Pushpins, gifs, podcasts, funny packs, newsletters. We are back in the nineties, but only a decade later. I have just recently started putting the pieces together – I know, where have I been living!? (in Berlin, FYI) and there’s a whole movement out there, if you’re paying attention.
Just today I was listening to a podcast with the CEO of Photojojo. If you’re not familiar with the website, just to sum it up, it’s an online store dedicated to photography gear, tips and gadgets. Well, the company started out in 2006 as a newsletter. They’d gather up content, put their best foot forward and hit ‘Send’ once or twice a week. At that time, as far as I can remember, companies used to rely on this form of communication because social media wasn’t a thing. The closest connection to any audience was, in fact, the infamous newsletter. I’ve spent the following years hating them, I even downloaded softwares to get rid of all the annoying subscriptions that were unhappily crowding my inbox. I asked myself why.
Most companies were ‘hard selling’ their products, the newsletters seem impersonal, visuals were reduced to a bare minimum, flashy colors and soon later flash-sales started popping. To me, they were basically a continuos punch in the eye but, hey, everybody was sending them in the same fashion so everybody else followed along.Not me, I unsubscribed, and unsubscribed. I even stopped shopping from some of the most aggressive content makers.
Flash forward 10 years, At the beginning of the year, I started seeing a couple of beautiful visually curated newsletters on pinterest and slowly I started subscribing to a handful of brands who were, for the first time, doing beautiful branded content marketing. How refreshing I thought. I wondered how long would it take for brands to spot the trend and embrace it. It turns out that it’s very hard to take the leap and jump into something new, especially when the ominous ‘branding’ word is spoken within the
A brand who has done impeccable visual content marketing is Need Supply. They did something that seemed impossible so far: combining copy that drives action with moody visuals, resulting in beautifully curated newsletters that, as a consumer, I can’t wait to open. The images are suggestive, evocative and week after week you are guided into these visuals that feel like part of a broader story that make you believe in the lifestyle. You don’t even think about the brand anymore because you’ve become part of it.