3 Brands That Are Getting Content Marketing Right

Since the beginning of time, businesses have wanted to build relationships with customers.

1. The press gave rise to print advertising.

2. The radio enabled radio advertising.

3. Television allowed 30- and 60-second spots.

4. The web yielded banners and popups.

With each invention and new communications medium, businesses reached more and more customers piggybacking on content that people would pay attention to.


The Internet was by far the most important invention making it possible for brands to become publishers and to publish without the prohibitive fixed costs of presses and antennas while the next medium, dubbed “social” brought about a revolution allowing commercial brands to reach audiences with their messages in a much easier fashion. The challenge, however, was that social media gave distribution power to the people. This meant that brands had to start telling stories that inspire and provoke consumers’ attention and willingness to share.

If you’re in marketing, you’ve probably heard of the following:

1. Red Bull’s magazine that circulates to 2 million people a month.

2. American Express on OpenForum.com

3. Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” video

Because of social media’s new powerful influence, “publish or perish” is no longer just the dreaded axiom of academics. Commercial brands are also embracing the concept.

So Which are the Brands that are Getting Content Marketing Right in 2014?

1. American Express

If there is one brand that knows how to do rock content marketing, it’s American Express. One of their most booming endeavors is American Express Unstaged or AmexUnstaged. American Express Unstaged is a program that live streams concerts by high profile music celebrities. Fans from all over the world get to view, not only the event in live performance, but also exclusive videos before and after the event.


According to Walter Frye, Director of Entertainment Marketing & Sponsorships at American Express, “Content is an important piece in all of our marketing efforts. Extending our messaging through content is a great way for us to continue to convert our customers from simply seeing a message to considering our brand.”

2. Red Bull

Red Bull is perhaps the most overused example when it comes to brands that built a loyal audience by telling stories about things that people care about. In Red Bull’s case, this was action sports. Today there is no action sports publisher bigger than Red Bull. Red Bull publishes content that people love. That content helped the commercial brand build a reputation that’s unstoppable and dominate the crowded energy drink market. The 135-employee Red Bull Media House launched a magazine with 5 million subscribers.


The success of brand publishing clearly indicates that the practice is more than just a passing fad. Businesses refusing to embrace it may find themselves in a difficult position in the near future.

3. Rolex

Last year Rolex launched its first branded Facebook page, which was a gigantic leap for a brand that has, for centuries, only made tweaks to its marketing strategies. For decades, precision has become the hallmark of Rolex, encompassing the craftsmanship of its watches and its product marketing. So it was hardly surprising that, when Rolex made its jump on the social media bandwagon, it didn’t release all its potential at once. Opting for a segmented approach instead, the brand kicked off with a YouTube presence in 2012 followed by the launch of a branded Facebook page in 2013. Also, rather than publishing content for the sake of it, the brand cautiously selects what media tells the brand’s story best.


Another thing that Rolex is good at, is social listening. Rolex just knows that people expect from them, and they deliver! For example, in July last year, Rolex carried out a thorough analysis of Facebook comments. The observation was that users wanted to learn more about the distinctive features of Rolex watches.

The “Did You Know” series was born, which goes into the details of Rolex’s craftsmanship. One of the posts got 119,000 likes!

Some Other Content Marketing Highlights of the Past Year

Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen some other examples of brand content rising above the noise in the content marketing space.

  1. Patagonia’s Anti-Consumerism Black Friday Film
  2. Mini’s “Not Normal” series on BuzzFeed
  3. Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow” short film and complimentary video game
  4. Red Bull’s Harlem Shake (Skydive Edition)
  5. Converse’s answer to Snow Fall — “The New New”

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