What Is Branded Content?
Branded content is now a huge form of marketing and continues to grow, as ad agencies and marketers alike try to find new ways to entertain their audience and disguise product or brand promotion.
Branded content is entertaining content that subtly blends into videos, publications, or other media channels. It adds to the company’s credibility and entertainment value.
The increasing need for branded content over straightforward advertising is explained by Mike Clear of Digitas, who says,
“People don’t like being sold to. It’s a discomforting experience, so the challenge for content marketers is to make sure the entertainment value of the content outweighs the discomfort.”
Great Examples of Branded Content
1. Chipotle’s Scarecrow Commercial and Mobile App
Chipotle created an awesome animated video, showing the horror behind big animal agriculture businesses and the happiness that comes from farm fresh, local ingredients. Other than the signature red pepper, the companies logo, and Tex-Mex style dish being served at the end of the video, Chipotle as a brand is never apparent in the advertisement. Begging the question: Is this even an advertisement? Check it out.
2. The Lego Movie
The Lego Movie is quite possibly one of the longest commercials that people actually sat and watched end to end, and if you saw it in theaters, you paid money to Lego to watch a 90 minute commercial full of Legos, and then probably went out and bought the new Lego sets derived from the film for your child or your “friend”
The Lego movie was so successful (over 470 Million box office) that they are making a sequel, Lego Batman, and more product lines based on the movies. Lego interwove their products, hidden in plain sight, throughout the film so that audience members would associate them with the life lessons and emotional appeals developed during the movie.
3. Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches
In this viral video, a sketch artist draws two pictures of someone. The first, as they described themselves to the artist, and the second, as a stranger described them. The results draw some interesting insights on self-image and appreciation. Check it out.
Dove focuses on emotional appeals in this video and the brand is never mentioned until the very end. “You are more beautiful than you think” is an interesting slogan for a beauty product company, but in making their audience feel more comfortable and naturally beautiful without products increases their social value as a less predatory beauty brand. In a market saturated with businesses telling you how badly you need their products to look good, Dove employs a little reverse psychology by telling you that you don’t.