While there has been a slight backlash around content marketing, I think mainly due to the hype, brands in general have upped their game this year, and there are some great examples around. 

i've asked agency and client side marketers, as well as the Econsultancy editorial team for their favourite examples of content campaigns and strategy from the past 12 months.

Brew Dog

Brew Dog is no stranger to controversy, and this approach has secured plenty of media coverage for the Scottish brewer.

The Mail, for example, fell hook, line and sinker for the 41% beer stunt. Then there was the reaction to Diageo allegedly pressuring organisers not to award a prize to Brew Dog. 

Kelvin Newman cites Brew Dog as his favourite content marketing example: 

BrewDog continues to be the company constantly delivering marketing where I wish I’d been behind it it. It’s well known but the 'Equity for Punks’ is, I think, going to be one of those case studies taught for decades and often imitated.

Equity for Punks is a way of crowd-funding the business and a useful content marketing strategy at the same time. 


British Airways

Selected by Kevin Gibbons, and here's why: 

British Airways has been producing some incredible campaigns recently. I often think the term 'content marketing' is thought of as an online campaign, but I wouldn't restrict it just to that.

The recent #Lookup campaign BA has produced is very effective, firstly because it’s a very clever idea and it gets people talking. And secondly, because it does a great job of integrating offline advertising with online marketing, encouraging people to share via the #Lookup hashtag to generate additional promotion via social media too.

They really understand their audience, and make high-quality consumer-led content, which is why it works so well, another example being the visit mum video campaign which was very powerful to show the emotional side behind their content.


Jason Thibeault nominates the scarecrow campaign: 

Chipotle created a Transmedia story of a scarecrow. Video. Website. Mobile game. It was fantastic.

The Scarecrow was an animated short film accompanied by a mobile game, on the subject of the industrialised world of processed food.

Chipotle highlights the industrialisation of fast food, while holding itself up as a more sustainable alternative. This has naturally provoked much debate and hundreds of blog posts. 

Meanwhile the video above has been viewed more than 11m times and the relaed apps have clocked up 400,000+ downloads. 


Suggested by Doug Kessler, IBMblr is IBM's innovation culture blog, and contains some great, easily digestable content. 

General Electric

This (also Doug's suggestion) is fantastic. It captures all the take offs and landing in one day at a selection of airports, and shows them all at once in this hypnotic short film.   


Suggested by Juliet Stott, the Taste blog is "a great online lifestyle magazine and complements the products it's selling".


Sit or squat, from P&G, helps people find clean public toilets. 

According to Andrew Davies

This is outstanding, but scatological, example that’s both useful and quirky. It's a site where fans document and collate information on the cleanliness of nearby public loos.

The crowd-sourced nature of it give it long-term utility that excels beyond the usual short-termism of brand campaigns, and functions such as adding photographs and reviews make it richer than the usual map-based fare.


This suggestion comes from our very own Andrew Warren-Payne, who nominates Airbnb for its editorially-driven city guides.

This isn't necessarily anything new, but it's beautifully executed and totally complementary to the main product.


Van Damme doing the splits between two moving trucks, what's not to like?  

Graham Charlton

Published 11 December, 2013 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

2566 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (8)

Save or Cancel
Parry Malm

Parry Malm, CEO at Phrasee Ltd.

Great list Graham! I'd chuck in one more, when Bjorn Borg (the underwear brand) went to North Korea to distribute 30 pairs of pants...


over 4 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at SaleCycle

That's brilliant..

over 4 years ago


Michael Lawrence, Director of Marketing at TheStore.com Inc.

Honestly I don't really see anything ground breaking on this list. Big brands blowing big money and seeing what sticks. Let's hear about all the other campaigns they are doing that failed. That would be a more honest way to approach this. How much did they spend? How many different things did they try before one of these campaigns caught on?

over 4 years ago


Frank Strong

Volvo for sure. Love the idea of taking a celebrity that's been out of the limelight for a while, and playing up a trick he did in EVERY movie ever. Good for the actor, good for the brand, and it's difficult to pull off well. I hear Chuck Woolery pitching mouthwash on the radio and it just not working. This however, was genius.

over 4 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at SaleCycle

@Michael - content marketing doesn't necessarily have to be ground-breaking, it has to be good, and to deliver results. I think it should also be less a campaign and more a long-term tactic.

over 4 years ago


Adam Samuel

Hey Graham,

These are great examples of what you can do if you have a team of real smarts driving the strategy, but more than likely these campaigns will have cost a small fortune.

It would be good to have some examples of shoe string budget content that was executed well. Working just with your contacts, a good idea and some knowledge of how to execute is always a more interesting challenge.

over 4 years ago


Jonny Rose

Can you explain why you think that the Volvo ad is content marketing?

It ticks all the boxes of everything that is not content marketing: chasing short-term engagement spikes, no wider editorial programme supporting it, a one-off instance, etc.

over 4 years ago


John Smith

Great examples for content marketers we can learn a lot about content marketing by following these campaign especially those content marketing strategy which works for their product regardless of their method.

over 4 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.