At home in the UK, it may be more commonly known as a broadcaster and online publisher that, by Royal charter, cannot carry advertising.

But, elsewhere, the BBC’s commercial arm has built on its heritage of traditional ad sales by launching a sponsored content offering.

BBC Worldwide launched StoryWorks back in 2015, and it now counts a host of clients including IBM, HSBC, Huawei and Cisco, along with more than 200,000 Facebook followers.

Like everyone working on BBC Worldwide’s brand content initiatives, StoryWorks content studio director Aaron Tabas is at pains to stress the separation of church and state within the BBC.

“Trust is the most important thing when it comes to the BBC,” he tells Beet.TV in this video interview.

“We used the same standards and approach to creating content for commercial partners as we do for editorial partners.”

So, what exactly is the offering? BBC Worldwide bases its advertising initiatives of research called The Science Of Engagement, which uses facial coding technology to understand audiences’ emotional response to messages.

Tabas says StoryWorks offers advertisers deployments in three “lanes”:

  1. Editorial sponsorship: “A place advertisers can surround existing editorial. But that is a pretty hands-off environment for advertisers.”
  2. The branded lane: “Telling stories specifically about the brands that we work with. We can customise them to anything the brand is looking to do, but use the same integrity we have from an editorial standpoint.
  3. Partnered lane: “We tell stories that have a little bit more editorial merit to them, (that) aren’t necessarily about the brand itself.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.