Why is Branded Content so effective?

5 min.

Imagine we've created an engaging video where a woman overcomes the adversities and the injustices she faces daily. A passionate story of emancipation that generates a lot of sharing on social networks and becomes a strong motivational video.


Now imagine that we have created that same video, but with a "small" change - the name of the brand “Nike”, for example, is always present throughout the entire script. Does it seem to you that the impact is the same?


The proliferation of content, videos, and players in the market has grown exponentially, which means that it is necessary to think more carefully about a company’s communication. When the quantity is high, the differentiation always falls on the quality, so when launching content it is necessary to question: "Why will people watch my video?". A quality storytelling is an aspect of increasing importance, and companies cannot ruin it by "hammering" the brand’s name all the time.


Let's look at the second video of Johnnie Walker’s campaign "The Gentleman's Wager":



Johnnie Walker invests heavily in these types of productions that seem to appeal more directly to the film industry than to the liquor market. How many times have you seen the brand name throughout the video? In fact, this seems more like a case of product placement in a Hollywood production with names like Jude Law, Zhao Wei, and Giancarlo Giannini, and even with the F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen. But why does Johnnie Walker invest so much in hiring these big stars? Why create such elaborate production with over 500 seconds just to include your whiskey’s brand name in two or three seconds?


Let's look at another example:



Did you feel like watching the video until the end? It’s likely that during the day, and even for some time during next week, you will remember, not only the message of the video but also the company behind it. If you didn’t know Momondo, you learned that the brand is interested in sensitive matters and that assumes a clear position on social issues. What does this video appeal to? Have you ever thought about it? Is it the beauty of the models? The trendy lifestyle? Or is it the genuine reactions of real people who clearly show their point of view?


Let's watch this “Bonds of Trust” campaign from Bellator:



Some conclusions we can draw from this video:

  1. For those who have an interest or connection to the equestrian area, the bonds between horse and rider are a fundamental aspect;
  2. For those who don’t have this connection, they may be curious about this well-constructed content;
  3. For those who have no interest or curiosity for the area, they realize that at least the message was not only institutional and that there were a care and an effort made in order to create a different content.


But why would a company bet or invest in creating content that does not seem to clearly appeal to investment in its business or its products? Is it pure altruism? Is it a passion of the company’s CEO? Is it all for financial benefits?


Does it seem to you that this content is more or less shareable than a clear publicity video? When you hear about brands that invest in branded content, what kind of image does that gives you?


Your company is not the naming or the logo, it is what it represents, including its history. Consumers want to embrace the company’s message, not because they get a coupon or a discount, but because they want to fall in love with a story, a narrative, and if your video has that ability, congratulations, your bet is won and your ROI (Return On Investment) will be very positive.


If a company creates quality and relevant videos that are congruent with its message, then consumers will get involved. If, on the other hand, a company starts showing that the content is just a "decoy" for "selling", then there will be resistance and doubts about the value of the video message.


“Good content is good content” and no one cares whether it was created by a brand or not. On the contrary, video quality will be associated with company’s quality. However, annoying or self-serving content is hyperbolized and might bring effective damage to the brand image.


Thus, in order to find out which type of Branded Content is the right one for your business, you need to know your brand’s DNA well. An excellent video about the dangers of salt in food will seem incongruous to the company of french fries Pringles, for example. Sponsored press articles, webisodes, short films, video clips and other branded videos have the ability to entertain, inform and engage consumers who want to view and share content. Company's message may even not be exposed or visible, but the most important thing is to make consumers want to watch the video instead of forcing them to do so.

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