Branded Entertainment brings about Return on Engagement

The world is changing at a rapid pace and it is crucial for stakeholders in the media industry to keep abreast of the changes. Technological advancements and shift in consumer behaviour are creating multi dimensional media environments in which new forms of entertainment & advertising are becoming possible.

Shola Fajobi, CEO DMI
Shola Fajobi, CEO DMI

The old and generic way of doing things are becoming obsolete and exciting new opportunities are opening up. One of the major changes involves the convergence of advertising & entertainment platforms.

Why is branded entertainment more effective than the old 30-second spot? It’s all about emotional engagement. Viewers derive value from a laugh or identification with a well-drawn character.

“In order to tell a great story that will engage an audience with a brand, you really have to understand the brand target audience and what is relevant to them, what excites them and what influences them. The audience is the chief stakeholder here, their entertainment touchpoint is the ultimate channel to reach them.

The advent of technology like mobile phone, internet, social networking sites like facebook e.t.c. are making content increasingly mobile and personal where audiences can decide to shut out marketing messages altogether. This has begun to happen even with conventional media like TV e.t.c. A young woman can afford to watch music videos on a music video channel on cable without watching the advert segments, but imagine if brand communication is already embedded in the content of the music video. Or Special Incidentals that are placed in a drama series that ensures that in each episode, there is a strong but subtle use of brand. Or instead of allowing readers of a magazine to flip over your advert without going thru it, embed the advert in a sponsored content page like Fashion and Style Pull Out.

With so many media platforms and variety of channels at our fingertips, consumers are demanding higher quality experiences in exchange for their time. It’s up to brands – and a new breed of agencies – to entertain them. The Question is what are you doing?

Content Is King:

Content continues to play a crucial role in the branded entertainment activations now used by leading Advertisers, “brands are now involved in content which includes entertainment, educational, and informative materials.”

Regardless of definition, new and innovative ways of merging brands into content or entertainment vehicles are being experimented on a daily basis. What is relevant to your target audience, what are they passionate about, what kind of content excites them? Identify these touch-points, attract your audience, and engage them in a meaningful and emotional way which will ultimately influence them to stay loyal to you.

 Compelling content is what people talk about and what they share, How brands leverage that to build relationships is where the opportunity is.

The Nollywood Opportunity/Case Study:

nollywood brandBeyond Product Placement or Product in Use, Nollywood Provides Brands, Great Consumer Engagement Platform where Brand Challenges are Identified, then Creatively and Subtly Communicate the Brand Message to the audience without been too obvious. That is the Special Deal Nollywood Movies bring to the Table.

These Movies provide dynamic Brands and Advertisers Windows of Consumer Engagement Activations where your brand becomes Great Character in the Movies.

Nollywood which ranks 3rd after Hollywood and Bollywood has continued to evolve.

Today Nollywood has high level of followership compared to other entertainment platforms. There is clearly an opportunity for brands to capitalize on Nollywood to drive the sales of their brands through Brand Engagement and Content Integration.

  • More than 1,500 Home Videos are released yearly.
  • Each movie unit bought for home use is watched by more than 20 different people while movie unit sold to a video club is watched by more than 100 people.
  • Producers sell between 10,000 – 20,000 copies of their movies in DVD while the Porta/Oil 7 in 1 DVD and VCD sells between 100,000 – 250,000 Copies.
  • Nollywood Movies are also largely watched on the Internet and Cable Stations by Millions of People
  • Nollywood Movies have high pass on rate.
  • Nollywood Movies is a major content component of TV Stations either on Cable or Terrestrial, this gives us opportunity to reach additional 60million People. [With Content Integration].

However, achieving success in this area is a function of how the Brands can manage the Chain, Good that some New Bespoke Agencies are springing up in the Country offering 360degree Management of the process. Some brands have been successful in this area while some brands have failed woefully in their partnership with Nollywood.

Advertisers will need to set Project Scope for Agency inclusive of the following;

Production scope

  • Scout and identify credible producers to work with
  • Supervise scripting and proofing of stories in line with set objectives
  • Takes ownership of key deliverables, cascades to producers and track compliance
  • Visit shoot locations where brands are going to be integrated
  • Define the various distribution channels (eg cinema, CD distribution, release etc) and highlight the roles they play in meeting the objective
  • Assess and share potential measurements within each distribution channel

 Post production scope

  • Ensure best in class post production (quality, sound matching, graphics etc)
  • Supervise the PR & Promotions campaign [Premiere and Event Details, Other Branding Opportunities e.t.c.]

 Communication scope

  • Regular communication and reporting back to client on a Weekly basis

Further, both Advertiser and Agency will be required to Set Measurement Parameters and Compel the Producers to sign agreement and implement based on these parameters for example

The Reach

Media split Reach
TV Content Sale and Broadcast on One Network Station and 3 State Based Stations
DSTV At least one station in the Africa Magic Channels. 4 – 8 times Repeat Broadcast.
DVD distribution 20,000 copies distributed

200,000 copies of VCD and Oil/Porta Copies

Cinemas 12,000 audience viewings across Nigeria

[This is applicable to only Movies going to Cinema]

Internet 100,000 views on iroko or ibaka
PR premiere In 1 location successfully (reach more than 10 journalists – radio/TV)
PR buzz 360degree holistic

Scripting Rule Guide

  • Clear and unambiguous use of the brand
  • Brand will not be used alongside a competing brand
  • Brand attributes will be clearly communicated
  • Brand will be infused in to the movie from scripting stage
  • Only Brand Message Relevant movies will be proposed
  • Scripts and Dialogue will be outlined and approved before production.
  • Movie Synopsis and Cast List must be provided before approval and Producer must ensure compliance
  • Integrated Scene[s] will be submitted, reviewed and approved before Movie is Released.

BrandedEntertainment_ThumbIn conclusion, if the above parameters are set and well implemented, Brands will realize that with Nollywood, they can eat their cake and have it. And the truth is that Nollywood needs all investment that they can get to produce good quality movies especially with the advent and almost complete take over of Pirates.

Finally, Brand Managers needs to stop assuming that I know Producer A or B, they need to engage professional Agencies to manage the processes otherwise they will get their fingers burnt. It must be understood that most Producers in Nollywood do not have the discipline or core competence to manage the process, at the end of the day; they measure their own activities while brands need to measure the results.

Tracking the process can be very tedious for Brand Managers to do directly, Brand Managers can actually compel the Agencies to work with their preferred producers but they will need to let the Agencies own and lead the execution details so as to hold them responsible for the success or failure of the Activation.

Sola Fajobi can be reached via solafajobi@yahoo.com