Joy Parks

Posts Tagged ‘traditional advertising vs branded content’

Look in the crystal ball… and see content marketing.

In business development, content, content strategy, The future on January 27, 2011 at 8:42 am

Royal Mail recently commissioned a report that looked forward to marketing trends in the relatively near future, 2020. What did they see? Less intrusion marketing, more permission contacts, more relevant messaging, a blurring between traditional marketing communications and consumer media, plus the gravitation towards more innovative way of providing information and interacting with customers–which may not be with us yet.

Sounds a lot like content marketing to me.

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What do you think your audience will swallow?

In content communities, What works on March 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm

After years of working in the advertising industry and sitting through countless pitches— when I see a particularly annoying or ineffective television commercial, I have to wonder what went on in the presentation meeting. Sometimes it seems as if traditional advertising is digging its own grave.

I would have paid good money to be at the pitch for a commercial for a mainstream brand of yogurt that’s currently running. I would have paid even more to know what was going on in the mind of the marketing executive who decided to green light it. Basically, it’s a woman in a long flowing gown, flanked by young men in tuxes (and possibly tails), singing and dancing about yogurt to a hokey broadway-esque tune.

Considering that the number one target market for yogurt is power moms who buy it by the case load because a) calcium and vitamin D are important for growing bones and apparently it’s easier to get a child to eat a cup of pink fruit-flavoured goo than drink a glass of milk and b) keeping a power mom’s schedule is rough on one’s digestive system. I’m trying to figure out how a power mom, a woman who lives in sportswear and quite literally doesn’t have time to go to the bathroom, can relate to fancy gowns, boy toys and dancing to show tunes. Seriously, how does this commercial in any way relate to yogurt or, for that matter, to contemporary marketing approaches?

Then there’s the Stonyfield approach—based totally on useful (and quite beautiful) branded content. Granted Stonyfield is a small boutique brand, but it’s got the marketing savvy to be a lot bigger. First of all, CEO Gary Hirshberg wrote Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World, an insider guide to running a profitable, environmentally responsible business. That’s big time credibility. Plus the Stonyfield website is full-on branded content. There’s a simply gorgeous video featuring beauty shots of the yogurt’s natural ingredients and the farms where the milk is produced, articles on organic living, a downloadable “go green” handbook, plus more conventional content like CRS goals, coupons and recipes. Not only is it a visual feast, but at a time when the local food movement is telling power mom she needs to be on a first-name basis with the guy who grew the tomatoes in her lunch salad, this level of branded information hits on all cylinders.

Let’s see—a traditional 30-second spot featuring an irrelevant dancing routine that has nothing to do with the product, ignores the needs of its audience and offers little but a corny sales pitch…or beautifully produced branded content that understands its audience and offers both information and a sense of community. The traditional approach is about the product, the company, the sale. The branded content approach is about understanding customers, responding to their needs and building relationships.

So which one do you think would be easier to swallow?