DAN Interviews

Sidharth Ghosh's column on "In Perspective: Decoding branded entertainment"

16/2/2016

BRANDED content has come a long way over the past few decades. The best use of branded integration has always assured value both to the brand and its consumer thereby recognising its utility.

BRANDED content has come a long way over the past few decades. The best use of branded integration has always assured value both to the brand and its consumer thereby recognising its utility. Branded entertainment has the capacity to go viral through earned media apart from being distributed through various media vehicles.

Branded content is created for the consumer to keep him entertained and engaged. So instead of being exposed to push marketing, the consumer is more triggered by someone telling him a more relevant story. Brands are keener to move towards embedded advertising where they are part of a movie’s plot. Nokia played a role in one of the scenes from Chennai Express. MasterCard did something similar in Dil Dhadakne Do. Or a brand can use its tagline like Mountain Dew’s ‘Darr ke aage jeet hai’ in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. BMW has also actively used their product and showcased product features with Mission Impossible.

Media consumption habits are changing, from the number of viewers in a particular time slot to the intensity of content. Considered as one of the most effective mediums by today’s marketers, film integrations now feature in a brand manager’s marketing plan alongside traditional media. Pre-selling of satellite rights, digital, mobile etc prior to theatrical release ensures a wider access to brands associated with movies. Even for studios, brand integrations and related co-branded media are now a part of a film’s promotional mix. Brands don’t depend on the release of a movie and promote their co-branded content much in advance which is continued in the post-release phase. So for the studio, this adds up to their promotional plan for the movie. It is a two-way phenomenon — films endorse brands and vice versa. So while a brand can feature within a movie and get access to its star-cast, the movie also features in a brand’s packaging, merchandising, PoP, etc.

Recently, brands like Intel, Subway and Lifebuoy associated with Star Wars; Pond’s, Ariel etc with Dilwale, and Haldiram’s with PRDP. Media agencies and marketers are trying to innovate on brand integrations. A few categories like clothing come up with a collection inspired from the movie and promote much before the films start their promotions. Opportunities in the form of music and AFPs are also available to advertisers though ‘brand films’ like FedEx’s in Cast Away, are yet to be explored.

The writer is vice president at Fountainhead-MKTG

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