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Best Branded Content (Week of 10 Sept. 2018)

Catching up with the latest branded content releases for the last few weeks, including some of our own work (clearly marked) but otherwise the best we’ve found around the traps.

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Singapore – Singapore insurance co-op, NTUC Income, is running a campaign around retirement planning. It’s something few of us get right — and lets be honest it’s a tricky brief to make engaging without striking fear into various hearts. This video opens on a son’s wedding speech he’s titled, “The worst parents in the world” and you can guess the rest. It’s funny and heartwarming at the same time.

United States – Skateboarding has always had a close connection with the street art. Subliminal Projects is an art collective that regularly partners with skate shoe brand Vans. If customers like the work of some of the collective’s artists they can visit the gallery, take a photo with the Vans’ app and get a custom pair of shoes featuring the design. Awesome.

Kuala Lumpur – The C2V team recently visited Malaysia to see how McDonald’s has embraced Visa contactless payments. The chain serves half a million customers daily and was the first to introduce cashless payments in Malaysia. Diners love the convenience.

Bangkok – Sony is placing their brand at the centre of creative inspiration. Bangkok illustrator and fashion designer, Alice Aujanasarun, finds inspiration in the mundane. The trick is to transform it into art. The piece features the Sony RX point and shoot which is my small camera of choice, I carry it everywhere.

Singapore – Ever wondered what stand-up comedy and content marketing have in common? The C2V office did. Fortunately, our Commercial Director, Artur, moonlights as Singapore’s only Russian stand-up comic. He argues the key to both comedy and marketing is attention. Big congratulations too, to Artur for winning the Bangkok International Comedy Competition at the weekend.

Vietnam – It must be pretty fun marketing 4WD cars. First, find an exotic off-road location. Second, find some extreme sports stars (preferably motocross). Third, push the car to its absolute limit. Toyota unleashes three of their TRD Pro vehicles on Vietnam, driving South to North.

Australia – Can you pinpoint that one day in your life that defined you? A Day of Note, as Samsung defines it, is a day of progressing your passion. For Haydon Cox, founder of Haydenshapes Surfboards, it was the last day of his work experience week when he shaped his first surfboard.

United Kingdom – Live music streaming platform Boiler Room has produced a four-part documentary series on the musical and cultural influence of Caribbean migration to the UK. Migrant Sound interviews musicians, artists and photographers of Caribbean descent about their day-to-day experiences in London. It’s not always easy viewing with the second instalment focussing on the influence of racism.

New York – It’s no secret that people spend more time on social media than reading a book. To encourage reading, the New York Public Library is pushing books onto social media. It leverages Instagram Stories with Insta Novels – classic books you can thumb through on your phone. Check out the first novel, Alice in Wonderland.

United Kingdom – Not all content marketing needs to be short and punchy. Telling the right story will engage people. The Open University has released a series of mini-documentaries called The Open Diaries. Students share their personal and career stories since joining the university. Each story is an honest and fascinating look into diverse backgrounds and dreams.

United States – Red Bull understands the importance of honesty in compelling stories too. Professional basketballer Breanna Stewart is the most awarded college athlete of all time and now playing in the WNBA. This biographical video traces her career to date including her #MeToo story.

Global – Ever wondered how car manufacturers ensure the safety of their vehicles? The Toyota Arizona Proving Grounds boasts 80 miles (nearly 130 km) of roads replicating the most extreme conditions they can imagine. Professional drivers push Toyota models to their limits to check for safety, so consumers can send their kids to school safely each morning.

United States – Safety is all good and well, but it is really your car’s sound system that needs to be tested. Photographer Rob Strok talks imagery and music while cruising across the US in a MINI Convertible blasting its Harmon Kardon sound system. It’s basically a road trip turned into a slick music video.

Global – Google reckons the media is overly focussed on bad news (or fake news, as some might argue). Bad news feeds the hope gap which causes us to focus on problems. Why not hear about good news instead? Google partners Solutions Journalism Network, a group whose stories focus on just that. All you need to say to your Google Assistant is, “Hey Google, tell me something good.”

Global – Facebook wants you to know that joining one of their groups means more than connecting with others digitally. For example, if you’ve just moved to a new town and are interested in puppetry then there’s a Facebook Group for you. It’s certainly a more creative outlet then watching cat videos all day.

Global – For anyone working with app developers, Salesforce understands your pain. Dealing with the DEV department can often feel like a government agency drowning in red tape. You can almost sympathise with the characters here, and wish they’d just use the Lightning Platform already.

Malaysia – Click2View were lucky enough to get a personal driving lesson from Will Bamber. On Sepang Circuit in Malaysia, the New Zealand driver demonstrated the launch control in a Porsche GT3. No cameramen suffered whiplash in this recording.

Global – The beauty of kids is they’ll happily ask the basic questions you never think to ask. Toyota filmed a group of inquisitive kids asking one of their engineers about the zero emissions heavy-duty truck the business is building. It’s all in terms that they understand too: “cow poop can run cars”.

Indonesia – In the 1980s the deforestation rate in Borneo was the highest on the planet. Thankfully, clearing has slowed but the area’s rainforests are still under threat. Since 1998 the IKEA funded Sow A Seed project has planted 2 million seedlings on 12,500 hectares bring the rainforest back to life. All without the help of an Allen key.

Global – Uber may have exited Singapore but it’s still the most widely used ride-sharing app on the planet. It’s also the most complained about when it comes to employee conditions. Maybe this is an attempt to change that image then? Teaming up with insurance company belairdirect they flew Canadian based driver, Carlos, home to Brazil, to reunite with family and friends he hasn’t seen in 10 years.

Singapore – Comedian Gurmit Singh hasn’t been a regular on our TV screens since his retirement in 2014. OCBC has managed to coax him back in front of the camera for Imperfect Journeys, their series around the Life Goals programme. A sit-down interview format Singh talks regrets – missing import family moments and having to sell his Lamborghini.

Singapore – Also trying their hand at the one-on-one interview format is Canon Singapore. Rock n roll photographer Eddie Sung is in the hot seat. He’s photographed Metallica, the Beach Boys, Lady Gaga and more all on Canon equipment with the motto of, “One shot, one kill.”

Southeast Asia – To celebrate their 50th birthday DBS Bank is running 50 volunteer initiatives. Employees from all levels of the organisation in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia take part in activities focussed on education, the environment and active ageing.

United States – Who knew investment bank JP Morgan Chase not only had an art collection but an artist in residence too? Basil Kincaid asks employees to donate fabrics with a story behind them to create a giant quilt. He even gets a few bankers to help him sow.

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