The world of branded content has changed. Suddenly branded movies and TV shows are competing for the same marketing dollar and chunk of free time as everything else in the entertainment world. Advertising, in many cases, is no longer a toll you pay to watch content but is taking the form of content itself.
“Brands are realizing you have to hire experts” if you want to compete with pure entertainment companies, said Maker Studios’ Jason Krebs, who has worked all over the digital media ad world. “Procter & Gamble isn’t necessarily going to do some of these things themselves.”
And branded entertainment is vital. “If you want to reach millennials in the next five years, they’re going to be looking at this a lot more than at the spots and dots,” said Discovery Digital’s group operating officer Colin Decker, who notes that integrations are now the majority of the ads his company sells. These aren’t freebies that sneak in branding—they’re competing for brain share in the golden age of television. So what does this marketing look like, and is it any good?