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Brilliant Brand Stories: Get your skincare act together, lads

Welcome to the first in a series of doses of audio creative excellence. We’ll be passing the mic to brands and podcasters, and asking them all about their recent Acast Creative campaign starting with Swedish show Mellan Himmel och Jord and online skincare clinic Skincity.

First up, we spoke to podcasters Jonas, Lucas and Carl from Mellan Himmel och Jord:

Tell us a little about the campaign?

“We, as guys, got to try and review a full-on skincare experience — and tell our listeners about it, which was a blast.”

Please note: this was a Swedish-language campaign

“We got the opportunity to give ourselves and the listener a kick in the butt, so to speak.” — Mellan Himmel och Jord

What was attractive about this collaboration?

“The fact that we were total ‘noobs’ when it came to skincare was part of the thrill. We know that we are really bad at getting a routine in — here we got the opportunity to give ourselves and the listener a kick in the butt, so to speak.”

Why was this such a perfect fit for your podcast?

“Our target group, both age-wise and otherwise, is really keen on services and products like the ones from Skincity. We’re also three unknowing guys on the subject — and the same probably goes for a chunk of our male fans — so that made it relatable.”

How did you balance telling the brand’s story but being true to your content?

“Given that we tried out the service and products over a longer period of time, it was very easy to naturally talk about both the brand and its products — we had experienced them! We often talk about stuff we’ve been up to or that has happened to us, and things we’ve discovered.”

Have you had any response from your listeners?

“What was surprising was all the good feedback we got from female listeners — that they really liked the fact that we, in this collaboration, were talking to guys. So our focus on the importance of skincare for men was received well (we assume?!) among girlfriends.”

Why was longer-form content perfect in this case?

“In this campaign longer-form was important to give it good credibility. Since skincare specifically is not a common topic in our podcast, making this into a longer conversation helped make it feel more integrated into our content — but also it showed our listener the engagement we put into this brand and collaboration (for example having an expert come into the studio).”

What’s your one piece of advice for brands collaborating with a podcast like yours?

“Involve us early on and really make sure we’ve tried the product and know what we’re talking about. Make sure we as your “speakers” really have the experience of the service or product, so our conversation will feel more credible.”

Please note: this was a Swedish-language campaign

“If our audience is found with podcasts in their ears, we need to be in there too.” — Skincity

Now let’s hear from the brand, Skincity:

What made you want to explore podcasts and branded content?

“At Skincity we are always aiming to discover new ways to communicate and make our service available for consumers. We believe that we need to be present where our customers, and potential customers, choose to spend their time. So, if our audience is found with podcasts in their ears, we need to be in there too.

“Furthermore, Skincity is an online skincare clinic, and our service with dedicated skin therapists, our unique skin test, and hand-picked assortment, is our strength that differentiates us from the competition. To be able to mediate our service and what we do, branded content was the way to go.”

How did the podcast help tell the brand story in a relevant way? Do you have any other thoughts on branded content in podcasting?

“It gave us room and airtime to dive deeper into the Skincity concept, which is highly essential to make sure that Skincity gets perceived as it should. We’re not a common multi-brand retailer, we’re an online skincare clinic, and reflecting this was possible using a podcast and branded segment.

“We also got the opportunity to mix our professionalism with JLC’s perspective as customers, which was great! What is preferable is that we as a company highlighted our vision with the collab and then JLC got to put their own take on it, which made it feel super personal and genuine.”

What kind of impact were you trying to achieve? Did it work?

“The overall target was to communicate and reach out to a broad audience with the message that skincare is for everyone, regardless of gender. What we also wanted to highlight is that Skincity is there, with our skin therapists, to help you out if you feel lost in the skincare jungle. At the same time we wanted to create authentic content with a partner that felt like a match for us as a brand.”

“The power of hearing the creators talk, using their own anecdotes and words, makes it so much easier to grasp — and you find the message so much more interesting.” — Skincity

How did you find the production process?

“The production process was smooth, and the people involved were highly dedicated to making the collab successful. We were in it together.”

What has been most surprising?

“We were surprised by how strong and precise a message is when you experience it verbally and not only visually or in writing. The power of hearing the creators talk, using their own anecdotes and words, makes it so much easier to grasp — and you find the message so much more interesting. Another thing that surprised us was the start-up meeting JLC. They took their time to actually be part of the meeting, giving their input and being engaged in really understanding Skincity and what we stand for.”

What do you think the future holds for this type of branded content?

“We believe that there will be a shift towards the creators and that we, as brands, need to make sure that there’s a match between the creator and the brand — that the creators really believe in the brand and that the companies then let them do the magic the way they can. It’s easy to land in a position where you try to control it, but with branded content you provide the creators with a framework and then they transform the content with their own words. It’s a great way to really give your concept or brand the time that is needed to become better established in the minds of the consumers.”

“Trust in the creators, they know what they do.” — Skincity

What’s your one piece of advice for others brands looking to collaborate with a podcast?

“Trust in the creators, they know what they do. And find a podcast that you feel is a genuine match. Another piece of advice is to think outside the box a bit and try new territory — who would have thought that Skincity would fit so well with JLC?”

What’s the one thing that you as a brand look for in a podcast?

“We want to work with creators that we feel a connection with. Depending on the targets for the collaboration, we might make different choices, but we usually believe in long-term partnerships where we can build a relationship and create genuine content. Consistency is key.”

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