“BuzzFaux” sounds like the name of a Twitter account that parodies BuzzFeed. And it is. But, as the logo on its homepage indicates, BuzzFeed itself started using the name before its satirist did.
The reason BuzzFeed altered its own name and logo? Soup.
For about a month, the media company has been publishing branded content to promote Campbell’s Go pouched soups, which are being advertised as the closest to homemade you can buy and aimed at a younger generation of soup eaters. BuzzFeed’s branded content focuses on topics that are similarly “so close” to being authentic: animals acting like humans, online experiences that make you feel like you’re really there, bento-box versions of big meals.
Altering BuzzFeed’s name on its homepage is an extension of this “so close” idea. In addition to the logo, story tags have been altered slightly to read, for instance, “Lulz” instead of “lol” and “nope” instead of “fail.” Clicking on the altered logo brings readers to a landing page for Campbell’s branded content. In BuzzFeed stories presented by the brand, like "15 Bite-Sized Versions Of Your Favorite Foods," Campbell’s Go is integrated into the post content.
BuzzFeed’s in-house creative team develops branded content for clients like Campbell’s. Generally its work takes the form of listicles, but occasionally brands sponsor more integrated campaigns. GE, for instance, sponsored an app that re-skinned BuzzFeed to look like it had been created in an earlier time. Campbell’s has sponsored the "Nom Nom" Tag. Its also changed its logo. To promote Beavis and Butt-head's season premiere, BuzzFeed became "ButtFeed." To promote Tostitos on Cinco de Mayo, BuzzFeed became "Fiesta Feed."
Altering BuzzFeed’s own logo--territory most companies consider sacred--brings the company’s creative ad integration to a new level. But some, like whoever is behind BuzzFaux, the parody Twitter account, suggest temporarily changing the name of your publication for an advertiser might be going too far.
“18 Times Branded Content Went Wrong,” the account tweeted.
[Image: Flickr user Sharyn Morrow]