2013 saw the term ‘content marketing’ move quickly up America’s lexicon ladder. But even if most people still don’t know exactly what it means, they’re increasingly being exposed to it. After much consideration and consultation with the ghost of Dick Clark (RIP), we’ve come up with our list of the 5 best examples of content marketing from the past year. Feel free to ignore that whole ball dropping thing and count these down until midnight.

5. Dumb Ways to Die

This delightfully catchy and funny video about lame ways to meet your maker turned into a true content marketing smash for a train safety public service campaign in Melbourne, Australia. Worth watching several times.

4. Chipotle Fakes Twitter Hack

When a wacky and bizarre stream of messages (“Twitter find avocado store in Arv”) came spurting out of the official Chipotle Twitter account, burrito fanboys and girls were wondering what the heck was up. Turns out Chipotle faked the hacking of their Twitter account to build buzz around a current promotion. The stunt resulted in a load of press, including this feature article on Mashable — and 4,000 new followers to Chipotle’s Twitter account on the day of the “hack.”

3. Hello Flo

Menstruation. Delicate topic, right? You wouldn’t know it from HelloFlo’s SNL-like viral video for its — ahem — tampon delivery service. A young teen girl becomes head honcho at her camp after becoming the first to get her period. Too blunt? Or refreshingly honest and fun? Either way, with more than 6.6 million views, it’s a huge success.

2. Carrie’s Coffee Shop Horror Prank

This expertly designed prank, set in a New York City coffee shop, was the best we saw all year. Used to promote the recent remake of Carrie, this bit had spectators freaking out when a girl with apparent telekinetic powers began to wreak havoc on the latte-sippers. So, what would you do if you had a content marketing budget big enough for stunts like this?


1. Will Ferrell Promotes ‘Anchorman 2’ in Character for 2 Months

And here it is, in our opinion, the best example of content marketing in 2013. From late-October through mid-December, Will Ferrell was anywhere and everywhere as Ron Burgundy, promoting the impending release of Anchorman 2. From real newscasts to SportsCenter to those Dodge Durango commercials, this was content marketing at its funniest, and perhaps finest ever for a film.

Happy New Year!