Thursday, April 18, 2013

Branded Entertainment vs Films Of Persuasion

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as if we’re forgetting to remember what it is that advertising is supposed to do.

Take branded entertainment for example.  It’s been touted so long by so many, that now advertiser’s are asking for it. 

That most advertisers aren’t really sure what branded entertainment is, seems to be irrelevant. 

Advertisers aren’t alone in in their confusion about branded entertainment.  Suffice it to say, there are multiple definitions.

Here’s Wikipedia’s.

Branded entertainment, also known as branded content or advertainment, is an entertainment-based vehicle that is funded by and complementary to a brand's marketing strategy. The purpose of a branded entertainment program is to give a brand the opportunity to communicate its image to its target audience in an original way, by creating positive links between the brand and the program.

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of advertising.

Advertising or advertizing[1][2][3] is a form of communication for marketing and used to encourage, persuade, or manipulate an audience (viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group) to continue or take some new action.

It seems like branded entertainment could be anything that’s longer than thirty or sixty seconds.  And, that doesn’t try to persuade anyone why a particular product may be exactly what they’re looking for.

It’s like the "art of persuasion” has become unfashionable.    Heaven help us, we can’t do that.  It’s so  passé. 

Yeah, and so soon will be your brand.

The true artists of the craft of advertising have always known three things.  A great ad must persuade.  And, it must be entertaining.   Otherwise no one will hang around to be persuaded.

The third thing?  It’s hard as shit to do those first two things well.

True advertising craftsmen look at commercials as films of persuasion.   “Films” because good commercials, like good films, tell a story.

“Persuasion,” because, hell, persuade is what they're paid to do.

Those less skilled have come up with branded entertainment as the antidote to advertising.

It’s easier.  It’s sexier. 

And, oh by the way, it’s less effective. 

I guess that doesn’t matter anymore.

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