As brands and publishers find partnering to make sponsored content increasingly mutually beneficial, the creative quality of the advertorials is skyrocketing. 2018 really outdid itself, with sponsored content that stands as stunning experiences in their own right. In case you missed it, here's our round up of the 5 most innovative pieces of spon con from 2018.
1. "Voyages 2018", the New York Times and GE
From listening to the surprising sounds of lava flowing to Madagascar lemur songs, this audio project from the New York Times in conjunction with GE was a stunning creative feat providing listeners a once-in-a-lifetime immersive experience in sound that educates as it entertains (it turns out, NYC subway rats are actually laughing at us).
2. "Crossing the Atlantic by Kayak", Great Big Story and Valero
This video follows 70-year-old -- as he embarks on his 10th solo kayak trip across the Atlantic ocean. His incredible true story is the result of Great Big Story and Valero, the world's largest independent petroleum refiner. Valery's "fueled by" campaigns focus on the passions that fuel people attempting daring feats, which lends a sentimentality to the company while playing on some great industry word play.
They were a huge trend in 2018, and two infographics stood out in particular this year. Infographics manage to educate the reader while making the most of small attention spans with easy-to-digest and eye-popping images.The first is from GeistM Media and Made For_ vitamins, taking a look at nutrient deficiency in Europe. The second is an in depth look at the modern family's finances from Refinery29 and Chase.
4. "Tiny Kitchen: Renovation", Butterbar and SoFi
Taking advantage of the tiny cooking viral video trend, Butterbar's Karen Cheng brought humanity to home renovation loans with this tiny home video that's optimized to fit in organically with the rest of your social media feed. It's also just plain old adorable.
5. "The Mazel Manhattan", Buzzfeed and 7 Up
What's so innovative about a simple cocktail recipe video? Here me out. The smartphone recipe adds a dash of authenticity without resorting to the usual "dopey amateurs try it themselves" cheese. Filming under the glass as the libation drops in adds unique texture to the footage. All in all, this video made the list for finding the right balance between authentic, relatable content and high production values.
See you in 2019, content lovers!