Content Marketing: Not So New

As I read all these blogs and articles about how ‘Content is King’ and ‘Brands must be Content Creators’ I am baffled that the authors find this so ground breaking. Brands have been creating content since the beginning of brands.

The only things that change are the medium by which the stories get told. Instead of 3 page advetorials in newspapers or pamphlets or branded farmers almanacs it’s now mobile apps and branded video games.

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Check out these vintage recipe pamphlets each created by a popular food brand like Jell-O, Pillsbury and even Dove soap (featuring the great Julia Child).

At the height of radio people would gather around their large console radio and tune into shows like the Lone Ranger, Guiding Light and a myriad of comedy hours. All brought to you by brands like Dreft, Super Suds, Borax and more.

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And now, 75 years later we marketers think we’re doing some majorly innovative thing by turning brands into creators. Not to sound like a broken phonograph but I’ve been saying for years that there is nothing new about social media and relationship or content marketing.

Perhaps we should instead look to the past to inform our present and lay the groundwork for our future. Stop being so focused on who is the most innovative and rather focus on who is the most productive — who makes the next “Soap Opera”. Soaps are called that because they were sponsored by Soap brands after-all; mini operatic radio dramas aimed at house wives to get them to become loyal to this soap or the other. If you liked Guiding Light you’d be a Tide woman; All My Children and you were more likely to align with Dreft. Having worked on similar brands recently I can tell you the mentality is still there as evidenced in our Mommy blogger programs and TV companion apps during daytime television.

As they say, there are no new ideas…so read up on your brand history, get grounded in the past to propel you to a more successful content filled future!

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