Branded Content – A Baby On Its Feet At Last


MIPCOM, CANNES: Pepsi’s Marketing Director, Thomas Moradpour, claimed that through advertising clutter in the market place where the consumer receives over 3,000 messages daily the traditional “consumer model is broken.’ The new model being adopted at Pepsi irecongises that information is not the power but “consumer engagement is today’s currency’.

Moradpour said that their marketing spend is still predominantly based on classical television spend, at 98%, but that is changing as their 360° solution, which is known as 3D marketing, is about reallocating budget into cross-platform mediums “adding layers in media space to engage deeper with the target [consumer]’. It was established that Pepsi’s “game is not about format rights’ and welcomed strategic partnerships with producers. The agency will still continue to be gatekeepers but today’s age demands specialists working together delivering the final product that consumers will engage with.

Echoing the client’s viewpoint on Branded Content was David Leclabert, the Pepsi brand custodian at BBDO, Paris. Leclabert stated that the media world had to, and has changed fore “we live in an attention society where compelling content is vital’. He also reiterated that the traditional “ecosystem’ chain of working via agencies had changed but it is crucial to “engage the client or the agency at conceptual stage as the Brand DNA needs to be its lifeblood’.

Because of the lack of production knowledge and broadcaster relationships from the agency perspective it is becoming common practice for producers to cross the divide and act as a bridge between the marketing and entertainment worlds. Eileen Bastinelli, the discussion’s mediator and BBDO’s production subsidiary managing director, said it was important that the two world learn to integrate and for agencies to provide an insight in how they operate.

Bastinelli went further in saying that the very large attendance of this conference session was testament to the growing interest in this arena as the numbers were nominal a few MIP markets ago. It is clear that the model of qualitative Branded Content is being accepted by agencies, and more so by broadcasters, and commercially viable.

Mike Morley, Endemol’s Senior Executive Director provided the producer perspective stating that Branded Content was where Endemol earned the majority of its revenue. It was claimed that over 1,100 formats exist worldwide and most are founded on clients’ money funding or sponsorship. He did acknowledge that Endemol are a huge company with a vast portfolio and thus have found the path in this Branded Content arena easier than most but by no means straightforward in a “landscape that is fractured’.

Leclabert insists that today’s youth market “fit 40-hours of activity into 24-hours’ as they consume media simultaneously. To match this insatiability in content requires creativity and a move away from commissioning from the advertising budget – the budgets have shrunk but the demand is higher. Moradpour concluded by emphasising his initial point with clarity: “throwing money at a campaign does not guarantee success today…it is all about compelling content.’ ~ Anthony Wayment


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