Marketers Rethink Producing Entertainment: Sell Less, Up Brand Values

Flip one popular media approach upside down: Marketers should get paid for their branded entertainment.

That may sound crazy to some, but shifting one’s thinking will free up creatives to produce content that viewers and potential consumers want. Jae Goodman, founder-CEO of Observatory, says marketers should even go further, avoiding anything called “branded content.”

Other labels, I’m guessing, should also be dropped, such as "content marketing."

Think about some standard product placement/branded-entertainment deals, where a specific car model shows up in an hour-long drama for perhaps one too many seconds longer than it should.

Is that a problem? Research says even when viewers identify marketing, typically, there are no residual after-effects for the brand and the TV show.

Goodman says marketers should think bigger. If they are interested in creating great entertainment content, it should be good enough that a distribution company, TV network, or other media channel will pay for it. In turn, that’s also how marketers can attract high-end producers, directors and talent to produce high-level content.



Goodman points to Nike, which has its own branded entertainment arm, but one that is not branded with Nike, it’s called Waffle Iron Entertainment.

So what does a marketer get from this? Better “brand values” to benefit upper-funnel-level actions -- marketing closer to the point of sales or strong consideration.

One might believe traditional branded entertainment complete with heavy brand association is the only way to go -- especially when it comes to strong near-term business outcomes.

But increasingly it seems a sledgehammer approach -- especially in a fast-growing world full of streaming, digital and traditional content choices -- no longer works.

Did we forget to mention commercial skipping? Now extend this further: Think more about content skipping.

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