Cannes Lions

GOOGLE MAPS + NEW YORK TIMES: EVOLVING TRAVEL WRITING

ESSENCE, New York / GOOGLE / 2015

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Case Film

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Branded entertainment and product integration in the U.S. has a bad reputation. In 2014, skepticism around the channel went beyond industry press and came into the mainstream. On his highly influential TV show, Last Week Tonight, John Oliver openly criticized the rise of “native” advertising and the issues associated with advertisers paying to influence editorial content.

On top of this, American consumer perceptions are lower than ever before due to a limited amount of regulation and oversight, and a lack of understanding around the difference between branded content and native advertising.

Execution

1. Google Maps integration within all 36 Hours content - Each week 36 Hours is brought to life through an interactive Google Map. Readers can explore, sign in, and save destinations. And, the 36 Hours weekly video has a custom overlay showing each covered location in Google Maps.

2. Immersive Hub - Updated weekly, this inviting experience on desktop and mobile was co-created with the NYT to bring 36 Hours content to life through custom maps, 3-D Street View, reviews, and more.

3. Promotion - The partnership is promoted across the NYT’s properties, through home page takeovers, print ads, mobile ads, and social media posts.

Outcome

We’re five months in to our year-long partnership and already showing fantastic results.

We have seen the highest user engagement of any New York Times branded content program:

- Average user spends over two minutes with our Hub

- Within the first 60 days, user engaged time amounted to over 3,300 hours

- Highest tweet reach of any NYTs paid post to date, over 76 million

We have seen impressive brand favorability lifts among those who have engaged with the program:

- Google Maps viewed as a valuable trip planning tool: +13.9%

- User awareness of key product features: +9.2%

- Google Maps brand favorability: +7.8%

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