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Branded Content and Its Importance in Sponsorship Marketing

BRAVO! believes in the power of branding at events. We truly want to create an engaging experience for everyone in attendance. What we have found is that the more we engage the audience and create emotional responses to the content at the event, the more powerful the ROE is for the company and for the sponsors. Sponsorship branding has become a huge element and mastering the intricacies of it leaves a lasting impact.

The following comes from an article published by Major Players, a team of more than 80 consultants who recruits for various advertising jobs, marketing, design, digital media, events, interactive media, creative design, PR jobs in the UK.

Branded content has been very hard to define especially as the definition is very elastic, meaning different things to different people. In a nutshell, it is the technique used by brands to create a direct relationship with a form of entertainment by commissioning creative content, enabling a brand to establish itself through a new more subtle context.

How does it work?

Think of it as a sponsorship + as, although it carries the same benefits as sponsorship, it also allows brands to play a much more central part in the project, tailoring content to fit its message and reflecting the brands personality. This content can then be taken and used in PR, direct mail, or in POS marketing.

In terms of its effectiveness, like any marketing strategy, most brands will seek a return on their investment be that in the form of media value, brand awarness or sales. In this vein, The Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA) recently used a case study to promote the effectiveness of the marketing medium. The first was ITV's Farm Camp, funded by Morrison's to support its "Let's Grow" initiative. Analysing the programme, promotional trailers, website and press ads it found that, from those in the test group, one episode of the show increased association with Let's Grow by 24%.

Who's doing it?

Brands that have long-favored this marketing technique are Orange Playlist, Audi T V, Pepsimax Download Show, Red Bull Flugtag, Carling Music Events, Nokia Fashion Show, B&Q DIY Show, and BMW Films. These brands have successfully integrated themselves into entertainment and have adapted to a changing media landscape.

Converse are another example of a brand who has managed to infiltrate the world of entertainment through music, an industry previously renowned for being staunchly against any form of branding. Back in 2008 they commissioned a music video- "My Drive Thru" with artists Pharrell Williams, Santogold, and Julian Casablancas. Thsi has since been followed up recently with a new video, "All Summer" featuring Vampire Weekend, Kid Cudi, Best Boast and of course- Converse Clothing.

What about its risks?

Despite strong evidence of successful branded content campaigns there are risks involved with an ineffective campaign. Shifting consumer habits and a constantly changing media landscape therefore drives the need for brands to think creatively about content and partnerships. Simple product placement or boring and unengaging content can have the wrong effects. If branded content is to de done right it has to be a long term- strategic commitment combined with time and money. There are many challenges such as developing the right content, steering clear of breaking any product placement regulations and making sure that the product matches the target audience. However, it a brand manages all these elements well, then a branded content can be one of the most effective marketing mediums, just ask Omega.

What are your thoughts on branded content? Under handed or inspired?

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