Branded Content case study

Compelling Stories through Branded Content

The Challenge

In a crowded landscape of screens vying for our attention, how does branded content break through and add value for brands?

Great Big Story x Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card

The Insight

Effective content blends the power of creative storytelling with the reach and measurability of strategic media placements.

The Solution

As an integrated agency, our unique approach to branded content unites strategy, creative, and media planning for maximum impact. It starts with our Strategy team, who develops an insights-driven brand platform that guides everything we do. Our Media team then vets potential content partners for relevance to our strategy and target audience. We request proposals from potential partners that are reviewed by both Media and Creative teams. The media teams ensure there is a plan for reach—how will this content be distributed and promoted? The Creative team vets the story—how does it reflect the brand strategy and reinforce brand values? We then direct every step from developing the concept and ensuring strategic brand integration to attending the shoot to ensure brand safety. We impact everything from the final edit to the promotional design, so every piece feels authentic to the brand while telling stories we know will resonate with our audience.


United Explorer Card

We discovered a way to have a strong brand presence on broadcast TV for a fraction of the cost of producing a commercial, by identifying and partnering with a real-life Explorer Cardmember (and United Million Miler), Josh Gates of “Expedition Unknown” on the Discovery Network. This partnership fit perfectly within our “We Are The Explorers” campaign and reached travel enthusiasts who matched our target audience.


We partnered with KCM on Katie Couric’s series “Getting There,” which features the origin stories of compelling, successful, well-known women. We scripted special intros for Katie to read before each episode, which were also featured in promotional social ads, that seamlessly integrated Olay’s brand language of empowerment.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card

We created a custom content series and travel inspiration hub in partnership with Business Insider as a companion to our “Expand Your World” campaign. Knowing that people were more likely to travel domestically coming out of the pandemic, we featured U.S. cities from the perspective of a local. “Welcome to My World” was activated across BI’s network and social media for extended reach. The hub provided itineraries, so people could visit our featured destinations and travel like a local. The longer format felt like an extension of our campaign, telling the stories of real people.

IHG (International Hotel Group)

On tour, musicians travel from city to city, staying in hotels around the world. In partnership with Rolling Stone, we created the “Gigs to Glory” series to follow up-and-coming artists as they hit the road. Brand integration was organic to the story, and we tapped into the power of Rolling Stone’s editorial style and reach.

The Art of Shaving

We created seamless brand awareness with GQ’s “Morning Routine” series, giving viewers a glimpse into Caris LeVert’s self-care rituals—including him engaging with a full line of products during his morning shave.

The Impact

Our media team identifies key metrics to capture the impact of our content by identifying and developing a robust measurement framework with our content partners.

We ensure measurable impact for all content.

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