Ekstra Bladet celebrity race boosts brand for ad partner

By Morten Blichmann

Ekstra Bladet

Copenhagen Area, Denmark


In the summer of 2016, Ekstra Bladet, MEC, and Santander Consumer Bank partnered for the largest digitally based Advertiser Funded Programming project ever realised in Denmark. The results and brand effect for Santander Consumer Bank have been amazing.

At Ekstra Bladet, we have been running AFP projects for several years now. AFP is content marketing at its best. We produce “webisodes” (we also call them “Web-TV moments”) where we strive to mix the editorial tone of voice our users love with storytelling that embraces our partners’ brands.

These webisodes are produced by a mix of creative people who know Ekstra Bladet and are keen marketers.

Santander Consumer Bank was established in Denmark in 2007. Since then, its their primary success with car and consumer loans in Denmark. Via its Ferrari sponsorship, racing celebrity came to Copenhagen, and Santander Consumer Bank wanted to create a huge event and a campaign leading up to his arrival.

The bank developed the tagline, “Some ideas are worth realising” which became a key campaign component.


During the spring of 2016, Santander Consumer Bank made a pitch in search of a partner. MEC, Santander Consumer Bank’s media agency, and Ekstra Bladet won with our idea, “Race the Money.”

The idea was to recruit four Danish celebrities and have them compete during the summer in four Formula One-based disciplines. In each of the disciplines/races, the celebrities would win money for a charity project, which users at ekstrabladet.dk helped them pick.

It all culminated on September 10 in Copenhagen, where the celebrities had a chance to double their charity prize money if they were able to beat Kimi in the final race, which was streamed live at ekstrabladet.dk. Each celebrity received a check on the final day to hand over to the charity organisations.

At Ekstra Bladet, we produced four webisodes and live streamed the Kimi event in Copenhagen. We also did numerous video cuts for MEC to distribute on social media and via the campaign site racethemoney.dk.

When advertisers, media agencies, etc., do content marketing around the world, there is at least one underlying assumption: that the relationship between consumers who use/see/watch the content and the brand gets stronger in some way or another.

With “Race The Money,” MEC decided to analyse the effect of the campaign, evaluating the relationship between the consumer and the brand — separating consumers who were exposed to the content and the Santander Consumer Bank as a brand and those who were not.

The results proved that our content marketing worked very well:

  • Santander Consumer Bank had a lift in brand awareness of 456% among people who watched one or more webisodes, compared with the non-exposed control group.
  • The bank also saw a lift of 82% in people who would consider Santander Consumer Bank as a loan provider, compared with the control group.
  • Apart from that, MEC managed via ekstrabladet.dk and a brilliant social media distribution strategy to reach 47% of all Danes present online.
  • The combination of an increase in brand awareness at 456% and a reach of nearly 50% of a population is a potential killer — the good kind.

These results show that AFP content marketing has a huge potential for brands. With the right idea and concept, this is worth realising for a lot of brands out there. It also shows that a close partnership with the brand, a media outlet, and an agency can be the path to success when it comes to branding. 

About Morten Blichmann

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