Friday, February 13, 2009

When is an ad just an ad?

Yesterday a creative director said to me "an ad is really branded content, in this case it just happens to be 3 minutes long".

Um no.

It's not.

Well at least not always.

No doubt I'll be accused of getting caught up in semantics here, but client discussions often hover around the role of content in a marketing strategy, and a brand's place within the content (checkout my previous post on 'planning your brand entertainment experiment'). 

And we often find ourselves having to defend the entertainment or interest value of something from a well meaning client wearing an advertising straitjacket.

I'm the first to admit there are no rules.

Is Cadbury Eyebrows an ad? Yes. Is it branded content? Yes.

Is Rexona's Greatest Athlete an ad? No. Is it branded content? Yes. Is it an advertising platform? Yes. 

But is retailer Harvey Norman's latest TV effort flogging flat screens an ad? Yes. Is it branded content? No.

As Rohit Bhargava writes in his post on how to create a content marketing strategy, it has to be about more than you.

"This is not a sales pitch. It needs to be useful and offer more context beyond just how great your product/service is."

Cadbury Eyebrows is about the childlike delight inherent in the brand experience. 

Greatest Athlete is an entertainment platform that leverages Rexona's performance credentials and sporting ambassadors.

What about you, what are you offering?


Paul R said...

Very very tidy explanation. The CD should go to Marketing school.

Thanks to Kate Kendall for helping me find this blog. Much better that Lesbian Dating Musings. (at this stage :-)

faris said...

awesome. that nails it. IT CAN"T BE ABOUT YOU.

if it is - it's an ad.


Kate Kendall said...

Think Paul Ridoutt is getting me confused with Kate KendEll, an American lesbian-rights activist.

If not, have no idea what he is on about. :-S

Kate Richardson said...

Kate I think Paul is referring to my 7 things you didn't know about me post


Kate Kendall said...

OK, thanks for clarification... off to find that post now to get the context. :-D

Holycow said...

Yep - neat clarification. Thanks :)