Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Branded Entertainment vs. Branded Information

Interesting piece by Alison Provost today. Ms Provost is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of TouchStorm, a digital media distribution company that creates and distributes online editorial video.

According to Ms Provost, consumers aren’t searching for branded entertainment. They’re searching for branded information.

As Ms Provost put it, “Consumers aren’t looking to brands for entertainment; they download movies or TV shows for that.”

Damn. I think she’s right. At least, she’s right in my case.

When’s the last time you went on line and said to yourself, “I wonder what Kraft has done that’s entertaining? I want to watch.”

Probably not recently.

But you may have gone online and turned to Kraft for a recipe or help with baking something. In other words, information.

I was told once that the definition of advertising was presenting information about the product or brand in an interesting way.

You could replace the word “interesting” in the previous sentence with the word “entertaining." In other words, all good advertising is a form of branded entertainment.

After all, if it’s not entertaining, the viewer won’t hang around long enough for the information to be conveyed.

Good advertising is both branded entertainment and branded information.

Always has been.

Always will be.

And, we have Ms Provost to thank for reminding us of that.


  1. Good post! Consumers are coming arond to the concept of brands as creators and distributors of Class A content, so the tide's changing. A recent TNS Global Survey said that consumers want brands to 'entertain them' so I think it's becoming more common for consumers to see brands as distributors of engaging content that entertains them. The kids of yesteryear expected to have to buy music. Kids today assume they will get music for free from a brand like Coke, etc. It's a cultural change and brands as patrons of the arts will become more and more common.

  2. Michael - I read hte TNS Global Survey. And I wondered what the option was for consumers to want brands to do. Bore them? Consumers want brands to inform them in an entertaining way. Good creative people have always known this. Good advertising has always done this. But because good advertising is terribly difficult to create, the term "branded entertainment" was invented and sold to advertisers. Yes, branded entertainment is easier to do than good advertising. But it doesn't make it more effective.

  3. hi there. Not saying branded entertainment is necessarily more effective than good advertising, just that brands have more chance of creating content that consumers will regularly engage with if it's themed around (or of) their consumers' entertainment and lifestyle choices. These passions are consistent in consumers' lives. Great creative advertising does happen, of course, and it stands out a mile. But it's not every day you get the Cadbury's Gorilla campaign. It's risky. As a strategy, good branded entertainment can mean it's more effective because people become habitually engaged with the brand, seeking the content out (brand as an entertainment platform) because it's content they would normally want to engage with.