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  • Writer's pictureLiz Hayes

Award-winning brand agency shares powerful video campaigns

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

As the digital advertising landscape continues to rapidly evolve, marketing professionals need new ways to drive revenue, engage audiences and help advertisers thrive.

Recently, the folks from Elkhorn Media & Entertainment joined the Big Branded Call to sing the praises of branded content videos as a great solution to navigating these uncharted waters.

"We are telling true stories to engage in audience and tagging brands to them," said Sean Murray, partner/executive producer at Elkhorn. "We also found that customizing relevant content allowed publications to tailor that content to their audiences, and at the same time we could monetize without sacrificing integrity."

Local news organizations understand that storytelling is the best marketing, which is why branded content is so effective. Audiences enjoy engaging with content that makes them feel connected to something and shines a positive light on a brand.

"When brands constantly deliver accurate, insightful and helpful content, consumers are more likely to trust its offerings. So the trust translates into increased brand loyalty," Murray said.

The team shared a successful branded content series entitled, "RUG LIFE" with flooring company, Shaw Floors. With flooring preference gravitating toward hardwood and composite flooring, the company wanted to promote the benefits of carpeting.

They created a video highlighting stain-proof and water-resistant carpeting showing a science teacher dad doing messy experiments with his young daughter. The end result was compelling, engaging and adorable.

"We're really trying to build in the authenticity, but also bring in some of that commercial fun that you might see out of a commercial spot," Vince Chavez, partner/executive producer at Elkhorn said.

In another rewarding example of engaging branded content, Elkhorn partnered with Allstate, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chicago Sun Times to feature young artists expressing their artistry.

Allstate wanted to engage with young drivers, but didn't want to be heavily featured in the content. Instead, they wanted to truly shine the light on the artists. The agency created profiles that introduced the artists, talked about their backgrounds and inspiration, and showed their art. While Allstate was quickly mentioned as presenting sponsor, everything else was all about the youth.

"It's very important to keep in mind what traditional, branded content really is. This is more authentic. If you believe in it, attach yourself to it authentically, and people are going to respond positively to that," Chavez said.

Whether you're a team of one or 20, Chavez recommends sticking to a format that you can execute flawlessly. Then determine what your capacity is for production.

"Don't feel like you have to do everything inside this in-house team. Just do what you can do and do it really well, and build on that. From there you'll be able to set a benchmark for that particular piece of content or framework of content," said Chavez.

He says use outside media production companies to partner on client solutions that go beyond your capacity or geographic coverage (check out Elkhorn's Big Call presentation deck below).

Elkhorn-Big Branded Call Presentation
Download PDF • 7.33MB


Whether you utilize your own in-house team, or partner with an outside organization, branded content is an amazing way for advertisers to connect with their target audience, while creating sustainable revenue for your media outlet.

You can be a part of our monthly Big Branded Calls, which are the third Wednesday of the month. Register here for September's call, and reach out if you need help developing a branded content strategy for your organization.


The Meta Branded Content Project is designed through a strategic partnership between the Local Media Association, the Local Media Consortium, and the Meta Journalism Project to help facilitate additional growth, engagement, and revenue success for more publishers of all shapes and sizes.

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