CNN is officially in the branded content business.
Turner Broadcasting unveiled Courageous, an in-house branded content studio for CNN and HLN advertisers and marketers. "Now we can offer marketers the opportunity to harness the value proposition of CNN like never before," said Dan Riess, evp, integrated marketing and branded content.
In its news release, Turner said the Courageous team will use its "journalistic instinct" to "produce relevant storytelling" for advertisers. That custom content will be distributed "across CNN's global portfolio of linear and digital properties as well as optimized for success on social platforms." Courageous' stories, the company added, "will be clearly labeled as sponsored to uphold CNN's editorial integrity."
"This isn't about confusing editorial with advertising," Riess told The Wall Street Journal. "This is about telling advertisers' stories—telling similar stories but clearly labeling that and differentiating that."
Turner teased Courageous at last month's upfront where Donna Speciale, president of Turner ad sales, said that "in this new world, dayparts are dead," as advertisers increasingly buy branded content and prerolls instead of traditional commercial time.
As TVNewser's Mark Joyella noted, the content studio shares the same name as Courageous, the yacht that CNN founder Ted Turner sailed to victory in the 1977 America's Cup.