Leveraging Earned Media: Unveiling the Art of Surprise and Delight for Your Branded Content Launch

Earned media has become the holy grail of brand promotion in environments characterized by cutthroat competition and rapidly diminishing attention spans. It’s the art of crafting surprise and delight experiences that captivate audiences and leave lasting impressions. Blend, a creative agency with a penchant for the extraordinary, are masters of this art. Join us as […]

Earned media has become the holy grail of brand promotion in environments characterized by cutthroat competition and rapidly diminishing attention spans. It’s the art of crafting surprise and delight experiences that captivate audiences and leave lasting impressions. Blend, a creative agency with a penchant for the extraordinary, are masters of this art.

Join us as we unravel the secrets behind Blend’s unique approach to leveraging earned media for branded content launches. From Verizon’s Back to the Future extravaganza to Mastercard’s front-page-worthy bombshells, we’ll explore how Blend adds the element of surprise to content distribution, leaving audiences in awe and brands in the spotlight. 

Let’s dive into the captivating world of earned media surprises with Blend.

Harnessing the Magic of Earned Media: Blend’s Unique Approach

In digital marketing, the ability to captivate and engage audiences is a fundamental challenge for brands. The cacophony in the digital sphere can be deafening, making it increasingly challenging to stand out and connect with target audiences. In such an environment, earned media has emerged as a powerful tool for brands to make a memorable impact. Blend has mastered the art of leveraging earned media through surprise-and-delight strategies.

The Power of Earned Media

Before we dive into the fascinating world of surprise and delight, let’s understand the concept of earned media. Unlike paid media, which involves advertising and promotional content that brands pay for, earned media is the attention and exposure that brands receive organically. It includes media coverage, social media mentions, reviews, and any other content generated by audiences or media outlets without direct payment. 

Earned media is valuable for several reasons:


Earned media is perceived as exceptionally credible. Unlike paid media, which often carries promotional intent, earned media emerges from unbiased sources or, even more persuasively, authentic customer experiences. When individuals read about your brand in a newspaper, hear it discussed on a radio show, or stumble upon a heartfelt social media post from a satisfied customer, they tend to view these endorsements as more trustworthy than advertising rhetoric. This credibility is akin to a seal of approval from independent parties, a nod to your brand’s quality, reliability, or significance.


Although earned media requires effort, strategy, and meticulous execution, it doesn’t involve direct financial costs like paid advertising. While paid media channels require you to purchase ad space or airtime, earned media is about cultivating relationships, fostering engagement, and delivering exceptional value through organic means. It’s the sweat equity of the marketing world, where investments of time, expertise, and authenticity yield high returns without depleting your budget.

Extended Reach

Earned media isn’t confined to its initial audience. It possesses a captivating ripple effect. When your brand earns media coverage or receives glowing reviews, it’s not a single moment in the spotlight. Instead, it’s the spark that ignites a fire of conversations and shares across various platforms. People love to share what impresses them, be it an enlightening article, a heartwarming testimonial, or a remarkable product experience. This sharing amplifies your message exponentially, extending your reach beyond what you could achieve through paid channels. The collective voices of satisfied customers, influencers, or impartial journalists serve as megaphones, broadcasting your story to an ever-widening audience.

Trust Building

Trust is the cornerstone of lasting relationships between brands and their audiences. Earned media is a powerful trust-building tool in your marketing arsenal. When your brand consistently garners positive coverage and endorsements from reliable sources, it fortifies the trustworthiness of your offerings. People inherently trust the opinions and recommendations of others, especially when those opinions aren’t tied to ulterior motives. These impartial endorsements resonate deeply with consumers, reassuring them that your brand is worthy of their trust and investment.

Unleashing the Power of Surprise and Delight: Blend’s Earned Media Triumphs

Let’s now explore how Blend harnesses the power of earned media by infusing the elements of surprise and delight into branded content launches.

Verizon’s ‘Back to the Future’ Celebration: A Lesson in Surprise and Delight

Blend’s collaboration with Verizon, Lyft, and Universal Home Video to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hollywood’ hit Back to the Future is a remarkable example of leveraging earned media through surprise and delight.

