Through its primary objective, branded entertainment capture and maintain consumer attention. While most advertisers repeat the same thing while marketing their products, branded entertainment approaches have completely transformed the advertising industry (Mildenhall 1). In line with the importance of brand entertainment, the aim of this paper is not only to provide the definition of branded entertainment but also describe how the branded entertainment approach is used at Coca-Cola. In addition, the use of branded entertainment at Coca-Cola to reach the target market, and the use of branded entertainment for consumer outreach will be discussed. Lastly, this paper will explore other areas where the Coca-Cola Company can use branded entertainment.
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Definition of Branded Entertainment
As the initial budgets of television programming continue to shrink, the alternative business model opportunities continue to increase. In recent times, branded entertainment has been used to demonstrate how product placement utilizes media. As a new shift in marketing approaches, branded entertainment has moved towards creating content that consumers want to see as opposed to the already seen advertisements. This content can range from personal blog posts to reality TV shows to infographics to vine videos. In branded entertainment, the meaning is usually integrated into the content idea.
Branded Entertainment at Coca-Cola
The Coco-Cola company is an American beverage multinational. Since its first sale in 1986, the company has continued to drive the market with innovation, as well as increased investments in local economies. With over 500 brands, the Coca-Cola Company has been ranked among the world’s most successful brands across the globe (Mildenhall 1). Even though the company has a wide range of opportunities, it has committed itself to not only its customers but also the areas and communities of operation.
In the recent past, Coca-Cola has utilized the branded entertainment space through a number of approaches. These strategies include the transmedia approach that lets consumers understand how Coke vending machines work. For instance, the FIFA 2014 World Cup campaign involved a documentary that provided a history of football festivities (Mildenhall 1). Coca-Cola is among the many companies that have successfully utilized the brand entertainment approach to its advantage. Coca-Cola’s “Step from Zero” is one of the most successful brand entertainment approaches.
The Target Market of the “Step from Zero” Campaign
On examining the value of branded entertainment in developing the “Ogilvy Entertainment Assessment Model,” Jonathan (1) investigated the utilization of branded entertainment at the Coca-Cola Company. After winning two awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2010, Coca-Cola’s “Step from Zero” campaign was one of the most successful branded entertainment approach (Mildenhall, 2012). With the objective of sending the message, “anyone can make it,” the branded entertainment approach targeted young people. In addition, these marketing approaches involved the partnership with David Guetta, a world-renowned DJ, for creating a film that features his career and life. Despite the differences present in these approaches, Branded Entertainment has helped Coke-Cola identify a new target market. The company has recently embarked on social experiments for its products to establish a potential business model.
Coke Zero formed a partnership with Jon Chu, the director of Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, to create a worldwide audition on social media (Mildenhall 1). The aim of this social media audition was to spark a conversation that would help in creating branded entertainment. The director of Legion of Extraordinary Dancers opened a casting call that will create a global dance move as a way to create capacity in young people. While sharing suggestions online, consumers were invited to watch the global dance.
Through this campaign, Coke Zero was able to receive hundreds of dance moves across the globe. In these campaigns, Knucklehead won the contest and was given the responsibility of spreading the conversation across the globe in social media. As established, in this case, social platforms serve the best approach for outreach. With the advancements in technology, consumers are increasingly getting connected. Utilizing social media in the branded entertainment approach will help companies reach out to target markets across the globe. Branded entertainment can be used to achieve other organizational objectives (Mildenhall, 1). For instance, companies can utilize the branded entertainment to preach peace as a corporate social responsibility. Through its efficient nature, the branded entertainment approach can also help in addressing environmental issues, among other social responsibilities.
Fueled by the shifts in consumer behavior and technological advancements, the branded entertainment industry has greatly expanded. Marketing resources associated with branded entertainment are significantly increasing the campaign budgets. While brands seek to expand consumer engagement, they are adopting entertainment approaches that will help in articulating the brand story. As established in this paper, the current trend in brand entertainment, characterized by brand absence, is establishing a strong relationship between brand promise and values. Because of its digital nature, branded entertainment does lower not only the costs of production but also the costs associated with distribution. While the relationship between entertainment and advertising continues to increase, the importance of the traditional marketing approach is diminished. Considering its successful nature at Coca-Cola, there is a need for marketers to adopt marketing strategies that will connect the product to the consumers.
Mildenhall, Jonathan. ‘Coca-Cola’S Jonathan Mildenhall on the Value of Branded Entertainment’. Ogilvyentertainmentblog.com. N.p., 2012. Web.