Branded entertainment is one of those topics getting a fair amount of buzz in advertising. BBH recently opened an office in LA to focus on branded entertainment, and more brands are creating content that fits into this category. So what is branded entertainment, exactly?
Erica Sheftman recently covered the importance of branded entertainment on the Percolate blog. It's a topic that's incredibly relevant to me right now. The article uses Apple's acquisition of Beats to lead into a broader discussion on the value and importance of branded entertainment. Here is the final third of the article:
THE BEST BRANDS DON’T JUST SELL, THEY DELIGHT
“The Game Before the Game” is a subtle reflection of this shift in content direction. Director Elderkin said in a Time interview, “The feeling I got from the get-go was that the whole project was driven by the tight relationships Beats has with these talents. The athletes and musicians worked with us as if we were all part of the same family. It didn’t feel like they were just sponsored athletes endorsing a product.”
The end product is a rich example of branded entertainment, a particular offshoot of content marketing wherein brands create entertaining content to capture and maintain consumer attention for prolonged periods of time. This genre of content marketing enables brands to shift from being mere sponsors, to creators and curators. With “The Game Before the Game,” Beats Electronics, and thus Apple, have become not only publishers but entertainers: destinations for moving, grip-at-your-emotions theater that is culturally relevant, and expertly curated.
We’ve talked before about the need for brands to tell good stories, and they’ve existed long before Beats came along. Other celebrated moments in which brands told compelling, emotional narratives include:
- Intel and Toshiba’s crowdsourced social film, “The Beauty Inside”
- Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow,” showing how a fast food chain can take a stance on processed goods
- Dove’s real beauty campaign, “Beauty Sketches”
- Fashion house Chloé’s collaboration with the New York City Ballet (a personal favorite)