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What you need to know about branded content

What you need to know about branded content

There is a big debate today over the effectiveness of traditional advertising. It is considered by many to be more restrictive creatively, constrained by the high media cost of broadcasting. In the last year more and more brands have moved towards producing branded content, and we can see that big Cannes Lions winners of 2015 were actually pieces of branded content.

By the end of 2015 it was estimated that brands were spending around a quarter of their marketing budgets on branded content, moreover half of the brands in the UK have increased their spend on branded content.

Last year we posted an article about the book The Beautiful Constraint. This book poses the argument that constraints, i.e. lack of money, time, skills, or resource, are not limitations but are actually provide the grounds to think outside the box and innovate in more clever ways. Not being constrained to a large media spend means that more focus can be put into the actual creative.

Whilst holding firmly onto creating nationwide creative campaigns for our clients, we also see the great value in creating content for our clients whose business proposition is more in tune with the rich stories branded content can allow for.

Our client Remember A Charity is an organisation that, as you might guess, has a limited budget for advertising. Therefore bringing out yearly campaign for Remember A Charity in Your Will Week provides the challenge of creating emotional and engaging content that people will want to watch and share. But for the last two years we have produced films that offer more depth and emotion to compliment our OOH campaigns for the charity. See our Tom Lackey film, and our Extreme Will Writing campaign for more.

Looking towards the branded content we produce for Star Alliance, we see the benefit of different media outlets providing our content the exposure it needs. Bespoke films are created for the alliance’s member airlines and feature in both Star Alliance content streams as well as the member airlines’. Our latest piece of work features the record-breaking free diver Şahika Ercümen. These pieces of content along with a strong ATL strategy provide a marketing platform with more depth and room for engagement.

In 2016 it seems that branded content will really kick into sixth gear with the rising mainstream use of new and innovative technology, with the desire to make content more interactive and personalised. This drive comes from the desire to re-engage with a consumer that is time poor and harder to stop in their tracks. Storytelling is also becoming more important than ever, if it does not touch their hearts they will feel less inclined to share and engage further with the brand. We know that mobile as a platform increases purchase intent in consumers over desktop, in fact the figures are at 24% on mobile over the 19% on desktop.

When we combine all of these elements together we get something that is exciting, engaging and shareable, which is what 2016 is all about.