Huge brands are doing it. Small brands are doing it. Brands somewhere between huge and small? They’re also doing it. Branded content marketing has arrived in full-force and (when done well), it’s working.

A while back, we kicked off a blog series about Brands As Publishers, Producers, and Newsrooms, catapulted forward by our own CEO’s article on the topic in Wired. While we’ve had an admittedly slow start with the series thus far, we want to get that going again today by showcasing some really good examples of branded content.

While branded content is not entirely new, it certainly seems to be in its golden age thanks to the evolution of digital. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to create branded content that connects with your audience. That takes strategy, planning, solid production, and distribution, along with consideration of the delicate balance between editorial/creative integrity and sales objectives.

As writer Shafqat Islam noted in a recent Forbes article, ”Free press and editorial independence of publishers is a fundamental tenet of democracy. It’s the responsibility of the content marketer to balance the preservation of editorial integrity with furthering business objectives.”

Ad Age published an article last year about breakout branded content efforts. Among them was Coca-Cola’s website rebranding, which turned an ordinary brand website into a full-blown digital magazine, with Coca-Cola publishing the stories it wanted written about its own brand. ”Coke is telling the stories it wishes the press would write: how it’s helping veterans find jobs, how its promotion of healthy lifestyle preceded the NYC “soda ban,” and inside looks at a Coca-Cola sponsored game to help fight AIDS,” writes Ad Age.

Branded content marketing allows for brands to have more control over their image, by creating content that resonates and connects with consumers in nontraditional ways through video, text, apps, podcasts, interactive sites, or otherwise.

Check out some great examples of branded content video:

Funny or Die’s video for Under Armour:

Tom Brady’s Wicked Accent from Tom Brady


Free People: