The Best Content Marketing of January 2016

ISIS goes fishing, Diesel partners with porn, Zoolander takes parody to a whole new level. It's all here in our round-up of the best (or, at least, the most interesting) content marketing in January.


by Peter Coish & Dave Robson

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ISIS on Vacay

When they aren’t being the scourge of civilisation, know what ISIS does? They go on vacation! And then film themselves on vacation! And then juxtapose their vacation videos with footage of terrorist attacks in the west, as if to say, “Look how terrible and dangerous the west is! We have snorkelling (check the scuba suit from Sea World), fishing, cookouts—why not join us for some of that, huh?”

It comes across as something you’d find on The Onion. But it’s a real content marketing piece. It’s the kind of stuff they’ve been producing for years. And, sadly, it works.

Zoolander 2 Owns All the Content Marketing

Content marketing is extremely effective for fashion firms, so of course Zoolander 2 is promoting itself by parodying said fashion content marketing. Instagram has been filled with posts from Zoolander. Here’s his hearty breakfast (along with his cover for Vogue), him in free neon workout swag, and here he is with Hansel at Valentino. Of course, his Instagram presence is nearly indistinguishable from any other celebrity. Oh, and he also appeared in an eight minute YouTube video for Vogue. This used to be the kind of thing you’d see as a DVD featurette, but it makes more sense as content marketing. And here is yet another Zoolander video…we laughed. A lot. (Depending on where you work, this may be NSFW.)

Marriot Shoots a Short Film

How does a big well-funded hotel do content marketing? Well, they do a high production-values film about two business executives trying to win a client. The film is set in the Marriot’s Rennasaince in Chicago—but that’s it. It isn’t about hotels or about Chicago. The hotel is just a cool backdrop. It’s worth noting that this is the Marriot’s third short film after Two Bellboys and French Kiss.

Diesel Gets Risqué

If you’re underwear brand Diesel, where do you launch campaigns? Diesel wants to appeal to a younger, more open-minded market, so they created an emoji alphabet (link is totally SFW), and then they partnered with Tinder, Grindr, and the Pornhub network. Some voices in the fashion industry disapprove of the Pornhub link, but we don’t see the big deal. It’s just (dirty) business.

The Points Guy Goes to Ghana for $5

For years, the Points Guy has written about clever ways and neat deals for frequent flyer miles and credit cards. He must have done something right, because the site was acquired by Bankrate, a consumer financial company, who expanded the Points Guy’s editorial staff and scope. Their first big video features Brian Kelly redeeming 90,000 air miles and five bucks for a business class ticket from New York to Ghana.