NZME & Spark create unseen branded content lab

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NZME’s new Branded Content Lab is open for business, launching with “something very new” for New Zealand in the branded content space – created in partnership with Spark.

NZME group content marketing GM Dallas Gurney says Flying Tractors and 3D Printed Pavlova: How New Zealand Might Look In 2025 is NZME’s most ambitious piece of branded content.

“Partnering with Spark we have created a multi-media feature article featuring embedded video and animation showing what New Zealand might look like in 2025 – but it appears as if it is a glossy digital-magazine article that walks you through a New Zealander’s day.

“We’re all very proud of it.”

It is based off a research project conducted by NZME. In the piece, futurists, technology experts and scientists give their views as to what technology is just around the corner.

“The result is a phenomenal branded content feature piece, what NZME and Spark has created is absolutely awesome and of international quality,” says Spark marketing GM Clive Ormerod.

“Spark is excited to help shape future that will improve the lives of its customers,” he says. “We know that it’s critical to get things right today, but we also know that successful companies are the ones that are envisioning and creating the future.

“This content is about sharing our vision of how amazing technology can make New Zealanders’ lives better every day. The most exciting part is these aren’t far-fetched ideas. This technology is just around the corner.”

While content marketing is a current international marketing phenomenon, creating content is nothing new to NZME. Gurney, who has a wealth of content creation experience (having run Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport for a number of years prior to his new role) says NZME has a suite of content marketing products being rolled out in coming weeks.

“The Branded Content Lab sits under the CreateMe department led by Fiona McLeod, providing another option for clients to consider incorporating into their campaign or initiative,” Gurney said.

“Brand Insight, Sponsored Stories and Custom Publishing products are great off-the-shelf ways to shape an opinion and influence ideas. At the other end, we can create an entire campaign of bespoke content across all of our platforms, plus we can create content on behalf of clients for distribution on their own platforms.”

The new Branded Content Lab was officially launched at a function yesterday at NZME Central in the iHeartRadio Lounge featuring international guest Melanie Deziel, who spoke about international trends in content marketing and providing an insight into what makes great content that resonates with an audience but also achieves results for business.

“Melanie is the creator of the world’s most recognised and discussed piece of native advertising about women inmates, which was done for Netfix, Orange Is The New Black,” said Gurney. “To have someone of this calibre speak at the launch was truly inspiring and relished by those in the industry who attended.”

Housed on the New Zealand Herald website and promoted through the stable of NZME assets, Flying Tractors and 3D Printed Pavlova: How New Zealand Might Look In 2025 can be found at

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