the digital realm. Consider the strengths of your brand when selecting ways to bring it to life.

Lose control

In the early 2000’s, approximately 5 B.Y.T. (5 years before YouTube 😉 ), BMW commissioned filmmakers such as Guy Ritchie and Alejandro González to create short movies. The filmmakers were given few guidelines aside from including Clive Owen as a driver for hire. More recently to celebrate their 400th anniversary Grolsch commissioned 400 different artists and designers to share their interpretation of the beer brand.

What does this mean for your brand?

To create content that truly connects with the audience, it can be useful to just let go and give the brand reins to expert storytellers to bring the brand to life. It is not always easy but the results have the potential to be memorable.

Stores as content studios

When Nike opened The Jumpman store in downtown Los Angeles the goal, as usual with most Nike stores went beyond just selling shoes and apparel. The store is a meeting point for a running group and hosts several daily yoga classes. In some respects it also acts as a content studio. The rooftop court serves as backdrop for videos featuring local basketball influencers many of whom are part of the NBA Playmakers community.

What does this mean for your brand?

Be creative when considering how your brand can show up in third party content. Useful spaces such as studio space or interesting backdrops can showcase your brand in its natural environment. And more and more brands are considering the Instagrammability of spaces when designing them.

The long form is gaining ground

Despite the myth that our attention spans are shorter than that of a goldfish, long form content still has a place. Dude Perfect one of the most popular channels on YouTube with over 45 million subscribers frequently publish videos that exceed the 20 minute mark. The Joe Rogan Experience podcast which has been listened to over 1.5 billion times a year runs over 2 hours long per show.

What does this mean for your brand?

To create content that truly connects with the audience, it can be useful to just let go and give the brand reins to expert storytellers to bring the brand to life. It is not always easy but the results have the potential to be memorable.

While it feels like it is a recent trend, content marketing has been around for years. Content is a wide ranging term but it generally refers to creative ways to talk about a brand without calling it by what it really is, advertising. And while he wasn’t specifically speaking of content, legendary adman David Ogilvy may have summed it up best “A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.”