The Future Of Advertainment

Andy Taylor

Advertainment and infotainment are terms that have been bandied around for years, and yet this amalgamation of advertising or information and entertainment has still to prove itself the holy grail of advertising that everyone had hoped, at least as ameans of avoiding channel-hopping by TV viewers.

In fact, many of the larger advertising agencies set up specific content departments years ago. For example, Bartle Bogle Hegarty established a content division to explore promotional opportunities outside conventional advertising, and MindShare, the media agency, established a production arm in partnership with Elizabeth Murdoch's Shine. Yet, while on the cusp of always being the next big breakthrough in terms of an advertising genre, infotainment and advertainment have been disappointingly slow to take off and to date have returned very little commercial success. In spite of one or two tentative ventures, the soap opera has not returned to TV, nor have other ways of embedding brands in programmes made significant progress.