Opening up to content marketing

12 April 2016

Blunt Umbrellas wanted to tell bigger stories in social media and marketing, so it sent a couple of photographers and a writer out to capture its products in action at the Oxfam Trailwalker event.

Saturday morning in the wind-blown rain in Whakatane. Josh Page, Brand Manager for Blunt Umbrellas is getting buffeted by the rain.

The company makes the new kind of umbrella he and the team are holding. Its canopy self-tightens as it opens, giving it unmatched stability and strength. It’s definitely required at the moment. Nobody else is even trying to use any other kind of umbrella out here.

Blunt is the latest New Zealand firm to tap into the global shift into content marketing. It goes beyond promoting events and products, into telling stories that stand up in their own right. Brands like Canada Goose and Jamie Oliver are creating content for themselves that used to be the exclusive realm of the media.

Blunt’s fly on the wall approach follows people having interesting excursions around New Zealand with Blunt products. The team put out tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram images. They are also building up a store of material for marketing collateral. They hope this will open up opportunities to work with other brands and media outlets. 

“We really wanted to explore the telling of genuine stories where people actually use and need our products,” explains Josh. “This way we can create our own stories. We can talk to people in our own style. We can show people what we are about. And it’s good fun.”

It rains throughout the event. It’s perfect for Blunt, but hard for the walkers Blunt are following. Both the men drop out. The two women cross the line 34 hours later. Happily for Josh, they are still clutching the foldaway Blunt XS Metro umbrellas they have carried the whole way.

“We brought Blunts along to be in the background, but as it turned out they were extremely useful.” he says “You have to trust to luck a bit in all this and let it happen.”   

The Blunt team is now working on the material the weekend created and working on setting up the next adventure.