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A new year means new content marketing campaigns everywhere you look — but to sustain audience attention, it takes something special. That’s why, according to studioID’s 2024 Content Marketing and Demand Gen Predictions survey, 56% of content marketers report that their top priority this year is telling more engaging stories. Read on to get inspo from four top brands that are leveraging high-quality storytelling to kick their content in high gear.
Dove and Nike Team Up to Write a New Narrative
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Creative Angle: Human Interest Storytelling
Since 2004, Dove has been working to arm the next generation with tools to build body confidence and self-esteem so that no young person is held back… As the world’s leading provider of self-esteem and body confidence education for girls, we have a responsibility to support girls wherever their self-esteem is at stake.
— Alessandro Manfredi, Chief Marketing Officer at Dove
Beyond a marketing campaign in and of itself, Body Confident Sport is a new program born out of a mission-driven, body-positive partnership between Dove and Nike. Driven by new research, which reveals that 45% of teenage girls drop out of sports due to low body confidence, the brands banded together to create a new, science-backed way to boost self-esteem and help young women thrive in sports.
“By shifting the conversation from what their bodies look like to what their bodies can do — so more girls can stay in sports and experience the benefits,” Vanessa Garcia-Brito, VP and chief social and community impact officer of Nike, Inc. says
we believe we’re creating the next generation of female leaders and changemakers who will move the world forward.
Why it Wows
Developed in tandem over the course of two years, Dove and Nike’s new content hub offers “a first-of-its-kind, scientifically-proven set of coaching tools to build body confidence in 11–17-year-old girls.” Leaning on world-renowned academic experts at the Centre for Appearance Research and Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, the program consists of extensive resources that “aim to empower coaches and athletes around the world to celebrate the truly awesome things active bodies can do.”
With various video modules, guides, workbooks, and other educational materials — as well as helpful content for parents, a push on social media, and all-star partnerships with Venus Williams and Laurie Herandez — they’ve hit it out of the park.
📚 Related Reading: 3 Brands Getting Purpose-Driven Marketing Right in 2023
Zacapa Rum Bets on its Brand Story
Creative Angle: Budget Storytelling
We wanted to tap into the consumer desire for depth, and bring to life that instant sensory connection that people feel when they try Zacapa.
— Christina Choi, SVP at Diageo
For its first global campaign, premium Guatemalan rum brand Zacapa is letting the world know who they really are — no frills or facades. Steeped in their woman-centric approach as one of the only spirit companies to boast a female master brewer, with its bilingual poetry and visceral imagery, the campaign seems to take on the divine feminine and link it to the divine taste of this unique dark rum.
“We believe there is no greater feeling than being surprised by experiences that capture our imaginations and spark a sense of wonder in us,” says Christina Choi, SVP at Diageo, “and that’s what we set out to achieve in ‘Lips to Soul.'”
Why it Wows
With a talented creative team, anything is possible — whether your budget’s through the roof or on the more modest side. “Our choice of color grading, use of light, and poetic sensibility throughout the creative concepts are designed to take the viewer on a sensorial journey,” says Niamh Burns, Global Head of Zacapa at Diageo. “We’re redefining the world of dark spirits, and taking the brand into a bold, contemporary space. Our mission extends beyond showcasing our rums into an immersive experience that resonates with our diverse audience around the world.”
📖 Related Reading: How to Tell an Unforgettable Brand Story
Coca-Cola Creates Real Brand Storytelling Magic
Creative Angle: High-Tech Storytelling
You start with the experts first. You learn how they use [generative AI], how they interact with the assets that Coca-Cola has, and then how to take it to a more mainstream, scalable experience.
— Selman Careaga, President of Global Category at Coca-Cola
Weaving over a century’s worth of brand assets and visual archives with the latest technologies in artificial intelligence, Coca-Cola has found yet another new and innovative way to tell their ongoing Christmas brand story — now with custom-made holiday greeting cards. Leveraging Bain and OpenAI, earlier this year, the start of the Create Real Magic campaign garnered over 120,000 pieces of user-generated content. “We took those learnings and selected the 20 top creators out of that platform,” Careaga says, “and in the summer we met with them [at the Real Magic Academy] to discuss how we could improve that as we move forward.
What you are seeing now for Christmas is a result of what we learned on the platform, mostly around how people can interact in an easier way that’s more exciting. We believe we’ve made a platform now that is much more people-friendly to create a Christmas card that they can share with loved ones.
Why it Wows
With AI becoming more and more accessible, the opportunities for new brand and customer experiences seem truly endless. “In the past, you would create some piece of content or a quiz or a great Christmas ad and hope people like it,” Careaga says. “Today, with the Christmas card as an example, it’s a two-way street in terms of how we engage with people and allow people to play with such an iconic brand as Coca-Cola… Now we have a platform that allows people to interact with the brand in different, highly scalable ways —” with no doubt many more exciting things to come in 2024.
🔮 Related Reading: 4 Brands Leading Future-Focused Content Marketing Strategies
The Inkey List Makes Customers the Stars of Their Story
Creative Angle: Social Media Storytelling
“Moisturizers are the biggest category in skin care, and there is a lot of competitive activity in the space. We knew that if we wanted to have a big impact within this category, we needed to leverage our consumer insights and deliver strong innovation — something the market had not yet seen.” — Stephanie Davis Michelman, CEO at The Inkey List
With a customer base built primarily on Instagram, UK beauty brand The Inkey List has created a strong community of skin-focused millennials. And as that community ages and evolves, the brand strives to evolve with it — now with a brand new repairing and plumping product. To mark its launch, the company has invested in its biggest campaign to date, complete with out-of-home ads as well as television spots and paid ads across social media platforms.
“TikTok is a key platform where we have robust brand engagement with our core Gen-Z audience,” Davis Michelman says, but “this launch gives us the opportunity to expand engagement with our millennial audience, who is underrepresented in the skin aging conversation.”
Why it Wows
With a video series called “Beauty Through the Ages,” the brand has partnered with age-appropriate influencers “to capture candid, nostalgic conversations between friends,” says Davis Michelman. “Each conversation reflects the individuality of a skin-care journey, including how skin changes and how someone feels when it does. And the chats capture everything from the lighthearted nostalgia of past beauty faux pas to emotive words of encouragement for the influencers’ younger selves.” And the cherry on top? The product page associated with the launch also features links to educational content like “Aging 101” and other helpful blog articles.
Dig into the full results of our 2024 Content Marketing + Demand Gen Predictions survey to uncover the trends, strategies, and themes set to rule this year.