What is branded content?
Branded content is a way of marketing a brand by creating content that allows consumers to make the connection between the content and the brand without the brand being in the foreground. Branded content is creating a campaign that attracts and builds a relationship with your audience. People don’t want to be told about the benefits of a product or service. They want to be taken there and experience it through a story and see how it can change their lives. The aim is to resonate with the consumer on an emotional level rather than focusing on the actual product or USPs (unique selling position). It comes in various mediums but for the purposes of this article, we’ll be talking about branded video content.
Branded video content creators can’t just slap a logo at the end without any larger narrative or natural partnership. There has to be a marriage between the message and the brand. Chris Rooke, SVP of strategy and operations at native advertising platform Nativo, says “Branded content is the practice of investing in compelling content, whether to inform or entertain, that as a result is able to create an immersive experience for the consumer,” he explains. Branded content, he adds, enables consumers to align themselves with the lifestyle and belief system that a company represents. “When you do that, you start affecting consumer perception, affinity, consideration, and those types of things. It’s helpful content that naturally adds value and serves as a utility to readers,” Rooke says.
Branded video content is all about storytelling with a strong narrative. It humanizes your business. When a brand gets it right, the impact of a branded content video marketing campaign can be significant. Get your tissues out and watch some of the branded video content examples below, which are all done really, really well:
A Hero’s Welcome : Budweiser
There’s something about a soldier coming home that gets you every time. Picture a family waiting with signs, a soldier in their uniform running to hug their loved ones. Budweiser took this idea to a whole different level. They wanted to not only capture that moment in the airport but also take the soldier to their hometown and give them a hero’s welcome.
Here’s the story behind the video campaign:
As I Really Am : Toyota
Originally produced for Toyota in Italy, this piece starts out with mystery and draws the viewers in. We see a girl lying in bed. Then, notice her face is all scared. Then, see that she has prosthetics. This is all happening while a voiceover talks about dreams. The visuals are quite powerful on their own but the marriage of visuals and sounds on this one is quite powerful. Like so many branded content video pieces, everything is tied together in the end with the tagline.
You’re More Beautiful Than You Think : Dove
Nowadays, we’re taught that beauty isn’t always on the outside. It’s on the inside what counts. Dove really drives this home with this branded content video. They commissioned an FBI-trained sketch artist to
draw people’s faces. The social experiment that transpires is really quite moving. Check it out!
For Every Kind of Dream : Square
Instead of telling viewers about your product or services’ benefits, showcase how someone is using them to better our world. That’s exactly what Square, the online payment processing service, did in this branded content video.
The Journey : 84 Lumber
FOX rejected the shorter version of this ad, which was originally slated to air during “The Big Game”, for being too overtly political. So instead of airing the full 90-second ad before halftime as planned, 84 Lumber aired a shorter version that essentially ended with “To be continued” and directed people to the company’s website to see the full conclusion. In any case, it’s an emotional story no matter what side of it you’re on and garnered lots of attention for the brand. Definitely a good case study on how political your branded content should get.
Home for the Holidays : Toyota
Here’s another really powerful branded content video about our military coming home for the holidays. We like the preparation that leads up to the event, which leaves the viewer wondering what the boy is preparing for…
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