Sponsorships, or branded entertainment, appears to be the next generation in marketing. What this essentially means is "commercials" are integrated with the television shows.
While product placement has been used in television over the years, the trend has evolved over the past several years to become more subtle.
Bravo to increase branded entertainment
Bravo is planning on increasing its level of branded entertainment this year, according to the New York Times
The network, owned by NBC Universal, gave a pitch to ad buyers this week, reported Ad Age
. The series targeted for sponsorship are both scripted and unscripted shows.
This week Bravo also revealed content
to be included in its lineup.
With all the advertising that is bombarded online, people tend to shut ads out of their conscious, or use technology tools to block ads. In today's age of information overload, advertisers want to make sure they get their money's worth and people actually see the ads. What better way than to integrate them into the programs?
While adding commercial elements into a show may at first sound odd, and maybe to some, even tacky, modern methods of advertainment prefer to develop a natural inclusion in ways that make sense to a story and viewers may not even perceive the presence as a "commercial".
“What’s most important is that the content flows, and makes sense, for the viewer,” Dan Lovinger, executive vice president for cable ad sales at NBCUniversal, said in an interview after the Bravo presentation, reported NYT, “helping to tell the story of the episode.”
NBC News had published an earlier report
indicating the marketing messages are "more about entertainment than a sales pitch".
This type of approach to advertising may or may not mention sponsor's name. This is a big change from the days of yesteryear
where shows were interrupted to provide sponsorship, far less discreet than what is emerging in the modern day where commercials are concerned.
Is branded entertainment the future?
Is branded entertainment what TV viewers can expect across the board in the future? It's highly possible, considering the way advertising has already integrated with so many other aspects in Web life, such as social networking on sites like Facebook.
Advertising will go where current trends are headed.
NBC has been experimenting with the idea of branded entertainment for some time as this 2007 piece
According to Zap 2 It
, last year Bravo added 126 new advertisers and 34 new online advertisers.
“Bravo's programming strength and industry leading digital offerings provide the perfect environment for our partners to reach large scale and diverse audiences,” said Linda Yaccarino, President of Advertising Sales, NBCUniversal. “Our 360 partnerships with advertisers continue to deliver exceptional results because our viewers are engaged and passionate about the Bravo brand wherever and whenever they consume it.”
It seems branded entertainment is the future. Perhaps, the only question that remains is will branded entertainment resonate with television viewers or will it motivate them to flip the channel on the remote or turn to shows they can TiVo?
Chances are advertainment is the norm in future marketing endeavors, not unlike social media marketing rapidly became a part of any business plan.
What do you think? Is branded entertainment a hit or miss?