Branded content for real

The recurrent question for marketers is how to reach consumers - when none of them is really interested in watching commercials.

Branded content for real

On the way of finding answers, some creatives worked out pretty fascinating campaigns. For 70 years, the primary method to increase brand awareness and drive brand conversion to sell more products has been the 30-second TV spot. But with ad blocking and ad skipping made available, people with smart phones or Netflix accounts don’t watch ads anymore. This lack of attention has given rise to other, more cunning methods of bringing brands closer to consumers.

The idea is to put a brand over a shallow narrative in a single, stand-alone piece of content. You have to come up with a good story, characters, intrigue, romance, danger, tears, comedy, etc. However, what happens if the viewer likes a piece of content and there's no more to watch, share or take part?

We should keep in mind that millennial consumers are extremely smart. They are well aware of when they are being "sold to" and placing a brand prominently, or even not-so-obviously, within the content doesn't fool anyone. In fact it only turns them off, and quickly. They know before they have even seen the product if they are watching a commercial – and they skip it - or watching a show, in which case they might engage.

Commercials are to tell the audience what your product does. Done correctly, branded entertainment tells your audience what your brand stands for. And that’s the crucial difference.

To make sure that your "branded entertainment" is not just an ad, here are a few guidelines:

If your content is about your product and your product features, it's not branded entertainment, but an ad. Using new tech or platform to show your ad still means it's an ad.

For simply having a movie or TV celebrity in your content does not automatically make it branded entertainment. It's still an ad if that celebrity is talking about the brand or has any contact with the product. If your content includes your logo in the first 30 seconds, it stays an ad.

Instead of falling into the above listed „traps”, you can effectively win over fans through communicating your brand's values to consumers. If you distribute a food produce, it’s worth talking about ethical food sources and make an emotional connection between the brand and health conscious consumers.

Give audiences something of value and they will buy your products.

The ad industry is in true need of good quality branded entertainment not only to attract more consumers, but to elevate the standards on a more substantive level.