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Branded Entertainment

Branded Entertainment

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Published by Digital Lab
A white paper presented by the Digital Lab and written by Troy Hitch and Doug Worple covering the field of branded entertainment - distributed storytelling in a digital world.
A white paper presented by the Digital Lab and written by Troy Hitch and Doug Worple covering the field of branded entertainment - distributed storytelling in a digital world.

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Published by: Digital Lab on Sep 24, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Distributed Storytelling in a Digital World
By Troy Hitchand Doug Worple
Digital and interactive media have created a new breed of media consumers. They have anincredibly short attention span, high standards and strong opinions. They are immune totraditional advertising tactics and they don’t want their content to be interrupted. They nolonger think in terms of TV or movies or channels or formats. They want to be entertainedon their terms – where, when and how it suits them best. They want to engage in somethingthat they can talk about. They want to share something that, in the very act of sharing,defines who they are. They want to discuss it, change it, mark it, make it their own. Theyare no longer viewers; they are participants. Entertainment is no longer a broadcast; it’s anexperience.Since the early days of sponsored radio and TV programs, the Brand has successfullyexploited entertainment to deliver its consumer message.
But leveraging entertainment toconnect with today’s media consumer has required the Brand to assume a new role.
Seekinga deeper connection with its audience, the Brand has become the storyteller, the studio, theproducer, and, as referenced in our previous paper “Marketer v Media,” even the distributoror publisher. The result is an entertainment experience that can engage the Brand’sconsumers in ways more relevant and meaningful than ever before.This whitepaper will examine the new face of branded entertainment, the importance of greatstorytelling, the roles the Brand can play in the entertainment experience and best practicesfor using new media to distribute the story.
Why Story is Important
Entertaining Advertising or Branded Entertainment?One of the greatest mistakes brands make as they execute branded entertainment efforts isthat they intentionally or inadvertently create disposable content. Advertising is disposable_ even the most effective, award-winning ads; it’s supposed to be. Its singular purpose is tomeet a marketing challenge: to get someone to recognize a brand, to try a product, to buy aproduct. The content in advertising is simply a delivery mechanism and whether or not thatcontent lives on is secondary to the objective of generating the advertising result.However, when a Brand creates entertainment and not just entertaining advertising, thereis an opportunity for the Consumer to participate in a long-term experience. Consumerswill connect with content when it is relevant, when it makes an emotional impact and
when it delivers a tangible value
– practical knowledge, entertainment or social currency. Whenthose criteria are met, the Consumer will come back for more. Again and again. If thatconnection is strong enough, they’ll bring others along with them. If executed responsibly,the Brand can participate as well. And it all begins with a great story.Story is the fundamental component to great entertainment. Just ask Pixar. Director JohnLasseter explains “The Rules” of the studio like this:Tell a compelling story with humor and heart that keeps peoplewondering what will happen next.Populate it with memorable characters. If audiences invest in your maincharacter, they’ll travel that character’s journey. Even the bad guys haveto be likable.Finally, put the story and characters into a believable world.

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