By Content Marketing Institute Team published February 5, 2021 Est Read Time: 5 min

3 Brands Crank Up the Volume [Content Marketing Examples]

This week, we’re chanting along to the latest viral TikTok trend, tuning in to sonic brand identity, and turning up the volume on a video book review.

TikTok celebrates sea shanty singers

TikTok user Nathan Evans’ rendition of a 19th-century sea shanty created unexpected waves on TikTok, sparking what the social media company says is the first viral trend of 2021 – #SeaShanty.

When other users (including Andrew Lloyd-Webber) responded to the Scottish postman’s performance by adding harmonies via the platform’s duet feature, TikTok spotted an opportunity to celebrate the creative outpouring.

The company worked with VaynerMedia to create a 30-second video montage illustrating the trend’s evolution. The ad spot, which airs in the United Kingdom television market, is the latest element in a campaign called “It Starts on TikTok,” according to an article in The Drum.

“Modern marketing needs to move at the speed of culture to be truly relevant … and that speed has enabled us to celebrate a truly magical moment that started on TikTok and has captured the UK’s imagination,” TikTok’s head of marketing in Europe, James Rothwell, said in a news release. (TikTok isn’t the only brand capitalizing on the #SeaShanty trend ­– Polydor Records signed Nathan to a three-album record deal last month.)

WHY IT MATTERS: Not every brand can be TikTok, but every brand can celebrate its communities. Whether it’s a community that attends your events, participates on your social platforms, or your products, it’s great to acknowledge your biggest fans. You could create a video tribute (like TikTok did) or an award or other form of recognition. CMI names a Content Marketing World Community Champion each year, for example.

HOW WE HEARD ABOUT IT: CMI alum Jodi Harris shared VaynerMedia’s news release.

#Marketing needs to move at the speed of culture, says @TikTok. Its 30-second spot celebrates 2021’s first viral TikTok trend: #SeaShanty via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #SocialMedia Click To Tweet

Mastercard gets loud with sonic brand identity

This week marks the second anniversary of the unveiling of Mastercard’s sonic brand identity.

When the financial services company first introduced the 30-second melody in 2019, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Raja Rajamannar explained to Forbes what the company wanted from the audio:

“[It] should be very pleasant. If it’s unpleasant, the brand doesn’t look good, so it has to be pleasant. It has to be simple … It has to be neutral, meaning it should not dominate any situation … and it has to be memorable; unless it is memorable you cannot connect it to your brand.

“And it has to be hummable; that which you hum sticks in your brain much better… And it has to be versatile. Whether you are in Dubai, or in Shanghai or in Columbia, anywhere in the world, it should feel native to you.”

Here’s the original audio soundscape:

And here’s how the Mastercard melody plays in different locales:

C360 Raja Sound of Mastercard Geographies from Jess Tan on Vimeo.

In 2020, Mastercard amped up its audio efforts, debuting an original pop single incorporating the Mastercard melody. Merry Go Round, written and produced by Sweden’s Niclas Molinder (who has worked with Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and Mary J. Blige) was planned as the first release from an upcoming Mastercard album called Priceless (after the brand’s famous ad campaign).

What’s next? Raja told attendees at American Marketing Association’s virtual conference last year that a Mastercard musical is in the works.

[email protected] takes sonic brand identity to new levels with a melody, an original pop song … and, next, a musical? Let’s talk about this and more #ContentMarketing trends in the #WeeklyWrap. Click To Tweet

WHY IT MATTERS: Content marketers talk a lot about audio as voice becomes a growing avenue for content delivery. But we don’t hear much about audio identity. That’s something all brands should consider – even those with no plans to create musicals or release pop songs. Every brand can benefit from a consistent, identifiable voice (the audible kind).

HOW WE HEARD ABOUT IT: CMI’s Monina Wagner heard Raja’s presentation at the AMA conference.

Talking text in video book review

Tyler Meunier debuted a book-review video series created on the Prezi platform. (Though Tyler works as a marketing assistant at Snappy Kraken, he’s not doing this as part of his day job.)

 Tyler’s first book review – Seth Godin’s All Marketers are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All. In about 10 minutes, Tyler introduces his new series and dives into the highlights from Seth’s book.

But Tyler doesn’t just read from a script. He illustrates points with charts throughout the video and offers an authentic touch by revealing the book’s relevancy to him.

Watch the review here.

WHY IT MATTERS: As a content format, video allows a more personal connection with audiences – it gives your content a face and a voice. Tyler’s video shows that a professional setting with topline graphics isn’t essential – something many people can appreciate as they broadcast from their homes. It doesn’t even have to be perfectly polished. Tyler’s first episode feels experimental, and that adds to the authenticity.

 HOW WE HEARD ABOUT IT: Naba Ahmed of Prezi shared it with the CMI team. Tyler used the Prezi platform to create it.

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good #ContentMarketing. This video book review (created on @prezi) charms with authenticity via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Content Marketing Institute Team

The Content Marketing Institute team byline indicates this article reflects the collective work of the CMI community. To submit your Weekly Wrap suggestions, fill out this form or email us at [email protected]. As a brand, CMI is a global marketing education and training organization. It hosts the largest content marketing-focused event -- Content Marketing World -- every October. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter @CMIContent, and use the hashtag #CMWorld.

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