Powerful Branded Content Marketers are Thankful For This Year

Like Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, great content is hard to come by – and everyone wants a piece of the good stuff. I’ve read countless articles on the tips, tools, and guidelines to use when creating awesome content that resounds with my brand’s audience. However, finding the right ingredients to compile a piece of content is not an easy feat. I’ve found that the best way to produce strong content is by learning from example.

Seer compiled a list of 10 examples of engaging marketing campaigns that we are thankful for, to help inspire your content ideas during this holiday season.

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Successful content needs an aperitif or teaser element; it catches the attention of readers before they even land on the page. Check out these two examples of content that created interesting, and click-worthy “teasers.”

Geicos’ 5 Second YouTube Ads

Source: Geico's YouTube Ads

Geico understands the power of pulling in an audience quickly – and by quick, I mean within the first 5 seconds their audience views the video. YouTube allows people to skip ads after 5 seconds. Geico beat viewers to the punch by weaving in their brand’s message before those 5 seconds were up.

Why is this great content? Many advertisements try to appear bigger than their audience and come off as distant or unrelatable. Geico does the exact opposite. This ad speaks directly to the viewers by saying, “You don’t have to skip this Geico commercial because it’s already over.” They understood that viewers typically don't like to watch ads - so they turned those dreaded 5 seconds into a enjoyable and comical experience.

What can marketers learn from this? Don’t be afraid to speak to your audience directly through video - or the written word. It gives your brand a human touch and allows your brand to connect to your audience more closely. Secondly, brevity is key – and keeps content way more interesting. Try to keep your content to the shortest length needed to get your message across.

Entrepreneur's Time to Read Teaser



Entrepreneur and other publications have created time stamps on its content directory to inform readers of how long it will take them to read an article from beginning to end. Readers’ attention spans have shorten – and content creators at Entrepreneur have reacted smartly.

Why is this great content? Before a reader even has to click on the article and assess the paragraph to picture ratio to estimate how long it will take them to read – the publication informs them. This content element is a perfect teaser – it saves the reader time from guessing and depicts that the publication understands that viewers have limited time to read articles.

What can marketers learn from this? Many times as marketers we think of all the reasons why someone wants to read our content. Instead, try to think of all the reasons why someone would not want to read your content. From there, come up with solutions – whether small or large, to help ease those pain points.

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Whether its mashed potatoes or stuffing, every family has that classic, beloved Thanksgiving dish. Just like the favorite meal, this content category hits on two of the stand-out content campaigns that marketers raved about and favorited this year.

Dollar Shave Club's Catchy Advertisements

Source: Dollar Shave Club YouTube Channel

This ad is worth watching. It’s funny, has a clear message, and it’s easier to remember. All of which are three challenging elements that marketers struggle to formulate through content.

Why is this great content? This ad is extremely shareable, relatable, and humorous. It tells an engaging story in 40 seconds and closely aligns with the brand’s message - shopping for a razor should be easy – not complicated. Content this great doesn’t need explaining or persuasion – it just sticks.

What can marketers learn from this? If your company is in a saturated industry that is dominated by big players, like the razor market, you need to find a niche that your brand can own to standout. Whether it’s tackling a topic not touched by competitors, or by taking an edgy risk - your brand will get lost if you don’t find a new, unique, and engaging way to introduce your brand.

BudWeiser’s Best Buds Campaign

Source: Budweiser's YouTube Channel

Budweiser’s best buds doesn’t once show a beer product. Instead it shapes a story with the brand’s mascot, a loving horse who will do whatever it takes to protect and support his friends. The result; millions of views on YouTube and organic coverage across major publications.

Why is this great content? Budwieser’s content is a mini-movie; you feel connected with the ad’s characters in a minute. How many commercials can you name in which you connected with the characters and crossed your fingers in the hopes that they made it out okay? Not many. This content resonates with its audience on a basic human level, by showcasing traits we all admire such as compassion, loyalty, and bravery.

What can marketers learn from this? Many brands feel the pressure to create content that is purely promotional and product/service focused – but this type of content is forgettable. Content that shapes a story based off of the audience’s everyday interactions, emotions or relationships, are much more powerful – and motivating. When given budget to create content, think of a way to create a story around your brand and for your audience, instead of creating an asset focused purely on the product.

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Just like the sweet potatoes with marshmellows dish on Thanksgiving – that surprises guests on how unusually great it can be – a few brands in atypical or "mundane" industries have created unexpectedly great content. Here are two examples of brands that have created some, surprisingly, superb content.

Hello Flo First Moon Party Story

Periods are not a topic that marketers have typically created funny and unique content for. However, this ad turns the “taboo” topics of periods into a hilarious video women of all ages can laugh about.

