Immerse Your Audience

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE Creativebrief


In recent years many brands have dived head-first into the world of content without truly considering its purpose. In some cases the simplest of rules has been ignored - put your audience first and commercial aims second. But we are now seeing a reappraisal of content strategies as brands mature their approach and go one step further in their emulation of publishers and entertainment businesses.

Natalie Massanet, founder of Net-a-Porter, recently said, “We’ve talked about how the Net-a-Porter group is actually not a retail company, it’s a media company.” Net-a-Porter launched a lifestyle magazine in 2014 and continues to utilise smart forms of content that encourage longer and deeper engagement.

Others are reappraising how content should fit within their overall channel mix - in particular their owned platforms. M&S for example relaunched its website last year placing a greater emphasis on long-form content and a new ‘editorial hub’ offering guidance and inspiration to shoppers. This brings a requirement for copy writers, editors, film producers and brand publishers – a fundamental shift in the way clients are shaping their marketing teams, which also has a knock-on effect to the skillsets required in their external agencies.

Read on for examples…

M&S Launches Editorial Hub With Fashion And Lifestyle Focus

To further blend it’s on and offline channels, Marks and Spencer launched the Style & Living hub - a portal of entertainment, culture and fashion inspiration that bridges the gap between brand, retail and lifestyle. All the content is ultimately shoppable through technology built into the video players.

Each month, a celebrity interview is released, from Sophie Ellis Bextor talking about being a new mum right through to David Gandy on his love for classic cars.

The films give a personality to the M&S brand and act as an entertainment channel in their own right. 40% of the products featured in the Sophie Ellis-Bextor film sold out within the first week.

Agency: Adjust Your Set

clicks on 'to buy' links
1.2 million
minutes consumed

Sainsbury's Fast Growing YouTube channel

To launch its new dedicated YouTube  channel, Sainsbury’s partnered with renowned fashion vlogger Fleur De Force and her husband Mike to offer a real-life perspective on cooking at home. Each week audiences tune in to watch the pair try a new recipe for the first time, whilst developing their culinary skills. The channel has achieved 56k subscribers and over 2.2million views in the first six months.

Agency: Gravity Road, London

HP Powers Millennial YouTube Series

To raise awareness of their new tablets and computers, Hewlett Packard launched the Fox Problem – a live-streamed entertainment show broadcast on YouTube via Google Hangouts. Hosted by three TV and internet stars, the format took the shape of a high energy chat show, with celebrity guests including Daisy Lowe, Richard E Grant and Sir Richard Branson. This subtle approach to product placement drove over £1.3m in sales.

Agency: Telegraph Hill

Pilsner Urquell: Establishing An Authentic Voice

Pilsner Urquell set out to redefine its relevance in a crowded market by establishing itself as the original golden lager. To ensure an authentic voice, the brand employed a journalist, embedded into the brewery in the Czech Republic and a leading blogger to report back from the international craft beer scene, telling authentic stories in real time.​ The content is central to the new website and published across social channels.

Agency: Good Relations