“Brands and marketers competing to engage content-hungry consumers need to be creative in the strategies they deploy to appeal to viewers, especially in an age of ad-blocking technology.”
That’s the take from global information and measurement company Nielsen.
Nielsen’s research reveals that branded content — marketing that unites entertainment or editorial content with brand or product messaging — outperforms other ad formats.
“Examples range from online video series that educate viewers on a topic while featuring a brand to integrations within a TV show that include special story arcs to highlight specific products,” noted Nielsen. “The bottom line is that branded content is emerging everywhere as a new way for brands and marketers to engage with consumers.”
Nielsen analyzed consumer responses to more than 100 pieces of branded content and found that a brand’s effectiveness (e.g., how a brand resonates with viewers) is largely affected by the format and environment the message is delivered in.
Three takeaways from the analysis were that:
- Branded content can drive higher brand recall and brand lift than pre-roll.
- When viewers enjoy content, they view the integrated brands more favorably.
- Partnering with a publisher can drive ad impact.
“While there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to creating impactful branded content, we’ve identified some common themes in our research and content testing that can be used as best practices for making content resonate with audiences,” said Harry Brisson, the Director of Lab Research at Nielsen.
Interestingly, respondents had strong feelings about hosts and characters.
“Content must be engaging as well as relatable on a personal level,” noted Nielsen. “It’s also important for branded content to have hosts and characters that are relatable, along with being likable and credible as experts. According to the findings, viewers who rate a video’s central personality to be ‘excellent’ are significantly more likely to seek out additional content than viewers who rate the central personality to be ‘fair’ or ‘poor.’”
To read more about Nielsen’s report, click here.