When Brands Own Entertainment

The last thing I want is for some company ad team to show up at a script writing session to figure out how to write some product or products into a TV show or movie.  If that happens, then that content should be free and totally supported by the advertisers.  It should also be make clear that the advertisers are producers as well as part of the cast and writing staff.

Geez … I’ve seen what happens in anime when companies insert themselves into the actual show.  Suddenly, the city consists of Pizza Hut stores with Pizza Hut delivery scooters in every scene.  This is the tragedy that befell the excellent anime series “Darker than Black.”  It was so blatant at times that it took away from the story (geez, “Goong” and Mercedes Benz too) .  This is also that case with movies — James Bond and HP come to mind … go Christmas Jones and her PDA of Wonder (well it must have been really effective if I still remember.  The same with Pizza Hut and Mercedes.)

When thinking about this potential combination of advertisers and content,  I like to think about it in terms of the often used analogy of mixing ice cream and poo.  In the end both are ruined.   I have, though, seen successful integration of product placement within content.  The article below mentions Ray Ban and “Men in Black,” which I think was good.  My feeling is if the advertiser is trying too hard, that will come through and the viewers will not be able to suspend reality.  But if it’s a matter of branding an existing story element, then it may come off more authentic and not so obtrusive so the illusion is maintained.  I forget, though, that subtlety is not what advertising is about …

Anyhow, read the article and be amazed.


Here’s a link to the article.

Ogilvy’s Scott: Brands Should Own Entertainment

Branded Content Has a Longer Shelf Life Than a 30-Second Spot

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Published: March 18, 2008

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