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The line between brand and publisher is blurry, and rare is the consumer that blinks an eye at the difference between independent and sponsored content.
Conde Nast Traveler has joined the ranks of publishers opening up their creative teams and pockets to brands that are eager to work with experienced producers in order to get their products in front of publications’ loyal audience.
Last week the travel brand began releasing its first branded content video series, The Road Less Traveled, in partnership with Land Rover. Although conceived and produced by the Traveler team, the production and distribution was paid for by Land Rover.
They paid a fee as they would an agency, Traveler publisher Bill Wackermann tells Skift. “It includes production development, a media buy, and a social amplification strategy that goes beyond Traveler.”
Land Rover has worked with other travel publications including Outside Magazine, Men’s Journal, and The Travel Channel in the past, but partnered with Traveler to tap travelers with a luxury and adventure mindset.
“Consumers block out traditional advertising messages. It’s not that advertising isn’t effective, it’s just more difficult to gain their attention. Branded content is a different way of building desire for your brand,” Land Rover spokesperson Ken Bracht explains.
Although this is first content development deal of its kind for Traveler, Wackermann, who’s been tasked with revitalizing the brand’s digital channels, sees it as the start of new revenue stream.
“For us, this is the first step into what we think will be a tactical and thoughtful approach to these partnerships,” he says.
Traveler has not previously invested in original video content, but has plans to develop the medium further in 2015.
A preview of the series, as well as the third installment, can be viewed below: