In the age of less commercial viewing, and more lip-service being given to building a relationship with people, nearly two-thirds of client-side marketers are planning branded entertainment projects in 2012, although many of them aren't sure what they're getting out of the deal.
More than mere product placement, branded entertainment refers to integrating and linking a product within an entertainment source. According to the Association of National Advertisers, clients said they're interested in the platform because it: can create a stronger emotional bond with consumers (according to 78%); can align a brand with relevant content (75%) and can build brand affinity with a target group or demographic (73%).
Yet many marketers don't believe measurement of branded entertainment's effectiveness has improved over the past five years. In 2006, 64% of marketers said they were dissatisfied with the quality of effectiveness research available to them, comparable with 65% who said the same thing this year. (Eighty-three percent of marketers measured the impact of their branded entertainment initiatives, although 63% said they found such measurement difficult.
"When you're unsure of the potential impact via measurement, then you have a tough time making the cost value case for it," Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA, tells Marketing Daily. "That being said, those who have done it -- they've noticed a higher level of emotional connection than traditional advertising."
Over the past five years, the Internet has grown in popularity as a venue for branded entertainment, with the percentage of marketers participating in Internet films doubling from 15% to 31%, and the number of marketers participating in other Internet-based projects up to 55% from 28% in 2006. Although still the most popular venue for branded entertainment, commercial television has dropped 10% since 2006, according to the ANA. At the same time, Liodice says, other platforms (such as sporting events and radio) have increased in popularity.
"We have seen a substantial change in some other media that are leveraging branded entertainment," Liodice says. "What I'm impressed with is the wide diversity of media that's being utilized in a creative way for those [brands] that find it meaningful."