The Week’s Best Branded Content

Brands are capitalizing on the content-creation movement by creating compelling (and shareable) content — often in picture form but also in video, text and the ubiquitous gif — while looking to publishers to serve as the distribution mechanism or as a content partner.

Digiday has gathered what we think are five prime examples of branded content, created with the help of publishing partners, that we saw this week. We plan on developing this series over the coming weeks and months, focusing on specific types of branded content. If you see branded content that you think should be highlighted, link to it in the comment section or send me an email.

Client: AMC
Publisher: Gawker
Content: Vote Now For Your Favorite Zombified Instagram

There’s been a Zombie rebirth over the last few years. Shows like AMC’s “Walking Dead” have become hits in part because of online communities that spring up around the shows. Gawker and “Walking Dead” teamed up for a contest for fans to “don your finest zombie attire, hit the streets like a pack of flesh-hungry walkers, and then capture the gory details via Instagram.” On Friday, fans were directed to the top four costumes and were asked to vote for the best Zombie Instagram.

Client: Microsoft
Publisher: BuzzFeed
Content:24 Things You Haven’t Considered, But Probably Should

BuzzFeed, the current king of sponsored content, worked with Microsoft to produce this clever and entertaining photo listicle of 24 homespun solutions for some meddlesome problems. With a mix of images and gifs, Microsoft is able to pull off something it can’t do with a traditional banner ad: be funny.

Client: Spike TV
Publisher: BuzzFeed
Content:The 17 Most Outrageous Celebrity Tattoos

To promote its new season, Spike TV’s “Ink Master” tapped BuzzFeed to help create a photo collage of some of the terrible decisions famous people made while under the gun. Ink gun, that is.

Client: IBM
Publisher: The Atlantic
Content:IBM Cloud Transformation

IBM, it can be argued, has become a media company it its own right. With a successful Tumblr, Big Blue is using the Web to deliver its messages via content. In this case, IBM created an infographic on The Atlantic touting the advantages of using the cloud.

Client: Business Aviation
Publisher: Forbes
Content:The Conference Room That Travels With You At 450 MPH

Two years ago, Forbes introduced AdVoice (now rebranded as BrandVoice) to let advertisers deliver their own messages throughout the Forbes site. Business Aviation, which “curates the latest industry information … examines the wide range of business and private aircraft,” has its own BrandVoice. The column, by serial Board Member Clint Allen, extols private aircraft as a way to hold meetings. This is a good example of branded content for busy executives who can afford their own aircraft. We should all be so fortunate.

More in Media

NewFronts Briefing: Samsung, Condé Nast, Roku focus presentations on new ad formats and category-specific inventory

Day two of IAB’s NewFronts featured presentations from Samsung, Condé Nast and Roku, highlighting new partnerships, ad formats and inventory, as well as new AI capabilities.

The Athletic to raise ad prices as it paces to hit 3 million newsletter subscribers

The New York Times’ sports site The Athletic is about to hit 3 million total newsletter subscribers. It plans to raise ad prices as as a result of this nearly 20% year over year increase.

NewFronts Briefing: Google, Vizio and news publishers pitch marketers with new ad offerings and range of content categories

Day one of the 2024 IAB NewFronts featured presentations from Google and Vizio, as well as a spotlight on news publishers.