Do digital content partnerships work? LG, Majestic Wines, Boots, Disney and Lenor examined

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The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) has revealed the results of a proprietary study into the value of premium content partnerships. Five bespoke partnerships were measured with media brands Haymarket, Guardian, Telegraph, and IPC and advertising brands LG, Majestic Wines, Boots, Disney and Lenor. This case study looks into the effect of these partnerships, and how consumers engaged with the brands.

Brand: LG, Majestic Wines, Boots, Disney and Lenor | Sector: FMCG, Consumer Electronics, Entertatinement | Country: UK | Agency/Partner: Haymarket, Guardian, Telegraph, and IPC | Objective: brand awareness, consideration and purchase | Format: Content partnerships, display advertising, Video, Publishing

Key Findings

The long term study set out to evaluate the impact on consumer brand association of content partnerships uniquely created between premium content media and advertised brands, and appearing online and in print.

Unlike native advertising, Premium Content Partnerships are written by the media brand, adding an element of trust through affiliation with publishers. The depth of information conveyed creates a much deeper level of engagement and a much stronger story, strengthening existing brand values and repositioning brand perceptions.

The study shows that Content partnerships deliver at least four key outcomes:

1. Content partnerships deliver significant engagement of audiences - increasing the likelihood of recommendation and purchase of the brand by up to 30% compared to non-exposed groups.

2. Content partnerships educate consumers in a trusted environment - 41% of those exposed online and offline learnt something from the content.

3. Content partnerships reinforce existing brand values - achieving an average 15% shift in recognition.

4. Content Partnerships effectively reposition brands - achieving an average 23% shift in recognition.


The study applied a control and exposed methodology to measure the uplifts in brand association for those exposed to the content partnerships. The research was conducted online amongst a total sample of 1,358 respondents, the exposed group were further split between those exposed to the content partnerships online only and those who had seen the content partnerships both in print and online.

This study uniquely employed an Implicit Response Test where respondents were asked whether they associate specific values with specific brands measuring brand beliefs and emotional closeness with the speed of response to gain both implicit and explicit responses.

The fieldwork took place between December 12 and July 13.

Industry Comment

“We tested a range of Content Partnerships: in each case we saw impressive brand effects, and we learnt a lot about the strengths of the medium.” --Rob Ellis, Director, COG Research

“The study really highlighted the powerful impact premium content partnerships have on reinforcing and repositioning brand values over standard advertising.” --Rhiannon Griffiths, Head of Research, Audience Department,
Guardian News & Media

“The study provides unique insight into the value created for advertising brands that leverage the assets of bespoke media owner content created content and multi-channel delivery. Online exposure in trusted media environments provides significant impact in reinforcing brand values and repositioning brands and is further enhanced in combination with print media" --Tim Cain, Head of Research, AOP


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