“Investigative Brand Journalism”: The Guardian Steps Into the Next Level of Sponsored Content

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In March, The Guardian ran a true crime reporting series called How to Solve a Murder. The four-part series chronicles efforts to solve the 35-year-old unsolved murder of Kari Lenander, a teenage girl, in Los Angeles in 1980.

In some ways, How to Solve a Murder is just an investigative online story with original art and interactives. But there’s a twist: The series is sponsored by Amazon. Amazon Studios commissioned it to promote Season 2 of its original drama Bosch (based on Michael Connelly’s bestselling series on L.A. detective Harry Bosch), which streams on Prime Instant Video. It ran on Guardian Labs, the paper’s branded content division.

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