Burt’s Bees, Auto Trader tap into multi-platform storytelling

By Lewis Boulton


London, United Kingdom


Put simply, multi-platform news brand campaigns pay off for advertisers. Anyone still sceptical should take a look at figures found by effectiveness doyen Peter Field using his IPA databank research last year.

For example, there was a 15 percentage point leap in trust-building for ads between 2018 and 2022 using two platforms versus those just using one.

UK advertisers are listening: With news brands’ portfolio of platforms growing both more extensive and sophisticated in what they can offer, ever more agencies, advertisers, and publishers are collaborating on cross-platform campaigns that break the boundaries to inform and entertain readers.

Interestingly, this increasing move toward a multi-platform approach is being matched by growing numbers of brand partnerships making use of diverse environments to speak to readers. In what might have originally just been a full-page editorial piece or a double-page ad feature, brands are now supplementing those print campaigns with audio, video, dynamic digital long-reads, and more.

Here are just some recent examples of innovative brand partnerships taking campaigns from print to digital and beyond.

Bobbi Brown

Starting as we mean to go on, this brilliant partnership with The Sunday Times in February takes a story — how an expert style journalist integrates her skincare routine into her hectic daily routine — and makes it work across a range of platforms.

A simple ad feature story in the print edition of the news brand’s “style” supplement is given a dynamic makeover for its online iteration. The piece de resistance? A short video version of the story following journalist Roisin Kelly around her busy London day.

Auto Trader

As the electric vehicle (EV) revolution continues to become a more mainstream consideration for those entering the car market, a significant amount of confusion and myths can stop consumers in their tracks.

Auto Trader editorial director and veteran motoring journalist Erin Baker teamed up with both The Guardian and The Evening Standard to produce both print and digital advice columns and myth-busting content. The Guardian also hosts quizzes on its platform, helping readers find out whether they really know their stuff.

HM Government

The Department for Business and Trade’s partnership with The Independent is another fantastic example of how to make the most of what digital news brands do best.

Teasing readers with an eye-catching home page takeover wrap, the content makes full use of the news brand’s “independent TV” platform with five 15-minute videos. Hosted by businesswoman and TV personality Alex Polizzi, “Big in America” follows five budding British businesses looking to expand their sales into the American market.

Smart Energy GB

A perfect example of how print innovation doesn’t have to leave digital behind, Smart Energy GB is encouraging Britain to embrace the smart metre revolution in The Sun, where readers get a glimpse into the homes of 2070 with the help of Augmented Reality.

With the simple tap of a QR code, the creative brings the printed imagery to life on readers’ phones, enabling them to explore magic mirrors and movable walls at their fingertips.

Burt’s Bees

Finally, no list of brand innovative partnerships would be complete without the platform du jour, the mighty podcast — a space that fosters deep engagement and attention through its intimate format.

Burt’s Bees teamed up with Metro and highly-respected podcast host Pandora Sykes to celebrate “Being More Burt,” those individuals who embody the brand’s ethos of going against the grain. The show is available on all major podcast platforms, and has also been reworked into long-form videos on YouTube and short-form TikTok video.

About Lewis Boulton

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