The brand content. Two words that usually don’t talk to people even if they are surrounded by it in their everyday life.
What is it ?
The brand content is a marketing strategy set up by a company that creates and broadcast media contents to attract new customers. The brand content is essentially developed on the web and is different from the traditional advertising which consists in posting banners on websites. The companies can in particular write scenarios of storytelling* and create a link with their customers on social networks. The brand content does not focus on the sale but on the principle of communicating with customers and prospects to value the company. Brand content and branded content do not mean exactly the same thing. The brand content means that the brand created its own media. In the branded content, the content is associated to a brand, it can be a sponsorship or a partnership.
*The storytelling as the name suggests is the fact that a company chooses to tell a story to the public instead of putting forward a product of the brand. Its goal is to captivate and arouse emotions.
Even if the rise of internet took place during the last 20 years, the story of the brand content is way older. The brands have been proposing content to their customers for 150 years for instance to gain their loyalty. Among the most famous examples, we find Michelin, in the early 1900, which used to offer their customers a free guide if they purchased tires. We chose this brand on purpose; Michelin is French and today this article will be about…
… the brand content in France.
One of the first things that comes to mind when we think about France is the luxury. Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin etc. All major actors in the fashion world who value the power of brand content. Their stake is to innovate and adapt to the new technologies while keeping their heritage and DNA.
In 2009, Dior commercialized the Lady Dior bag and chose Marion Cotillard as their new face. Their brand content strategy was to do a 360° communication: tease the consumer with enigmatic tweets, then release 4 mini films with some of the most famous directors of the movie industry, taking place in four different cities starring Marion Cotillard. This campaign was a big success for the brand. More than a hundred million pages seen across the world and one million for the dedicated website ladydior.com. Within one month, the world websites of Dior have been as visited as during a six month period.
Cartier is also a brand which gives a huge importance to brand content and storytelling. In 2012 L’Odyssée de Cartier was released, a short film about the History of the brand: during 3,30 minutes a panther goes on an odyssey through different universes in Paris, Russia, China and India. These 3,30 minutes epitomize the 165 years of the brand; the panther which is the emblem of Cartier, all its best sellers which are incorporated in the video and its main influences characterized by these different countries.
In 2015, Cartier organized a new brand content campaign for Valentine’s day; The proposal. The story takes place in Paris ; three men who don’t know each other are about to propose to their girlfriend, the atmosphere is very romantic and it is also a way to show the savoir-faire of the brand thanks to the engagement rings. The chosen actresses represent the target of Cartier; active and sophisticated women and Paris, its hometown.
In France, another brand very involved in this kind of advertising is Oasis which is the leader of noncarbonated fruit drinks. In 2008, Oasis creates a commercial with fruit characters and a lot of famous ads references. After this success, the brand decides to give a bigger role to these fruits characters by launching other campaigns in the same universe, like in a TV show and the public looks forward to seeing a new episode about the adventures of the fruits. Oasis takes care of its fanbase by being very active in the social networks; they put a lot of content, in particular to react to society current events but all of this, adapted in the fruits universe.
Leroy Merlin is a brand of construction, DIY and gardening in France. But not only. Leroy Merlin wants to be considered as the housing environment expert and as an accompanying guide for the customers by establishing a close relationship with them. That is why they rely a lot on brand content. 20 years ago, they created a short TV program “Du côté de chez vous” which introduces people who have a passion for their house that they rebuilt or redecorated. In this spot, the brand is not the subject, the concept is: made for the consumers and to share a passion. Leroy Merlin is not only a seller but an adviser that we can trust.
Now, let’s make a focus on Evian. Famous brand of mineral water, Evian made an ad campaign with swimming babies in 1998 that stayed people’s favorite one in France for years. Thanks to this, the brand is often associated to youth with the slogan “Live young”, that is why they decided to keep on communicating around the universe of babies by making the fans participate. In their website, people can download a picture and see the baby version of it or personnalize a bottle of water… Evian also created an application for young parents to help them with their baby.
Long live to brand content
Nowadays, there is a saturation of the traditional type of advertising. People are looking for a closer relationship with the brand. They want to be taken away in an universe, to be told a story. They want to create links and be more active. Thanks to the new technologies, the public is no longer a simple receiver but also a transmitter, the interactivity is even stronger. The brand content allows the brands to become a media and exist independently, they have more visibility and their image can be valued. The public no longer feels like a target who has to consume but like a spectator of an entertainment.
Brand content still has a long life to live…