UNO April 2019

Brand and content creation: How to create publicity that will be seen

One of the challenges facing brands today is creating content that provides value to brands, also known as branded content (BC).

Why do you need to produce branded content?

1. There is more skepticism around and less visibility of traditional advertising, although it still can provide quick and effective national coverage. Generations of adolescents and young adults up to the age of 30 have completely different advertising consumption patterns than older generations do. They are fundamentally suspicious of all advertising, especially pop-up ads and those that interrupt digital experiences. They seek the truth, and they will double-check what influencers post on social networks for themselves.

2. In addition, on-demand entertainment from streaming platforms and new OTTs means advertising consumption is relegated to second place.

3. This makes it essential for brands to earn a share of entertainment rather than voice, especially in a world filled with information overload or “infoxication,” a term coined by Gonzalo Madrid. Every day, we have thousands of pieces of news to read across different social networks, not to mention videos sent to us by friends and colleagues and newsletters to keep us informed on the topics interests us.

4. Therefore, the best way to gain consumers’ attention is by producing content they want to consume.

• But then, is any type of content ok?
Not in principle. Brands have to carefully choose what content to produce and how to do it

• First, the content must be relevant to the target audience in question. This is where many brands fail. The interests of your target audience and its patterns of entertainment consumption will determine the type of content and distribution channel.

• Second, the content must be legitimate. The brand must be able to speak to the content and have a role in it. I would have loved to create Toyota’s “Drive as you Think” (Bravo, Curro!), but it has nothing to do with the telecommunications sector where I work. You have to ask yourself, is my brand the appropriate one to create this content? What is the brand’s role in it? For example, in the popular case of Ruavieja last Christmas, the brand justifiably encouraged people to see more of each other, because it is in bars or restaurants where we consume their product.

“Brands have to carefully choose what content to produce and how to do it. It must be relevant, appealing and attributable to the brand”

• The content must be appealing and contribute something to society or the target audience. The question to ask here is, how useful is my content? In the case of BBVA’s branded content platform and Learning Together platform, they provide wonderful advice and skills to educate children.

• The content must be attributable to the brand. There is a lot of debate here, but when content is easily attributed to a brand, then the value generated by the content is transferred to the brand. If you like the content, you’ll like the brand more; if you think it’s innovative, the brand will seem innovative; if it is youthful, the brand will be attractive to young people; and so on. What tends to be more complicated is determining how and when to give more prominence to the brand without altering the content, and my advice for that is: patience. First, show how your content is interesting and accessible. Worry about attribution afterward.

• Finally, let’s not kid ourselves. Although good content is more likely to be consumed organically, in a world with so much information, you have to promote that content. Obviously, this will not require the same kind of investment as traditional advertising does, but it will need enough of a push to motivate the public to help spread it out of a desire to share something good and not out of advertising pressure.

“The objective of branded content is to become the preferred form advertising, but this is not easy to achieve”

The objective of branded content is to become the preferred form advertising, but this is not easy to achieve. In Spain, every year we see more and more BC activities carried out in an exemplary manner, perfectly fulfilling all the criteria I mentioned. We are seeing a shift toward these new practices, which enrich us, advertisers and the consumer public. Most importantly, all these examples come from agencies that have managed to transform and work with producers to create this wonderful content, as well as brave advertisers who are committed to the medium- and long-term efficiency and development of a brand.

Branded content is here to stay, bringing our profession closer to entertainment and away the main advertising environment with what customers chose to consume. Is there anything that could be more fun?

Cristina Barbosa
Head of Brand & Marcomms for Vodafone Spain and president of BCMA Spain
The head of Brand & Marcomms for Vodafone Spain and president of BCMA Spain, she holds a degree in Business Law from CEU San Pablo University and has a professional career that stretches more than 20 years. She joined the telecommunications company in October 2013 as head of Marketing for Individuals. Before that, she served as the director of Services and Marketing Strategy for Citibank Spain. Between 2001 and 2006, she worked in communications at Aldeasa, where she was responsible for Customer Loyalty and Service. Her professional career began in the Marketing Department of Gillette Co., where she led brands such as Oral B, Paper Mate and Waterman. [Spain]

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