As my team mate Leslie points out in a previous blog post, sponsored content, also known as native advertising, is a form of brand storytelling that’s integrated into the format of the outlet on which it lives. Whereas TV, billboard and retargeting ads are quite obviously selling to us, sponsored contents “sell” is more subtle, but at the same time transparent. For those interested in how we can use sponsored content in our organisation, looking at best practices from other brands is a good way to start. So, today we’re presenting three examples of companies doing sponsored content right.

Netflix Orange is The New Black & New York Times:

Netflix is a company who has mastered the art of ​​sponsored content. Last year they joined forces with the New York Times to promote their latest series of Orange is The New Black. Netflix published an article about US female prisoners accompanied by a range of interactive multimedia. What was particularly great about this piece of sponsored content, other than great journalism, was how Netflix grabbed the attention of the audience by painting a picture of the wider narrative, one that the Times audience would be interested in reading. Bravo Netflix!

Nestle Friskies & BuzzFeed:

shutterstock_113021647BuzzFeed is the home of banter, King of sponsored content and a hot hangout for cat lovers. So, it made sense for Nestle to cash in on the opportunity and use sponsored content on BuzzFeed to advertise their cat food brand, Friskies. The pair worked together to produce content that is easily shareable on social. As such, the “Dear Kitten” video has been watched on YouTube over 16 million times and Friskies saw a 58% increase in brand recognition and interest in buying. Friskies understood the alignment between their brand and BuzzFeed’s audience. Moreover, they knew that BuzzFeed is a place for sharing and so created their content with sharability in mind.

Spotify and The Guardian:

The example of sponsored content from Spotify on The Guardian is simple yet effective. Spotify asked The Guardian’s music editor to browse through their music collection, searching for the 101 strangest albums. And when we say strange, we mean strange! This example of sponsored content allowed Spotify to do a number of things, such as demonstrate their vast portfolio of songs, gain endorsement from a highly credible publication and increase brand awareness amongst a wider demographic.

Do you have a fine example of a company smashing sponsored content? Drop a comment in the box below, we’d love to hear from you!