Ok so before we get into these, let’s first address what I mean by ‘content marketing’ What I mean is an attempt by someone to take an original idea, create unique content and then use the internet to achieve reach, infamy, or whatever the end goal may be!
That said, these are my 3 favourite campaigns of all time (so far…)
The Free Air Guitar – 96.3 Rock Radio
This one is absolutely brilliant. A rock radio station in Glasgow – FM 96.3 decided to try some really clever marketing. Working in unison, station representatives set up empty guitar racks all over the city with “Free Air Guitar” printed on them. The story went mainstream and got lots of attention on various blogs, across social media and even made the local news.
This was a really clever, really original and perfectly fitting attempt to gain widespread recognition and brand awareness for the station – Bravo!
“Googling yourself is fun” – Alex Brownstein
Meet Alec Brownstein is the clever clogs behind one of the best content marketing efforts we’ve ever read about.
Alec had been working at a prominent international ad agency for a long time and could feel himself getting itchy feet. So rather than just looking at the job boards, he devised an incredible scheme involving marketing himself and utilising Googles AdWords facility.
He started to bid on the names of 5 big Creative Directors working in New York City, so that if one of them were to Google themselves, they would see an advert that read:
“Hey, [creative director’s name]: Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too.”
Alec now works at a very popular Creative agency in New York – Well done that man.
The Refresh Project – Pepsi
The Pepsi Refresh project is one of my favourites as it’s a great example of a company becoming an early adopter of content marketing and social media very early on.
In 2010 and after 23 years of spending heavily on ads and ad placements for events such as the US’s NFL Superbowl, Pepsi took a sharp change of direction and opted out of many of these commitments, instead pledging a third of its annual marketing budget into a social marketing campaign called ‘The Refresh Project’. This was one of the single most well intended campaigns of all time and the way in which Pepsi utilised their content and social media marketing channels to get the most from their efforts was just top class. Unfortunately the plug was pulled after just 10 months and after committing over $20 million in grants and instigating some brilliant public projects, fraud allegations arose and the project was shut down.
Nevertheless, we should remember the big part that Pepsi played in social media and content marketing being seen worldwide as completely viable marketing strategies for the future and certainly how they were one of the first to move into the arena completely committed to success and unashamedly bold.
Shame about the whole fraud thing in the end then eh…