Brandvertainment On The Rise

A new survey from the Association of National Advertisers, finds that nearly two-thirds of client-side marketers—63 percent—plan to participate in branded entertainment projects in 2012.

The top three reasons why client-side marketers are finding branded entertainment, a.k.a. “brandvertainment” beneficial:

  • The ability to make a stronger emotional connection with the consumer (78 percent)
  • The ability to align their brand with relevant content (75 percent)
  • The ability to build brand affinity with a desired target group or demographic (73 percent)

Before going deeper here, it pays to examine what ANA means by branded entertainment. To ANA, “branded entertainment is more than product placement—it is a fully integrated means of linking a product within an entertainment source.”

What? I thought brandvertertainment was the entertainment source? “Product placement is not story telling,” it’s a media buy, argues Proximity SVP Matt Di Paola.


So, what have we learned? That so-called “branded entertainment” should not be confused with brand-sponsored content? Yes. And that clients want to develop emotional bonds with prospects and customers. At one time, that’s what the brand’s ad campaign was for. Today, it’s what relatively cheap-to-produce-and-run video is for. Denny’s knows what I’m talkin’ ’bout…



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.