Creating the Element of Surprise

Blend understands that you must do something extraordinary to generate earned media buzz. It orchestrated a surprise activation for the Back to the Future celebration that would astonish participants and the audience. The surprise element was carefully integrated into the content distribution, ensuring maximum impact.

The Role of Partnerships

Blend recognized the potential of partnerships to enhance the surprise factor. They added depth and excitement to the event by partnering with Lyft and Universal Home Video. These strategic alliances contributed to a multi-faceted campaign that could appeal to a broader audience.

Blend’s Role in Event Production and Content Creation

Blend’s expertise went beyond just conceptualization. They were instrumental in producing the event and the content surrounding it. This hands-on approach allowed them to control the surprise and delight experience, ensuring it unfolded seamlessly.

Impressive Results

The results were astonishing. Verizon’s Back to the Future promotion became their most successful social media activation to date, garnering over 25 million unique media impressions. The surprise and delight strategy captivated the audience, generating buzz and excitement that extended far beyond the event itself.

Mastercard’s ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Experience: Elevating Customer Appreciation

Another instance where Blend’s mastery of earned media shone brightly was in its partnership with Mastercard. Blend was entrusted with creating ‘once-in-a-lifetime‘ experiences for Mastercard customers, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to valuing and rewarding its customers.

The Elaborate Ruse

Blend’s approach involved a meticulously planned elaborate ruse. The selected cardholders were kept in the dark about the extraordinary experiences awaiting them. This element of surprise was central to the campaign’s success.

Partnering with Lyft: The Custom Mastercard Party Bus

Blend’s ingenious strategy began with a partnership with Lyft to create a custom Mastercard-branded party bus. This branded transportation was the first step in the selected cardholders’ memorable journey.

A Message from Gwen Stefani

Once aboard the bus, cardholders received an unexpected video message. It was none other than singing sensation Gwen Stefani, revealing that they were about to attend her live concert later that night. This unexpected twist added an extra layer of excitement.

From Makeover to the Grammys: Elevating the Experience

Blend’s commitment to this once-in-a-lifetime experience didn’t stop there. After a full hair and makeup session, the lucky bunch of cardholders were given tickets to the Grammys. The surprise and delight continued to unfold over several steps, leaving the participants in awe.

Press Coverage on the Front Page of Ad Age

The success of this campaign wasn’t limited to the experiences alone. The resulting press coverage was extensive, landing on the front page of Ad Age. Blend’s ability to turn a surprise and delight strategy into a newsworthy event showcased its mastery of earned media.

The Blend Magic: A Sumptuous Blend of Surprise and Delight

What sets Blend apart is its unparalleled ability to infuse surprise and delight seamlessly into its campaigns. The company understands that the element of surprise is a potent catalyst for earned media. It compels participants and witnesses to share their experiences, creating organic buzz and attention.

The Role of a Press Person or Agent

Blend recognizes the importance of having a dedicated press person or agent to push the surprise and delight experiences into the media spotlight. Its expertise in crafting compelling narratives and pitching stories to the press is invaluable. Blend’s press partners know how to highlight the unique and unexpected aspects of these campaigns, making them irresistible to media outlets.

Blend’s Approach to Earned Media: A Winning Formula

Blend’s approach to earned media is a winning formula that combines creativity, strategic partnerships, and an innate understanding of the human desire for surprise and delight. It transforms ordinary events into extraordinary experiences, ensuring that audiences and media alike take notice.

The Blend Difference: Mastering Earned Media Through Surprise and Delight

With its ingenious surprise-and-delight strategies, Blend demonstrates how earned media can be harnessed to create lasting impressions and generate significant buzz. Its collaborations with Verizon and Mastercard are shining examples of leveraging earned media effectively.

As Blend continues to craft unforgettable experiences and content, its mastery of earned media continues to evolve. The key takeaway from its success is clear: surprise and delight can be powerful tools in your marketing arsenal, and with the right approach, they can take your branded content launches to new heights.

Unlock the Power of Earned Media with Blend

Are you eager to leave a lasting impact on your audience through earned media surprises? Blend is here to turn your brand’s dreams into reality. Our creative team specializes in crafting unforgettable experiences that will have your audience talking for years. Don’t miss the opportunity to stand out in the crowded marketing world. Contact Blend today and embark on your journey of surprise and delight.