Exploring Branded Content

Posted on September 28, 2015 by


photo by ajmunnNot surprisingly, branded content has become a popular term that seems self-explanatory but often remains vague as to what it entails.

This article on Contagous.com ‘WTF is Branded Content? It’s Complicated’ points out: “one of the problems with trying to define branded content is that there’s unlikely to ever be any consensus because everyone has a different take on what branded content is, or should be.”

So why the relentless ‘rise’ of branded content? Why now? Is this consumer-lead or brand-lead? I think we all get the point that brands need to constantly adjust and change the way they communicate. After all, one of the key roles of a brand’s marketing department involves enhancing the brand itself to make it appealing, approachable and trustworthy.

If we consider what brands are trying to achieve and move onto understanding what their audiences want, we may have a good starting point for productive discussion. From the perspective of the business, it has to always take into account affordability and ROI, which, I feel keeps us honest and focused. From the consumer perspective, do we want branded content? Will it really endear us to a brand, or at least build a level of trust and understanding?

So for this chat session, let’s explore the following:

Q1 What are we trying to achieve with Branded Content?

Q2 Predictable marketing hype cycles aside, why has branded content become such a ‘thing’?

Q3 Do consumers really want Branded Content, and if so why do they? Or why not?

Q4 Does branded content influence/affect a consumer’s level of trust? Will Branded content change anything?

Q5 How should we approach Branded Content? How should it be produced? What is its lifecycle? Who should own it? Are we comfortable with marketing agencies taking the lead? Won’t it be a case of more of the same, but under a new banner? Or, do we feel that marketing agencies are perfectly situated to take the lead as they understand how to work with marketing departments and surely this is still creative? Not sure how that question will fit into a 140 question limit.

Really looking forward to your thoughts.


Thanks to Autom for collaborating on this post.