Why Branded Entertainment?
Think of a recent TV ad you like. I’ll give you a minute.
Great. What was it? Any of the zillion insurance commercials? State Farm’s campaign with the pro athletes. Allstate’s guy getting tossed around like a rag doll. Nationwide’s catchy jingles. GEICO’s gecko feeling sorry for himself because he’s a gecko (the relatable undertones my gosh).
Or maybe it’s Old Spice with Von Miller. Or the Sonic bros pulling out the straight-man weird-man routine. Well I guess they’re both pretty weird. Or perhaps it’s ‘Dilly Dilly!’ Bud Light’s brilliantly bizarre new catch phrase that has the internet battling over its true meaning.
The list goes on and on… and on. The point is, what do these short films have in common?
They tell stories. Simple as that. Each one of these masterpieces has a story that goes above and beyond their product or service. Each makes you laugh, sing, cry (those Nationwide family struggles get to me). They don’t just explain what their company does. They don’t just teach you how their product works. They don’t overload you with information that’ll fly in one ear and the out the other.
Over is the age of infomercials. Why do you think you only see them when you wake up at 4am on the couch too hungover to reach for the remote? They’ve lost their mojo. Branded entertainment – this wave of short films inspired by a company’s core values – is not only spreading infectiously, it may be the only true way to connect to an audience.
This is not to say that the classic C-suite interview or a sentimental customer testimonial is dead and gone, there is an appropriate time and place for insight and self-promotion (mainly website-oriented). But if your goal is to implant your brand into consumers’ everyday thoughts, or—for lack of a better term—brainwash them, you must value the creative process. Forge a narrative we won’t forget.
The Super Bowl is around the corner, and I know a lot of us get just as excited for the ads as we do the game. These films are the cream of the crop of branded entertainment. Now they have an even higher bar set because of our expectations.
Whether you're a colossal corporation or a seed-stage startup, (completely unintentional alliterations… *wink*) make a mini-movie people will love, hate, connect with, fear, whatever. As long as they feel something, you’re on the right track.