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Branded media content- a failure of imagination

June 25, 2007

Brands spend billions building their awareness and crafting a unique DNA, after all, isn’t differentiation everything?

Then in the scramble to get online, to do something different and to capture attention with branded content, something goes hopelessly wrong. Brands end up creating lifeless, meaningless and undifferentiated experiences.

The sophisticated young consumers that Chivas Regal and American Express both covet, have no need for access to more lifestyle tips, information of guides to the cities they live in or intend to visit.

This information is so readily available, in fact, it’s practically flowing like water. Sure, they value good insider tips and scoops, but most of the time this comes from their network or well-established niche publications and lists.

So why does MSN create “This is the Life” for Chivas Regal?

What’s American Express doing with Entertainment Access Spotlight?

The later is a beta test being run by American Express Labs. A radical new proving ground for new ideas from American Express, one can only hope the ideas get better and more radical.
American Express Labs
In the battle for attention it’s easy to think that content is the answer and it may well be, but just like advertising, it has to be real good to break through.

Media companies and young web entrepreneurs might be able to persuade brands into this, through a category sell and for brand managers jaded by advertising, it could be just the ticket, but in reality, creating great content takes time, talent and serious investment.

Doing something half-baked or borrowed from left over content, just isn’t going to work.

Brands need to think more imaginatively and should need to challenge their media partners to do the same, even if the content is part of a so-called added-value package.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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