Best Branded Content Examples- Strategic Inspiration & Ideas

Posted in Insights

Last month, we had some seriously emotional content that made us feel all kinds of feelings. August was a bit lighter, with a little more laughs, but still with plenty of carefully thought out messaging. We applaud the below brands for creating relevant content that was both refreshingly great and deceivingly marketable. September, the bar has been raised.

General Mills – How to Dad #HowtoDad

Serving breakfast, getting the kids out the door, and managing general chaos…commercials like these usually feature one person: mom. But General Mills has taken a different approach for its new peanut butter Cheerios commercial. Armed with a hashtag, #HowtoDad lets dads everywhere play the domestic role while still maintaining the qualities we’ve so often seen: fun, fearless, and unshakeable.

What we dig about this example is the fast-paced dialogue that has every parent nodding in agreement. On brand because it showcases cereal as the quick breakfast option amidst a morning, and job (dadhood), of chaos, it also pinpoints a strategic market too often untapped.

Subaru Legacy- Jr. Driver

It’s really easy to tell consumers your car is long lasting; it’s another to express it with an adorable child. This charming, comedic commercial puts a five-year-old in the daily life of an average, working adult—complete with rush-hour traffic, annoying errands, and even metered parking snafus.

So why show a child going through all of this? Because, “It may be quite a while before he’s ready, but our Subaru Legacy will be waiting for him.” And then, “The longest-lasting midsize sedan in its class.” To get their point across, Subaru chose an incredibly creative (and did we mention so cute) idea with a tagline that defined its purpose. While this kid can’t drive his dad’s car now, when he’s old enough, the car will still be around…as will those dreaded responsibilities.

Expedia Throw Me Back #throwmeback

Here we have a strategic example of a pop culture reference turned promotion done well. Anyone on social media is familiar with the hashtag #tbt, which means Throwback Thursday, for those who *aren’t *aware, and Expedia has taken this popular tag and made it their own.

It’s great because it makes sense. Any company can’t just take this idea and make it relevant, but given Expedia’s business, travel is the perfect correlation. The company then made this a promotion by throwing people back to the destination of a chosen vintage photograph, which brings it all full circle. This, folks, showcases a big company making connections, and best of all, simply paying attention to their surroundings.

Dick's Every Moment

Dick’s Sporting Goods has been a favorite among consumers for a while, as each commercial has an emotional pull that many can relate to. While there aren’t any words until the final seconds of this ad, the 50 seconds before all serve as a buildup to the message: “Every Moment, Every Journey, Every Dream, Every Season Starts at Dick’s”.

We chose this example because it exemplifies copy as the encore. Viewers are enthralled by dramatic music and images, but aren’t entirely sure what they’re waiting for until those final words appear on screen.

Tough Times Call for Good Friends

When Facebook makes a change, everyone not only talks about it, but they usually complain about it, too. What makes this very brief spot worthy of our August favorites is the on-point branding while introducing a new feature.

Facebook is defined by friends—requesting them, having them, removing them. But when dealing with something personal, “Sometimes, one friend is all you want” the video reminds us. It’s a simple idea, but it helps introduce the new messenger app by almost, almost, explaining to users its purpose. Though we’re still not sure why the app is entirely necessary, we applaud Facebook’s attempt to make it seem so.


This Tom Fishburne cartoon reminds us all that we can’t be Everything at Once, nor should we be. Content done well is content with a clear strategy.

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