Talk About Sponsored Content ...


We are increasingly executing campaigns that leverage owned media and paid owned media as well as earned media.

Companies recognize that all three channels have a place in brand building. Plus, publications are willing to blur the line when it comes to journalism and sponsored content to increase the value of the paid stuff. Such gamesmanship even extends to tier-one media. Check out this video on Fortune for the designation that is pay-for-play content (a subject worthy of a standalone post down the road).

Which brings me to the longest-running campaign anchored by sponsored content in the history of marketing.

The Jewish holiday of Passover kicks off tonight. Maxwell House has produced the Haggadah β€” the text that walks everyone through the Passover story and Seder ceremony β€” for roughly 100 years. Of course, sponsored content wasn’t exactly a thing back in the 1920s, but an ad guy named Joseph Jacobs saw an opportunity to clear up a myth that coffee wasn’t kosher for Passover. That’s when he came up with the idea for Maxwell House to sponsor the Haggadah.

As a result, Maxwell House has enjoyed a seat at Passover dinner seemingly forever. Mr. Jacobs deserves a plaque in the Sponsored Content Hall of Fame. To understand the scale of this sponsored content, the company has printed over 55 million copies over the years. I’d love to see the spreadsheet that quantifies the ROI of the campaign.

Not content to rest on its laurels, Maxwell refreshed the campaign a few years back with a touch of levity. The company offered a limited-edition Haggadah based on β€œThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the clever Amazon show that ran for five seasons.


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