Branded entertainment makes gains

15 June 2012

LONDON: Consumers are putting increased value on branded entertainment, but marketing of this kind must be "done organically" if it is to gain traction, a survey from PR firm Edelman has shown.

According to the report, which polled consumers in the UK and US, perceived value in the entertainment industry as a whole has risen to its highest level in three years. More specifically, 29% said they "appreciate" recommendations of content from brands.

However, this approach to marketing is not universally popular, with 15% saying that receiving such recommendations make them feel more negatively towards the companies supplying them.

Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter were cited by respondents as particularly effective channels for brand messages, with 40% saying they "see the most value" in social media, compared to any other entertainment source. Last year, just 34% said the same.

Andy Marks, a general manager at Edelman Sports & Entertainment Marketing, said: "At the end of the day, audiences want and expect to be entertained.

"If done organically, branded entertainment can be a powerful vehicle to connect brands to their audiences, driving conversations on and off line."

Significant disparities between consumer behaviour in the US and UK were revealed by the report. Just 29% of British consumers said they shared content with their online friends, compared to 38% of Americans, while there was a similar gap for Facebook "likes" (23% versus 29%).

Just under half (42%) of consumers in the US were also more likely to say they enjoyed interacting with entertainment content, compared to 31% of their UK counterparts.

The proliferation of digital touchpoints available to consumers has also boosted online entertainment providers. A majority of respondents in both the US (51%) and the UK (54%) watch the content on their laptops, while 14% and 10% respectively use tablets for this purpose.

Data sourced from Edelman; additional content by Warc staff