Branded Content – a new technique of brand loyalty and customer retention
Today there are more and more questions if the classic advertising is still alive. New customer is more intelligent and informed and requieres personalised approach. Nowadays there is no place for repetitive ads with claims “Buy now for a cheaper price” and with cliché USPs
Today, the brand should know how to surprise and entertain the customer, know not just how to persuade the client to buy a product but to begin to love it. Branded Content is an advertising technique which begins with people´s stories and emotions.
The time of a constant brand monologue is finished. We are entering to the era where each marketing campaign is based on a dialogue between the brand and customer.
Top features of Branded Content
- It involves customer in a story creation and gives user a chance to participate.
- It is viral and social media driven.
- It transmits the brand values, its lifestyle and it is trying to sell the brand itself and not a specific product
- It tries to engage the customer and to achieve the mind share.
- It gives an opportunity to all the followers of the brand to participate in content generation (user-generated content).
When did Branded Content appear?
First references about Branded Content appeared in 1929 when US Spinach Association in order to promote the consumption of this product among kids, launch a series of comics at The New York Evening Journal about a brave sailor Popeye . This campaign was the first step in advertising which presented the product in an entertaining manner.
Successful Branded Content campaigns
The Hire, film series by BMW, is considered to be the most successful branded content campaign of the 21st century. With this campaign BMW spent 90% of the budget on production and only 10% on media. The Hire includes 8 shorts of 8-9 minutes made by world famous directors such as Wong Kar-wai, Alejandro Iñarritu etc. There is no connection between the plots of the stories, but the the main hero (the driver) is always the same – Clive Owen. Each short represents different models of BMW car which is connected with the general mood of the movie: outlander for the story about American photographer who is on a military mission in Latin America, luxury BMW M5 to present the story about spoiled celebrity etc.
All the films were launched on BMW website bmwfilms.com and just during the first 4 months of campaign promotion it was viewed more than 11 million times. The following year in 2002 the sales rose 17.2%.
Almost 14 years passed after the campaign release but these 8 shorts are the pieces of cinema art which still make the audience cry, lough and smile.
Montblanc and Beauty of a Second
The campaign Beauty of a Second by Montblanc could be considered as one of the most brilliant examples of user-generated content. In honour of the anniversary of Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph watch, the brand launched a special competition in social media for all the users to make a short video for 2-3 seconds where people would reflect the life itself. All the participants had to submit their videos at Montblanc webiste and then to vote. Winner videos were included to the film The Beaty of a Second directed by Win Wenders.
This campaign was able to construct a genius connection between the watchmaker brand which counts our time for more then last 150 years and people´s real life which consists of seconds, minutes and hours of happiness.
To capture the customer of 21 century your brand should create a dream factor which consists of tradition and innovation, expertise and experimentation. To increase the brand value branded content strategy could be the best solution.
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