Warc Briefing: Branded content

Definition: Branded content comprises entertainment vehicles funded and developed by advertisers, typically with the help of an agency, to promote brands in an organic and integrated way.

Quick facts

  • In 2004 American consumers spent more on entertainment, including movies, music, cable TV, websites, video games, than business spent on advertising – $178.4 billion, versus $175.8 billion – for the first time since records begani.
  • According to the ANA, two-thirds of US marketers use of branded entertainmentii.
  • Love Bites, Unilever's webisode comedy shown between instalments of Sex and the City, went viral and became one of the top 25 comedies on YouTubeiii.

History and future outlook

Branded content, also known as branded entertainment, is closely associated with product placement and sponsorship. Branded content differs from the latter two disciplines in that it originates-both in terms of financing and in creative inspiration – directly from the advertiseriv. However, the history of all three is closely intertwined.