Ian Wright of Ipsos outlines a methodology for measuring branded entertainment that enacts an 'experimental design' in a controlled environment that mimics normal exposure to the content.
Measuring a branded entertainment campaign can be the market research equivalent of putting together IKEA furniture - simple in concept, surprisingly difficult in practice. And like that Aardvark wardrobe you've spent several hours trying to assemble; you can be left looking at lots of components without knowing how they relate to one another and unsure if the whole thing will actually fit together.
As anyone who has tried to evaluate the success of a branded entertainment campaign will tell you, there are numerous challenges to overcome. The first is that what constitutes branded entertainment is very diverse. It could be an event taking place over a few minutes, hours, days, months; it might be a 90-second online video, a 30-minute TV show or a feature-length movie; it could exist in a virtual or real world; it might require consumer participation or be entirely passive. Whatever it might be, it's unlikely that consumers will regard it as advertising and therefore we can't talk to them about it in those terms.