Best Branded Content - Ernest Hemingway on Instagram
Last month was a special edition of Best Branded Content, as we took you on a spooky tour of Ikea.
This month is also special (but really, aren't they all?) as we focus, for the first time, on Instagram spots. The now-mega social media platform has become a hotspot for companies to engage their audiences, and with only an image or a seconds-long video to do it, creativity and point-of-view are essential double-team plays to success.
The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park (EHF), Ill. knows that people have preconceived notions of the famous author and his stories. People assume his books are drab and for the older crowd - perhaps a bit slow and definitely depressing. So rather than fight against the stereotype, EHF has addressed them through the modern fun of social media, turning For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea *and A Farewell to Arms *into 15-second Instagram videos that re-enact the novels.
Watch first, and then read on.
A video posted by Ernest Hemingway Foundation (@ehfop) on
**Breaking Boundaries** What makes these little spots so great is their total break from the expected. They're not what anyone would anticipate from a historical museum. Modernizing the deliverable *and *the content makes each video something worth sharing. EHF has blown off the dust of these classic novels and breathed new life into their synopses, opting to tell each story the way most choose to digest content today- in bite-sized, visually engaging pieces that may be short on words yet say more in their careful selection. **Speaking Their Language** If you want to capture a new audience for your product (in this case, a historical foundation) you have to speak their language. Choosing where to plant such a message is an important first step, and then tailoring said message to the platform is second. With Instagram, images lead, so what EHF did so well here is brevity - they used modern language (no literary riddles here) that spoke more to what the books could and do mean, rather than what they're about. It sparks questions; it sparks thinking. This is truly an exciting look at where "advertisements" could be headed on such channels. Done right, they entertain and engage users rather than spam their precious feeds. The content isn't a blocker or a hurdle, but instead, something users actually want to see and share. By not forcing users to get on your path, but jumping on theirs instead, you have a better shot of capturing attention and keeping it.