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Content Examples We Loved This Week (They’re Not All Fungi and Games)

This week, we’re talking about growing fans of fungi, gaming for fun and data, and translating a serious message into something people will watch.

Fungi catalog prompts the best compliment ever

Family-owned Fungi Perfecti mails out a print catalog once a year to promote the health values of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms – and sell products.

The catalog, which goes to subscribers and gets included in some order shipments, earned this delicious praise in Bon Appetit’s a Healthyish Loves It column by Emily Wilson (emphasis added):

To flip through Fungi Perfecti’s thoughtfully produced catalog is more holistic and enjoyable than the virtual buying experiences I’ve come to expect. Along with a peppering of shroom-y products, the analog approach informs me of the research that goes into their development and helps me determine which consumables are right for me – whether I buy from the brand or not. I’ll be keeping the catalog around until next year’s release, so that I can hunt for fun fungi items when it comes time to restock my capsules. Some might call that good marketing. I call it magic.

WHY IT MATTERS: Bon Appetit’s Emily Wilson wrote that she found the print catalog experience more enjoyable than her virtual shopping experiences. Print still lives – and it can be a memorable differentiator.

#Print still lives, and it can be a memorable differentiator. @emilyjwils calls @fungiperfecti catalog magic in @healthy_ish, via @CMIContent @KMoutsos #WeeklyWrap #ContentMarketing Share on X

Most of the Fungi Perfecti catalog content is about products. But the non-promotional content expertly woven in won Emily over. (Her missive about the mushroom magazine caught the eye of CMI’s Kim Moutsos.)

It’s a great example of how content marketing and sales marketing can work together. After all, when a customer calls your content “magic,” you’ve done your job.

Get your first-party data game on

In the keynote at MediaPost’s CPG Brand Insider Summit, General Mills CMO Ivan Pollard explained how the company uses gamification as a tool not only for engagement but also for first-party data collection.

.@GeneralMills uses gamification to engage audiences and for first-party data collection, according to CMO #IvanPollard via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #ContentMarketing Share on X

General Mills brands (like Betty Crocker and Pillsbury) have held bake-offs that invite people to submit their recipes for decades. And they’ve been a successful way for the brand to build a database (among other things.)

The company’s gaming engagement has grown to involve brands like Totino’s, which sponsors an esports team for Call of Duty. Totino’s recently did a promotion that included codes in specially marked bags of its snacks to access to in-game features such as extended play, an operator skin, and a calling card for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

“Turning the data collection into gamification is something that we are working on because I think it is a big unlock,” Ivan says.

WHY IT MATTERS: Gamification has long been a great way to engage audiences. Using the tactic for data collection is one way for marketers to gather their own audience data as Google and others phase out third-party data collection.

The key, Ivan says, is to create a value exchange – you have to give the audience a good reason to share their information before you can expect them to hand over their data.

NBC’s Roll Up Your Sleeves prompts creativity for serious message

This Sunday, NBC will air Roll Up Your Sleeves, an hour-long TV special developed to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Created by media company ATTN:, the show features Michelle Obama, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Matthew McConaughey (who will interview Dr. Anthony Fauci).

“Audiences will be treated to comedy acts, informative packages, captivating real-life stories, and heartwarming surprises,” according to organizers.

NBC, Civic Nation, Walgreens, and many producers and content creators worked with ATTN: to create Roll Up Your Sleeves.

WHY IT MATTERS: The public service project (spotted by CMI’s Monina Wagner) offers a couple of lessons for content marketers. The first revolves around the content. COVID-19 and vaccinations are serious subjects that can’t be treated lightly. Yet, the heavy and sometimes technical subject needs to resonate with a broad audience. That’s where comedy, real-life stories, and heartwarming surprises enter the story. By mixing up the content styles, Roll Up Your Sleeves has a better chance of its message getting through to viewers.

The second lesson? Partnerships work. You may not produce a broadcast network special for your company, but you can identify projects where other companies’ expertise might make your big content possible (or better). The key to successful partnerships? Making sure each party involved reaps some benefits.

Can comedy, star power, and heartwarming stories (a #ContentMarketing trifecta) persuade people to get the COVID-19 vaccine? @attn @Walgreens give it a try with @NBC’s #RollUpYourSleeves, via @CMIContent @MoninaW. #WeeklyWrap Share on X
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 Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute