Month in Content Marketing: May

Asda deploys content marketing in a new seasonal campaign, British Airways High Life continues to generate headlines, content marketing spend by brands continues to rise. Plus interesting takes on native advertising, the revival of print media and more.

Here is a round up of the top stories

Asda launches Real Summer Days
Asda began a major campaign in April which included, print, online and digital media as well as TV, outdoor and point of sale material. Entitled ‘Real Summer Days,’ the campaign makes a direct nod to the unpredictability of the Great British weather and seeks to prepare the nation for all weathers, ensuring customers are able to buy what they need come rain or shine.

The multi-channel campaign developed by Publicis Blueprint and Fallon includes a sizeable content marketing based segment and is set to run for eight weeks. will also be launching an online ‘Real Summer Days’ shop, which will adapt its style advice to changes in the weather being experienced outside.

Andrew Moore, SVP Chief Merchandising Officer for George, GM & Asda Money commented, ‘If there’s anything the last few months have shown us, it’s the unpredictability of the great British weather. At George and Asda we have a commitment to make shopping for the family as easy and convenient as possible. We’re confident we have a wide selection of amazing ranges this summer to suit the needs of the whole family come rain or shine.’ More here.

Sportcal and Telecity Group ramp up content marketing output
Sports industry data and analysis specialists Sportcal and data centre organisation Telecity Group have both launched new magazines which will be produced by London-based content publisher Progressive Customer Publishing.

In April Sportcal re-launched its Sportcal Insight magazine as a bi-monthly offering with Progressive handling creative and production as well as advertising sales. Sportcal, who have offices in London and Lausanne, have been at the forefront of the business of sport for over 22 years. 

Telecity Group’s new global magazine Smarter Company will launch this summer. The magazine, edited by Richard Young, is the flagship business magazine for Telecity Group and will enlighten readers on technology, cutting-edge businesses and the digital economy. It is born out of the company’s – and especially its chief executive’s – passion for delivering technology infrastructure that underpins the world’s electronic existence. More here.

BA High Life’s April magazine still generating headlines
British Airways continued to make headlines, with the incredible reaction to its April issue of High Life magazine. The publication, which is produced for BA by Cedar, featured Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and caused a social media sensation with copies being sold for as much as £50 on eBay.

In April the Belstaff winter coat worn by Benedict Cumberbatch on the cover of Cedar's BA High Life magazine was auctioned for a startling £5010 – nearly three times its retail value.  The money raised will go to Flying Start, the airline's charity partnership with Comic Relief.

High Life's editor, Kerry Smith said: ‘All the buzz around Benedict's British Airways' High Lifeshoot has prompted some very wild guesses about how much the coat would go for, but £5010 is way beyond our expectations. We're delighted it's raised so much money – it will really make a difference to Flying Start and the children they work with.’ More here.

Why more brands are becoming print publishers
More retail brand are becoming publishers and not just online too. Print is in the midst of a very interesting content marketing driven revival.

Porter magazine, Net-a-Porter's move into paid-for print publishing, has now been followed by another retailer doing the same thing. Sports Direct’s title, Forever Sports, hit the streets in April. CMA consultant editor Dominic Mills took a long look at the reasons for the launch and what lessons other brands can learn from the retailer. More here.

Royal Town Planning Institute unveils magazine and website
The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), a membership organisation representing over 23,000 planning professionals working worldwide in the public, private, charitable and education sectors, revamped its content marketing offering in April.

In addition to publishing the monthly editions of The Planner magazine, the RTPI teamed up with CMA member Redactive to develop an online presence,

Sara Drake, Managing Director of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) commented ‘We quickly forged a strong working partnership with the impressive team at Redactive, developing a vision for our new magazine and additional online services. The result is our excellent monthly publication The Planner and related news and job web sites, which have all been received with considerable praise by our membership and the wider profession as a whole.’ More here.

Wearable gadgets and content marketing

April also saw Google Glass going on sale for the first time - albeit for only one day. Tech gurus have been very vocal about how wearable gadgets will shape the lives of consumers over the coming years. In April then the CMA blog looked at the implications of wearables for content marketers focusing on how they could change the way that people consume content as well as offering innovative new Augmented Reality options. More here.

Native advertising - the new frontier for content marketing agencies
One of the big buzzword in marketing is native advertising.  In April Econsultancy looked at why there is a buzz around native advertising, and what does its surge in popularity mean for content marketing agencies? In the article, penned by CMA MD Clare Hill,  the case was made for content marketing specialists to be leading in the new format.

She argues ‘The content created to service native advertising still requires the same successful journalistic skills that have serviced the £4bn content marketing industry to date.

Quality will still be key and those best placed to create the native advertising content are the content marketing specialist agencies able to demonstrate not just cost-per-click but cost-per-action throughout the customer journey. 

Brands need to think very carefully about who creates their native advertising, and if their plans include more than just a couple of stories placed on media sites a month they need to work with agencies who completely understand the world of branded content - and that is content marketing agencies.’ More here.

Content marketing even more important - April also saw the release of some interesting research from TNS which was commissioned by the CMA.  It highlights that those  who invest in content marketing spend more on content than any other media; and 51% plan to spend more this year.

Big advertisers are fans of the concept with approximately 60% of marketers, mostly in large, international or multinational organisations, currently use content marketing, and they spend more on content marketing than any other media, including TV (14 per cent), online advertising (11%) and print (10%). Content marketing budgets are increasing with 51% of marketers intending to increase their spend on content marketing in 2014, regardless of whether their overall marketing budgets increase. More here.

Other stories - Also in April The Wall Street Journal predicted a very bright future for content marketing, there was a very interesting discussion on  the future of magazine apps and Twitter rolled out a redesign that some pundits argued brought it closer to Facebook in terms of functionality and appearance.

Posted in CMA blog
27thMay 2014

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