June 24, 2019 was a night when branded content shone. At the Association Media and Publishing’s EXCEL gala awards, the EXTRA “best of the best” award, which is the main trophy of the event, went to C&EN BrandLab of the American Chemical Society. Our custom content studio won for the native advertising campaign it had created for The Chemours Company in 2018 called the “Chemistry of Delight.” The EXCEL awards judges called the campaign “innovative, effective and ahead of the curve.”
Besides winning the EXTRA award, C&EN BrandLab also won gold in the category of promotional content: advertising campaign for the “Chemistry of Delight” campaign. These two EXCEL awards come on the heels of C&EN BrandLab being named a finalist for the Digiday Best Content Marketing Agency award. For that award, Digiday judges had reviewed the work the custom content studio had done for multiple clients, such as IKA, Lanxess North America, and HP. While we are of course personally excited, this form of industry recognition all points to the power of branded content.
Branded content, at its finest, gives readers a good story to enjoy and, at the same time, raises the profile of its sponsor. In the scientific arena, a good story not only has to be engaging but it also has to be scientifically accurate, and placed in proper context. Like any piece of journalism, any lapse in accuracy invites critique from readers.
So, when creating branded content for chemical, instrumentation and pharmaceutical companies, C&EN BrandLab has made it its mission to ensure that the information is scientifically accurate as well as inviting and informative. The custom content studio holds the same editorial standards as is held on the editorial side of C&EN. When companies sponsor content that is compelling, informative and accurate, readers, who are also purchasers of these companies’ products and services, begin to associate the companies with valuable information and consider them for their business.
Indeed, that’s what happened with the “Chemistry of Delight” campaign that C&EN BrandLab created on behalf of Chemours. The campaign’s six articles showed how chemistry affects our everyday lives, demonstrating chemistry’s relevance to that which delights us: music festivals, amusement parks, and cooking. Reader surveys showed that 57% were more likely to consider using Chemours for their industrial chemical needs after reading these articles.
The EXCEL EXTRA award judges said they “commend the American Chemical Society for this work with sponsored content, for competing for advertising on different terms, for their innovation—their efforts and willingness and accomplishment in providing a better online ad experience for the advertiser while responsibly balancing the fine line between journalism and advertising.”
The judges went on to note that C&EN BrandLab’s “innovation has allowed them to simultaneously maintain their credibility while achieving their core goal of providing a better experience for their advertiser, holding onto Chemical & Engineering News’ editorial standards, and providing an inviting experience and invaluable content for their reader.”
While, let’s be honest, everyone loves to win, this recognition is gratifying precisely because we’ve all worked hard here at the C&EN Media Group to make outstanding branded content a reality – for our publication, for our readers, and of course, our clients.
Raj Mukhopadhyay | Executive Editor of C&EN BrandLab | @rajmukhop
About C&EN BrandLab
Established in 2017, C&EN BrandLab offers pharmaceutical, chemical and instrumentation companies a new way to reach scientists through compelling and scientifically accurate storytelling.
Similar to the editorial side of the magazine, C&EN BrandLab uses innovative narrative formats, analytics and marketing strategies to create a customized content package for each client, and delivers that material to engage ACS Publications’ audience of 27 million annual web visitors and 150,000 Society members, while simultaneously driving awareness for advertisers and sponsors. View our list of award-winning content and press recognition here, and contact us for a consultation for your company’s needs.Keywords: awards, branded content, C&EN BrandLab, editorial, journalism, native advertising, Raj Mukhopadhyay, sponsored content