Ideas and inspiration covering creative processes, collaboration and stand out campaigns from Finlay Hogg (aka Definitive Studio)

Using Partnerships To Take Your Content Marketing To The Next Level

56% of marketers believe content marketing improves engagement (Source IBM Digital Experience Survey) and in 2017, content will play an even more significant role in businesses marketing strategies.

As consumers continue to become unresponsive to traditional advertising and now with 200 million people actively choosing an adblocked online experience, brands will need to work harder if they want to reach consumers.

Audiences haven’t stopped buying things, but their focus has shifted to good content they want to interact with. To build meaningful audience connections content must be credible and drive value outside of a brands products or service. It must have, what is now the most used word in the marketing industry, authenticity.

An effective way to achieve this is by working with another brand, media partner or influencer.

Netflix + The Wall Street Journal

To launch series two of Narcos, Netflix worked with The Wall Street Journal to produce ‘Cocainenomics’, an editorial piece which explores the economics and effects of the multibillion-dollar global cocaine trade. Netflix commissioned the team at the Wall Street Journal to analyse the Medellin Cartel as if they were a Fortune 500 company, resulting in a host of interactive content including videos, motion graphics and quizzes. It’s an interesting subject Wall Street Journal has the authority to explore, meaning audience’s instantly trust and engage with it. Video content from the series was blended through the story to help bring to life key points, which felt part of the experience rather than plug for the show. A quiz at the end tests audience’s knowledge of the article providing valuable data for Netflix to analyse and use in the optimisation their next content piece.

Shakespeare Re-Fashioned

In the summer Selfridges launched a campaign celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. It was an inspiring theme resulting in a platform for a number of exciting creative collaborations. Designers, actors and artists came together to re-work Shakespeare for the 21st century. The calendar of partnerships activity unlocked hundreds of content pieces, from Grime and spoken word to cultural talks and recitals, designed to engage new audiences, celebrate diversity and drive people in store.

Vice Sports x Samsung – The Night

VICE Sports and Samsung recently worked together to create a simple but effective mini-series which explores stories of people who participate in night sports. Each films covers a topics of interest for Vice Sports which also help Samsung showcase features of their new Galaxy S7 Edge; a phone which is able to “capture the perfect moment in all conditions”. It’s new low light camera and waterproof credentials make it the perfect phone for people who live active lives, so working with another brand who has credibility in that space makes perfect sense. Although this is paid for advertising the partnership successfully blends product and stories in a way that feels authentic and less invasive than traditional advertising.


Adidas Tango Squads

Influencer marketing has become one of the hottest topics in the industry. However, it must feel authentic, the partner therefore needs to be an integral part of the creative process. Content produced must feel like it came from them, in their own voice, otherwise audiences won’t trust it. This is something Adidas understand and have taken to the next level with the launch of their ‘Tango Squads’.

Tango Squads are groups of young, hyper-connected football fanatics, living in 15 cities worldwide, selected by Adidas based on their networks and content creation skills. Each group is managed by an Adidas in-house team, who share exclusive content and new products with the group before they are unveiled by Adidas. These socially savvy youngsters operate in private messaging environments such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, sharing the content they are given amongst their trusted online communities.

This innovative way of distributing content not only creates Adidas brand advocates for life, but ensures content feels less like an advert and more like a referral from a friend.

Whether the partnership is paid for or mutually beneficial, as long as the content is developed and distributed in the right way, it can build meaningful audience connections.

Collaboratively made and shared content is always the most effective outcome when working with other brands. Partnerships can take your content to the next level – giving real purpose, authenticity and reach, but there must be a central idea which gives reason for both brands to work together.

Finlay Hogg