Brands & Ideas: What makes great content?

What exactly is ‘content’ and how does it bring a brand to life? Last week the online world oohed and aahed over Prada’s fabulous three-minute film, ‘A Therapy’, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. But do you need Roman Polanski and the world’s chicest red carpet to create something great?

Prada presents ‘A Therapy’

Content is what grows organically from the ideas at the heart of a brand. The film suited Prada as perfectly as Helena Bonham-Carter’s purple fur because it gave form to what Prada already does so well: cerebral decadence, and style with a sense of humour.

This week we look at less cinematic yet equally engaging examples of how an on-message idea can give rise to great content.

Walmart – Get It On The Shelf

Walmart tapped into the entrepreneurial spirit of its American customers with a contest inviting unheralded inventors to submit their products and win the opportunity to sell them in store. The content that emerged was quirky, on-message, and shot entirely by contestants.

The Plate Topper and Snap It Eyeglasses Repair Kit won’t soon be seen on the French Riviera, but the content that emerged fit Walmart better than a designer gown.

Help Remedies – ‘What’s Wrong, U.S.?’

Help Remedies, one of our favourite young brands, takes a more human approach to packaging the medicines that cure our stuffy noses and aching heads. The brand’s recent launch, an interactive state-by-state map of the U.S. showing which remedies are most in demand where, expands on Help’s playful attentiveness to the people and the symptoms behind each package of pills.

An interactive sales map might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think ‘content’, but allowing the ideas that define a brand to flower into something engaging is the cornerstone of content success.

Land Rover – Edible Desert Survival Guide

Great content comes in many forms … and flavours. Land Rover’s newest giveaway, a survival guide handed out to intrepid customers preparing to take their SUVs into the wild, not only explained the basics of wilderness survival but offered an added bonus—an emergency meal. Made from potato-based paper, the entire book can be consumed in a pinch … though drivers might want to pack their own ketchup.

The book, a self-aware stunt perfectly in sync with Land Rover’s fusion of style and utility, got great press and made customers smile. It also offers strong opportunities for user-generated video and digital supplements, demonstrating that great ideas and great content go hand in hand no matter what form they take.

Engaging customers doesn’t take big names and millions of dollars. Every brand is rich with content waiting to come to life. What ideas would you like to see flourish?



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