Last year has shown us how integral content creation and distribution has been for businesses, and as we enter what promises to be an exciting year for content marketing, the Outbrain Australia team sat down to round up the best branded content from brands in Australia, in 2016.
Having worked with hundreds of clients last year, we have seen so many innovative and smart ways in which brands leveraged content in their digital mix – from a short film featuring an up close and personal experience with global sporting talents, to the development of a native content hub to inspire travel.
It certainly wasn’t easy for us to narrow down the cream of the crop, but here are Outbrain’s staff top 10 picks for last year, in no particular order:
Optus: The Relentless Series
Leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, Optus produced a series of short videos documenting the lives of two top athletes – Usain Bolt and Anna Meares, one of the most successful female track cyclist in history. Beautifully shot and presented, the videos encouraged and inspired viewers to relentlessly pursue greatness.
Why we chose it: We love the timing of the campaign, launched between February and June, and the documentary-style video that was integrated with other campaign elements such as out of home, digital and through Optus’ retail outlets.
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA): Commence Operation Boomerang
Australia Day is never the same without a great barbecue. In this funny video, SBS newscaster and social media sensation Lee Lin Chin commands ‘Operation Boomerang’ to bring lamb to Australians everywhere, or rather, bring Australians abroad home to lamb. To top it all off, the MLA ad was conferred ‘TV Ad of the Year’ at the Mumbrella Awards in Sydney.
Why we chose it: But we don’t just love this video because it’s funny – we love fact that they took a risk when choosing the campaign’s content, and they did so in a commandable way, generating publicity around good-quality lamb.
Introducing shoppers to various home design and fashion ideas, Kmart marries content with eCommerce on its website to engage consumers and inspire intent to shop. This Christmas has seen Kmart push out various listicles featuring festive décor, gift ideas and stylish outfits.
Why we chose it: We like it because, rather than running sales promotions, Kmart has implemented a creative solution to draw consumers in, making the Christmas shopping experience even more compelling – simply brilliant.
Targeting younger demographics who are less influenced by display ads and pre-rolls, Qantas partnered Junkee Media to produce AWOL, a native content hub to inspire travel. Looking at the wide variety of ongoing content pieces featuring breath-taking travel destinations, one cannot help but feel overwhelmed with wanderlust.
Why we chose it: Once again, what stood out for us was its experimentation with content that offers utility to travel-hungry consumers, from articles like “Is this the best way to enjoy a natural hot spring?” and “This Map Shows The Top Tourist Attractions To See In Every Country.”
Centre for Mental Health: Man Up. Speak Up.
A three-part documentary series on the mental health of Australian men, Man Up was conceptualised with the aim of creating awareness about men’s metal health, and to challenge traditional notions of masculinity. Supported by Movember and the University of Melbourne, the campaign kicked off a national conversation about male suicide in Australia, where rates are alarmingly high.
Why we chose it: What really worked for us was content that was presented with such raw honesty, effectively communicating that expressing negative emotions is not necessarily a sign of weakness.
Meat and Livestock Corporation’s (MLA): You Never Lamb Alone
Lamb doesn’t discriminate, according to MLA’s spring campaign aimed at promoting Australia’s diversity. From a commercial starring Australians from all walks of life coming together to enjoy a lamb barbecue, to key messages disseminated across ethnic print-press and in-language social media, the campaign received a huge thumbs-up for its playful and frank take on Australian screen diversity.
Why we chose it: The message of inclusiveness not only worked well with the campaign’s underlying claim – that lamb unites us all, but was also supported with nice visual execution, which was a huge plus.
New Zealand Transport Agency: When You’re Not There
Targeting parents of young drivers on their restricted licence, this Public Service Announcement (PSA) by New Zealand Transport Agency urges parents to enforce the restricted licence rules by pulling on their heart strings and depicting the danger of breaching conditions.
Why we chose it: Featuring parents dealing with situations by being ‘the voice of reason’, we like the clear objective behind the campaign’s content strategy, and how it tackles a real problem on the roads.
Telstra: The Magic of Technology
This integrated campaign across digital, social, outdoor and print depicts Telstra’s transformation from a telco into a technology company. Combining slam poetry set to the rhythm of the soundtrack, this ad showcases how Telstra’s various technologies and innovations, from video calling to virtual reality, enables people and businesses to thrive.
Why we chose it: The real deal breaker about this campaign is in its forward-looking approach on aligning the overall campaign narrative i.e. the unlimited possibilities with Telstra’s technology, with Telstra’s new brand story.
Transport Accident Commission (TAC): Meet Graham
TAC has built an interactive website to raise awareness on road safety. With its shocking visuals, the website makes audiences confront how vulnerable human bodies are through Graham, a fictional character whose body is designed to survive on our roads.
Why we chose it: By allowing users to interact with his legs, ribs, down to his facial features, this road safety project scores with its educational contents.
Super Savvy Me is a content hub replete with content around health, beauty, nutrition, fashion and parenting. Coupled with community reviews and attractive offers on P&G’s latest products, the platform is an informative and engaging way of marketing essential everyday products to consumers.