Honda and the UPS Store are both leveraging branded content to reach today’s ad-shunning consumers. The Japanese carmaker has a multi-year partnership with music video site Vevo to reach music fans who may also be potential car buyers. Honda worked with Vevo to launch Honda Stage, a combination of sponsored digital video content, music festivals, and the Honda Civic Tour, in 2014 to keep its brand in the forefront of the minds of music fans.
The UPS Store, on the other hand, ventures into branded content with an original YouTube series called “The Elevator Pitch,” developed on the learning that most of UPS’ business clients don’t have a business pitch ready. Each episode sends three contestants on an elevator ride where they pitch their businesses to Marcus Lemonis, the host of CNBC’s “The Profit,” and one is selected as the winner and awarded a $10,000 prize from UPS. The show, which launched on The UPS Store’s YouTube channel on Oct. 12, has so far racked up a total of over 45,000 views with three episodes posted.
What Brands Need To Do
As we discussed in the Ad Avoidance section in our Outlook 2016, well-executed branded content is one effective way to reach ad-weary consumers. UPS and Honda represent two distinct approaches that brands can take when it comes to distributing branded content: either distribute the content on your own branded channel or leverage an existing content distribution channel to reach a built-in audience. Both strategies have their pros and cons but as McDonald’s recent failed attempt at launching its own spin-off YouTube channel indicates, launching a new branded channel comes with higher risk.