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Remember the car chase scene in Bullitt? If not – or if you’ve never seen it – here’s a quick refresher course. Shot on the streets of San Francisco, it’s widely regarded as the greatest car chase ever filmed. You’ve only got to watch once to see why. Steve McQueen and his Mustang haven’t aged a bit in 44 years.
Finally, though, DC Shoes and Rally driver Ken Block (plus a cameo from Maryland’s own Travis Pastrana) have given Bullitt a run for its money on those same San Fran streets. Check the video below and make sure your schedule’s cleared for a few minutes – you won’t want to look away:
We share this mostly because it’s one of the coolest things we’ve seen in awhile. There’s also, however, a pretty nice business angle.
This kind of video is known (pardon the use of jargon) as “branded content.” Which is to say it's non-advertising content created by – not simply sponsored by – a company/brand. Branded content is a technique designed to deliver more value than an ad or a sponsorship by creating something entertaining and engaging – and worth sharing – on its own.
Instead of the brand serving as an adjunct or interruption to an experience, in other words, the brand is the reason for the experience. Woven into its DNA so to speak.
Other examples of this kind of thing include Nike’s #makeitcount video and Under Armour’s Funny or Die video featuring Tom Brady.
The editorial content produced by sites like Park & Bond also basically falls into this category – it doesn’t always have to be video.
Branded content is a relatively new tactic but you'll be seeing more and more of it in coming years. There are risks associated with it from a business perspective (just like with any marketing expenditure) but as traditional advertising becomes more and more fractured this is the kind of thing that can cut through the noise and make a big impact. It's never going to totally replace traditional advertising, but it’s coming strong.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also point out that if you’ve got an itch to create some branded content of your own, we’d be happy to help. Drop us a line.