STAMFORD, Connecticut: Although the arctic nip of recession is slowing growth across much of the US media industry, branded entertainment – event sponsorship and marketing, paid product placements, advergaming and webisodes – looks set to enjoy robust growth through 2008 and beyond.
The prediction is based on record spend during 2007 in the branded entertainment marketing sector, which grew 14.7% to $22.3 billion (€15.3bn; £11.37bn).
Moreover, the genre has almost doubled in size over the last five years, as brand marketers continue to shift budgets from traditional advertising to alternative marketing strategies.
The trend is highlighted in Media Branded Entertainment Marketing Forecast: 2008-2012, a report released this week by PQ Media, a provider of alternative media econometrics.
Branded entertainment marketing (BEM) is projected to expand another 13.9% in 2008 to $25.41 billion, due mainly to brand marketers' quest for strategies and media that engage youth and other influential demographics.
Other growth drivers are BEM's capability to deliver return-on-investment metrics and record political campaign spending on alternative media in this contentious election year.
Says PQ Media president/ceo Patrick Quinn: "Even without an economic slowdown, there are strong secular trends driving investment from traditional advertising media to alternative marketing strategies."
"Americans are spending more time outside their homes, online at work, communicating via wireless devices and multitasking with various media, which has created a generation of elusive consumers for brand marketers to try to reach. And these trends have led to increased investment in alternative marketing tactics."
Branded entertainment marketing includes three major segments: event sponsorship and marketing; product placement; and advergaming and webisodes.
No longer confined just to TV and film, BEM represented approximately 8 cents of every marketing services dollar spent in 2007, according to the report.
Key trends impacting each segment of branded entertainment include: