Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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BRANDED CONTENT ON THE RISE

July 1st, 2011 · No Comments · Media, Technology

The days of the Satellite Media Tour, Video News Release and other tired and traditional “advertising as news” campaigns are waning. While there will always be a need for some sort of promotional pushes, clearly marketers and publicists are looking for new ways to get the message out.

Viral video has been very successful. However, it is incidental, meaning that many of the clips that get “sticky” are funny because of some unexpected circumstances that arise. And no one can really predict when something stupid or ridiculous will happen (except perhaps the producers of Jersey Shore), so it is high in production cost. There are some funny set up videos (see previous post about the cleaning service and The Cocaine Toilet).

Here are some funny links from that post.

(funny surprise ending)
(kids and babies – always good)
(leave it to the pro’s 1)
(leave it to the pro’s 2)
(sex appeal)
(bad idea funny)

But we’re now fully in the era of Advertising as Content rather than as News. And as long as agencies have an inventory of ideas, the world is theirs. Perhaps the first great branded content play was BMW Films’ launch of “The Hire” starring Clive Owen. The key fact that led to this bonanza of a branding play was the fact that consumer research conducted by BMW uncovered the fact that upwards of 85% of their customers used the internet before making a purchase. I don’t care whether you’re buy a car or life insurance, the first web address you’re most likely to input into the address bar is G O O G L E dot com and do your research.

Interestingly enough, this is why the old hard sell, which was the standard in the 50’s and 60’s no longer works. Because people have access to information and want to put in a little time before making an expensive purchase. Moreover, brands have to be seen as stories. There are many reasons for this that run the gamut from the reality television phenomenon to the inherent barriers to marketers created by technological integrations such as with DVR and TIVO.

What to do?

Enter Branded Content Agencies that embrace the reality of combining marketing, entertainment and distribution. The latter being of course predominantly fueled by social media channels to drive engagement combining brand awareness with entertainment value. Certain companies that have their own studios are a step ahead of the game. Studios that can host webcasts, green screen shoots and satellite media tours are truly the one stop shop for clients. Perhaps the greatest example of Branded Content isn’t a company it’s a person… Donald Trump!

But it is clearly the wave of the future. On May 31st, iCrossing (a branding shop) was purchased by Hearst with the task of transitioning from search marketing to producing Blogs and Videos.

BINGO. There is so much information on this trend on the web you need hours to sift through it and it’s all fascinating. Read more about it in AdAge here

To get more information about BMW Films’ “The Hire” starring Clive Own, click the image below.

branded content on the rise

Clive Owen takes BMW for a Branded Content Spin

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