winter / 2017

The magazine of branded content
Pearl Awards 2017:
The Best of
the Best
Juliet Stott
3 Gold Winners
Juliet Stott
Dec 7, 2017

The Content Council has been celebrating excellence in content marketing since 2004, making The Pearl Awards the longest running content marketing awards program in the United States. This year we were delighted to receive hundreds of entries from companies around the globe. Each year, the variety of submissions continues to grow, demonstrating how diverse the content marketing industry has become.

On December 7, we had the pleasure of co-hosting our annual Pearl Awards and Winter Conference with Good Housekeeping, at Hearst Tower in New York City. There were many fantastic Gold, Silver and Bronze winners. Here we’ve picked out three of our favorites from the day.

Fashion and Beauty

L'Oreal Canada

Gold: St. Joseph Communications, Media Group for L'Oreal Canada’s Infallible Paints Collection

Canada’s St. Joseph Communications, Media Group partnered its national style and beauty title, FASHION, with L’Oreal Paris to launch the beauty brand’s Infallible Paints line of cosmetics. Teaming up with the supermodel, influencer and known digital innovator Coco Rocha and Beyoncé’s make-up artist, Sir John Barnett, St Joseph’s Media created a unique five-page flip book cover, featuring five different make up looks, for its April 2017 issue. The looks were not only featured on the cover, they appeared in a 10-page fashion and beauty spread in the magazine, as well as in a behind-the-scenes video too. The live cover shoot was captured on social media via Instagram, Facebook Live and Twitter, leveraging FASHION’s 2.6 million social media audience and reaching out to Coco Rocha’s 1.1 million Instagram following. The issue also directed readers beyond the page to Sir John’s “how-to” make-up tutorials on YouTube. The results: Within 48 hours of Coco Rocha posting a 15-second video of herself posing for the live cover shoot, it had garnered 350,000+ views from her 1.1 million Instagram followers. Overall, the program produced over 104 million media impressions in a four-week period, and L’Oréal Canada deemed the launch as ‘best-in-class’.

Print Magazine Editorial (B2B)

John Brown Mindspace

Gold: John Brown Media for Old Mutual Corporate’s MiNDSPACE Magazine

John Brown Media South Africa relaunched Old Mutual South Africa’s high-end B2B magazine MiNDSPACE in March 2017 with the aim of becoming an industry thought leader and a trusted voice in the market. MiNDSPACE’s target audience is high-powered businesspeople and industry leaders, and therefore the magazine has been positioned to engage them with relevant, useful content. It showcases Old Mutual Corporate products, key business leaders, industry trends, and corporate news in a way that is interesting and inviting without being a hard sell. John Brown Media South Africa not only gave the thought-leader magazine a brand-new look, it introduced a microsite, and created an electronic mailer to further amplify the content. MiNDSPACE has therefore grown from a print magazine into an umbrella "publication" comprising a printed magazine, electronic mailers, videos and podcasts. The editorial content now covers more than finance and includes in-depth interviews, opinion pieces by credible writers and topical debate pieces. Old Mutual Corporate content is seamlessly woven into the different sections and their experts appear alongside independent voices. The tone of the writing is conversational and engaging, yet authoritative. The results: Since MiNDSPACE’s relaunch, reader engagement has increased considerably and it has attracted high calibre interviewees such as Jeffrey Sachs, an internationally respected economics professor and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and international entrepreneur Jason Drew.

Tech & Telecoms

Gold: Rogers Media for Rogers Communications Inc’s

Rogers Media has been creating useful and relevant content for Rogers Communications Inc’s content hub, for the last decade. In recent years, Connected has introduced “how-to” videos on its site and included an enewsletter in its distribution strategy, which have both served to drive engagement with the Canadian wireless communication company’s customers. The content is primarily aimed at families and individuals in the 30+ age range, who use Rogers’ smartphones/wireless, cable television, internet and media units. The content on serves to educate and inform customers about the range of products and services on offer, including highlighting and supporting Rogers’ brands, such as Rogers Sportsnet brands, Today’s Parent and Hello! Canada. Its Connected Enewsletter, which is sent out twice a month to more than 2 million customers, is its number one driver of traffic. The Enewsletter, a former Pearl Award winner, has open rates above industry standard and is a key facilitator in engaging with customers. Video, in the form of live event coverage, which has been distributed via Facebook and YouTube, has also been hugely successful connecting audiences with some of the biggest tech events in the world.