An ingenious content marketing manoeuvre

May 26, 2015

Content marketing comes in many guises. This month, paint manufacturer Dulux makes a very clever move and simply takes over a consumer publication. By Robyn Daly.

An astronomical event has just occurred in the universe called Publishing. The hallowed (slightly oxygen-starved) planet Consumer Publishing has just collided with the blue planet called Content Marketing. The result is a nugget of content that is unique and very special. I’m talking about a stand-alone edition of Tuis/Home magazine called Paint It, or the Afrikaans version Verf Dit, which hit the shelves this month.

Consumer publishers have often produced special editions, not least Media24, which is an ace at creating extensions to its Weg/Go brand, such as Weg Platteland. But this paint magazine is something quite different. The entire magazine is sponsored by Dulux. So, effectively, a brand has taken ownership of a consumer publication.

This is a clever strategy on Dulux’s part. The paint manufacturer dominates throughout the magazine, from its payoff line “Colour your world” on the cover in a coy little purple bubble, to the outside back cover, which is a Dulux advert.

And the content is all about paint, so it’s a no-brainer for a paint manufacturer to own it. Dulux has its products in every feature in the magazine – from the colour palettes used in each interior to the more technical paint required to prime and coat different surfaces. However, the brand sponsorship hasn’t completely run riot on editorial integrity: where a paint project calls for a product that Dulux doesn’t make, such as chalk paint, metallics or granular paint, those manufacturers (namely Annie Sloan and Fired Earth) have been given a (brief) moment in the sun. The brand ownership goes further: the magazine is peppered with Dulux adverts and advertorials, which offer interesting, relevant information on colour, décor and technical advice.

So, why do I think this is so clever?

  • Dulux is able to leverage the integrity of a consumer magazine
  • Dulux gets to piggyback on the magazine’s existing and faithful audience
  • Dulux gets its ‘own’ magazine without having to put in any ‘sweat’
  • Dulux is positioned as the leader in paint with its expert commentary throughout

And, most notably,

Dulux enters the realm of content marketing – engaging customers and potential customers through relevant, informative and inspiring content.

The one element that’s missing in the true sense of content marketing is consistency. This is a one-off campaign using content. Research has shown that frequency and consistency are among the biggest determiners of success. For that Dulux would need its own publication and a hard-nosed integrated content strategy to back it up.

Twenty years ago a brand takeover of a magazine would have been seen as cataclysmic. But the publishing world has moved on. Now smart marketers and business-savvy editors can breathe the same atmosphere.

Robyn Daly is the Content Director of digital content marketing agency Narrative, a division of the Publicis Machine group based in South Africa. Narrative’s clients include blue-chip brands such as Sanlam, Massbuild, FirstRand, adidas and Jeep.

Contact Robyn at or visit Connect on LinkedIn at or follow her on Twitter @robyndaly.

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