What makes this content great? We have all seen the platex ads that consist of pretty women dancing and playing sports. This video smashes the tpyical archetype of “period” videos and created a satirical story to depict a very human part of life. The video successfully takes a reality TV approach by documenting the young girl’s horror and hysterical relationship with her mom, family, and friends.

What can marketers learn from this? Experiment with different content types to find out what connects with your audience the best.This video is not afraid to go where no one else has gone before – and takes it up a few more notches to entertain their audience. Although the satirical documentary style video may not be best for all brands, its fits this brand’s millennial audience.

Similac’s End Mommy Wars

We have all seen the cute baby ads advertising baby food. Cute, not typical. Similac US created a unique story and content campaign to connect with moms, all without showing the product once.

What makes this content great? Strong content all comes down to story-telling and connecting with your audience. This content campaign creates an “AH-HA” moment, where moms everywhere can nod their heads and think, yes, I’ve thought that before, or yes, I’ve felt that way before! Similac understood the common worry that moms have of trying to be the best mom possible. From this idea, the brand created a telling content piece that acknowledges this pain point, and gives its audience a light-hearted solution to squash this challenge, through the hashtag #endmommywars.

What can marketers learn from this? Similac’s campaign never once mentions baby food. Instead, the content focuses on a movement that women would want to be a part of and support. Marketers – when thinking of a new content idea – think bigger than just product. Is there an emotional challenge that you can help your customers solve? If so, make content to prove it.

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Picture the full Thanksgiving spread, complete with the place settings, turkey, favorite side dishes, and condiments. Like the full bread and butter Thanksgiving meal, successful content campaigns contain multiple elements to make a stand-out impression with their brand’s audiences. The following are examples of high quality campaigns that include various content formats to tell a brand’s story.

REI’s #optoutside Campaign



REI created a content campaign to support the company's unique decision to close all stores on Black Friday to encourage customers to go outside, instead of hitting the shopping malls for deals. REI named this effort, optoutside.

Why is this great content? REI created a movement, complete with its own inspiring hashtag, website, and videos. REI understands its audience; nature-loving, adventure-junkie, and environmental advocates. This movement speaks to their customer’s driving passions in life. This campaign supports the brand’s message, customers, and products.

What can marketers learn from this?  All brands dream of creating a “movement.” But to do so, brands need to be authentic and true to the brand’s core values. It’s one thing to say your mission is to encourage people to go outside and sell products around that idea – but it’s truly living the mission to take clear actions to make it happen.

Netflix's Orange is the New Black Native NYT Ad


Source: New York Time's Native Ads

Netflix's Orange is the New Black’s content campaign should be the defining example of “great content.” Complete with interactive images, a captivating video, and journalistic content with a story backbone is engaging, interesting, and unique.

Why is this great content? The content piece combines key content elements for today’s audience to be interested – visually appealing graphics, data weaved into a fascinating story, and a brand message that aligns with the end product – a TV show about women facing time in prison.

What can marketers learn from this? Sometimes, as marketers, we need to dive all in. This content piece has elements that can stand alone – the video, images, or the journalistic story. However, all the elements weaved together in one place creates a complete, well-rounded picture. When creating branded content, brainstorm all of the different formats you can use to create your message – then in vision them all in one place. Will it make your brand story more telling? If so, don’t be afraid to combine all elements in one if that is what will connect with your audience the best.

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Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, as marketers can all agree it’s a great idea to leave your viewers with a sweet ending to your content. The following brands have created unique ways to end content that make users glad they read or watched the brands content all the way through.

Burton's Video CTAs


Source: Burton's YouTube Channel

Burton embedded video overlaps to make video CTAs appear before the video ends - enabling the brand to direct users to handpicked content that best suits the audience’s needs.

Why is this content great? Videos are a powerful content platform, as seen through the numerous examples in this post. However, don’t let the brand connection end once the video stops. Burden understands the importance of directing users to additional relevant content or signup areas to receive more information if the viewer is interested.

What can marketers learn from this? If a user watches your video until the end, they are most likely interested in your brand – and much more likely to sign-up or take the next step in the buyer’s journey.  Don’t leave your viewers hanging! Create in-video CTA’s that are relevant to the content they just finished watching.

BirchBox's Shop This Story


Source: BirchBox How-To Videos

Birchbox is known for creating  informative videos for its customers to learn how to use makeup products. However, Birchbox takes it a step further by including the exact products mentioned – right next to the video.

Why is this content great? If a user lands on your educational how-to video, that’s great news! However, once a user learns how to use the product, many will go back to google to find the products used in the video. However, Birchbox eliminates that step by showing the user exactly what the used products are, the price, and a link to purchase.

What can marketers learn from this? When creating educational how-to content, if possible, direct the user to a branded page where they can continue to answer their questions or make a purchase.

What branded content are you thankful for this year? Share your ideas in the comments below or tweet to us @Seerinteractive.


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