The New Face of Branded Entertainment and Influencer Marketing
Shannon Pruitt, President of The Story Lab @ Dentsu Aegis Network got in front of our camera to share her agency’s approach to reaching people. They combine great creative, technology, and partners, with data and insights that informs and inspires the telling of stories.
So what does this mean? This is emblematic of a shift in our behavior as marketers. We have to speak to audiences in a way that matches what they consume. And we’ve been lagging on this front. Sometimes people are on a mobile device, watching TV, often both; sometimes they are looking for answers others they are wearing their entertainment hat. Often they are bouncing between both. Either way, Shannon tells us, the story needs to cut across platforms. This means branded entertainment and authentic storytelling is a must for connecting with audiences.
Branded entertainment isn’t new, but the way branded entertainment has become a part of pop culture IS new. When Shannon worked on American Idol it was a place for brands to buy fans, an acquisition mechanism. The opportunity we’ve evolved towards is leveraging these distribution mechanisms as a way to actually talk to people. Marketers have to look at these shows and acquired fans as a tool to continue both the brand’s story as well as an authentic way to connect with people.
So, how do influencers fit into this mix? YouTube, Vine, Instagram creators are “real people” with real, authentic voices, that care about what their audience’s think and provides brands an opportunity to engage on a whole new level. But you as a brand need to remember that these relationships are sacred. These aren’t distribution channels; they are a way for you to tell your story in a different way.