But to take advantage of this drastic shift, brands need to embrace a new entertainment mindset and move from thinking like marketers to thinking like movie moguls. Here are (00) 7 lessons for brands who want to explore this brave new world.
Think of entertainment as a product category, not a marketing channel
Entertainment properties are valuable products with a vibrant and established market. When brands approach entertainment creation as a new product category, they invariably get better results than approaching it as just sophisticated marketing. But it forces brands to think like entertainment companies. They must act as publishers, studios and producers, shifting from spending on marketing to investing in entertainment, creating entertainment products that can be sold directly and that will return the investment and audience directly to the brand. .
Understand your audience and the interests you share
Brands need to start by understanding who they are talking to, not just as consumers, but as audiences. Understanding what excites them, the stories and characters that interest them can give a brand permission to share. Start with the question “What do they want to hear?” Rather than “What do we mean?” “
Storytelling trumps messaging
Entertainment is a story, and it’s powerful: Tom Cruise playing volleyball has sold more Ray-Ban than any commercial; “The Lord of the Rings” took more people to New Zealand than any travel advertisement. To tell other stories, a brand must first understand its perspective on the world and then use it as a framework to create entertainment.
Don’t place products – make your voice heard
Understanding their own history frees brands from the entertainment industry’s default product placement. Not all product placements are created equal: if it doesn’t build character, it’s just dressing up or worse, a distraction that blows up disbelief. Leaping behind the wheel of a Ford Mondeo took viewers out of the story in ‘Casino Royale’, but ‘Ford v Ferrari’ made the brand protagonist and hero. From Red Bull to “The Lego Movie”, from “A Single Man” to “Alpha Go”, establishing an author’s voice is more powerful than just screen time.
Build a slate – there is no magic bullet in entertainment
Creating and selling entertainment properties is as much about what curators and studios want to buy as it is about what brands want to sell. For this reason, developing a list of potential projects from the brand’s entertainment framework is a more fruitful approach than basing all hopes on a single quick fix.
Be greedy for the long haul
Creating entertainment takes time, but, when successful, these properties persist in the culture, create their own audiences, and can provide long-term benefits and returns to the brands that create them. They can also be the centerpiece of a marketing ecosystem that surrounds the property – not advertising ideas, but ideas that can be advertised.
Don’t interrupt the things people like. Be the thing that people love
In a world where great content is available everywhere and always, forget “No Time to Die”, there is literally no time to sell. Brands are now in competition with all other entertainment producers for the limited attention of their audiences. Approaching them with a spirit of entertainment – does it make sense, is it engaging, and will it reward the person for the attention they’ve given? – is the only strategy to develop a relationship with an audience. Entertainment is a signal that a brand respects them and their time and wants to tell a story rather than just seeing them as consumers. For successful brands, the audience will be with them for as long as Bond is on screen.
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