Death of Commercials & The Birth of Brand Entertainment


Death of Commercials & The Birth of Brand Entertainment

Raise your digital hand if you still watch TV. What do you like about it? What programs do you keep your cable for? Is it for the news, commercials, or a Kardashian fix? Commercials are probably not why you pay for cable and might be the reason you opted to commercial-void options like TIVO. Have you ever acted on a commercial, i.e. bought its product/service?

According to The Guardian, “the 30-second television commercial, once a cultural touch point, has lost its relevance in today’s world. It’s doomed to be relegated to the dustbin of 20th-century artifacts, right up there with cassette players and dial telephones.

Death of Commercials and The Birth of Brand Entertainment - Boston

Photo courtesy of schmilblick(CC Attribution)

Back in the day, commercials were the easiest way for people to learn about products and businesses. Now, they are the least affective! Apparently over 60% of people don’t believe the media. But video is still a strong medium to convey brand awareness , make viewers laugh and feel the feels, and promote transparency about products and businesses. In fact, 96% of consumers find video helpful when making a purchasing decision and 77% of consumers said that they consider companies that have online video are more engaging with consumers! (Mobile Consumer Survey )But then why the distrust with typical ads and commercials?

It has not to do with what the video is itself but the way it engages with you. People don’t like being sold to anymore or interrupted. Instead, there seems to be an embrace of educational and entertaining content in video production on the viewer’s terms (Brand Entertainment). Think product placement in a film. Mini coopers sales jettisoned after being in the Italian Job not because they were being sold to you in a typical commercial setting, but you got an emotional response from how they portrayed the product as cool, badass, and sleek.  Now think Budweiser’s recent commercial addressing drunk driving. Although my Budweiser days are over, I appreciate that they branched out and addressed a huge issue concerning not only their customer base but society at large. That makes me want to support them vs other companies that just sell rather than educate and inspire. 

With brand entertainment, think of human relationships. When we meet someone we want to hang out with or converse with, we edit ourselves to not come off too strong. Of course I wanted to hug Mark Walberg’s biceps when I worked as an extra on Ted 2 but I knew that would kick me out of working in film FOREVER. There is an art to everything–talking, love, business. The way we market should emulate face to face relations. Everyone hates being told what to do or what to buy. It’s our natural instinct to question. If something is pushed on someone too much, they won’t enjoy it. Like when my grandmother tries to feed me her amazing food when I’m already full; it’s so good but, at that point, I can’t enjoy it.

Brand Entertainment - Boston

Photo courtesy of Bekathwia(CC ShareALike)

In conclusion, video has to be done right. You have to be different, concise, empathetic, and really know the message you want people to take from it. Embrace expressing your company in a unique way. You don’t have to get in front of a green screen anymore and awkwardly say why you’re the best. Make me laugh, make me want to subscribe to your YouTube, help me learn why your service will help me without yelling at me through brand entertainment. “The companies that do the best are having conversations with their customers, instead of telling them what they need and offering boiler plate solutions.” (Baltimore Business Journal)

Below is an example of brand entertainment for Dell and Intel as well as the fantastic response they received! 

Brand Entertainment and Death of Commercials - Boston

by Ana Nenshati

Ana is a nerdy film fanatic since 3rd grade and finally embraced acting and film work at the age of 23. Her favorite films are The Lord of the Rings and she relies heavily on them to up her spirits on gloomy days. She loves the power of a good story that spreads empathy and hopes to create beautiful stories as well as help others do so too.

Her life has been a series of eclectic stories, including running a farm in Costa Rica whilst surrounded by giant spiders daily, opening  a boutique with her mother, working at a State Park with wild horses running amock, and getting her scuba license when she was 13. Originally from Albania, Ana is passionate about different cultures and world issues. Through her Content Engagement Executive role at Waverley Knobs, she hopes to tell the stories that haven’t been heard yet. 

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