What it takes to design better brand content

Globe Content Studio is focusing on elevating the art and science of storytelling
For luxury beauty brand Caudalie, Globe Content Studio worked with industry-leading specialty-product stylist/photographer Dani Reynolds to create stunning visuals that capture the essence of the brand.

For luxury beauty brand Caudalie, Globe Content Studio worked with industry-leading specialty-product stylist/photographer Dani Reynolds to create stunning visuals that capture the essence of the brand.

With more of a century of industry-leading journalism under its belt, The Globe and Mail has clearly established itself as a content-creation powerhouse. But don’t expect its Globe Content Studio marketing division to rest on those laurels.

Over the last year, Studio head Sean Stanleigh and his team have built out a class-leading creative house that aims to elevate content with superlative design. The goal, he says, is a more comprehensive approach to telling stories.

“We want to be thought of as a place where brands can come to get not only great storytelling, but great creativity as well – great design and different approaches to the way stories are told,” he says.

He adds that Globe Content Studio offers a 360° approach to storytelling that requires more expertise at the table – content makers, interactive designers, social strategists, data analysts, and researchers, all working together to elevate the experience and bring it to life.

“We’re thinking holistically about the implementation of a program – how the content fills a broader purpose when it comes to storytelling,” he says.

You can see that attention to the creative in the Studio’s recent work for government-backed tourism marketing agencies Destination Ontario and Destination Canada. Despite COVID-19 restrictions and understandable caution on the part of consumers, travel providers want to make sure their destinations are top of mind when people are ready to return to normal.

Destination Canada turned to Globe Content Studio to engage consumers about travel during the pandemic. The Studio created dedicated digital collages that captured the essence of 10 Canadian cities, attracting an audience 101% over target.

Destination Canada turned to Globe Content Studio to engage consumers about travel during the pandemic. The Studio created dedicated digital collages that captured the essence of 10 Canadian cities, attracting an audience 101% over target.

One of the mandates for Destination Canada was to engage consumers to keep travel top of mind, even through lockdowns. So, working with Globe Content Studio, it launched two comprehensive travel guides for last fall and winter, each focusing on 40+ ways to experience five Canadian cities. Using expansive digital collages that capture the personality and aesthetic of the city, the executions were intended to give consumers the feeling of what it was like to travel there. The visual-first approach delivered online page views 101% over target.

“We doubled down on showcasing some of the great places to travel within the province or country, and packaged them in engaging ways,” he sums.

Its work for Destination Ontario, meanwhile, focused more on top-of-the-funnel awareness. Strongly targeted to new Canadians, Globe Content Studio chose to tell visual stories of first winters in the province. It hired diverse illustrators to tell tales of their respective communities, and then brought it all to life with motion graphics to create an immersive experience.

But it’s not only big executions. For luxury beauty brand Caudalie, the Studio created a single-page execution, working with a specialty-product stylist/photographer to create a dream world that brings the brand aesthetic and vision to life. Stanleigh notes that simpler endeavours such as this call for a consistency of brand voice and presentation, and care that every part of the page is telling the same story.

Leveraging The Globe’s deep audience understanding to strategize how best to meet brand goals, the Studio combines its expertise in the craft of storytelling with intel gleaned through the news organization’s investment in data science. “We’ll find the best distribution platform and the best creative approach,” says Stanleigh. “We can really dial in and target that specific demographic or target audience brands are looking for.”
CONTACT:
Sean Stanleigh
Head of Globe Content Studio
sstanleigh@globeandmail.com

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