Jonathan Schwartz Discusses The Future of Branded Entertainment with SHOTS

Published 04.22.2016

What’s The Future of Branded Entertainment

In an over-connected digital age where viewers – especially the coveted younger viewers – are regularly on multiple devices at the same time, we consume more content than ever. But while this boost in media presents a major opportunity for brands and advertisers, it comes at a time when audiences are savvier than ever being the target of marketing messages.

Enter: branded content. Storytelling and entertainment have always been at the core of the most effective advertising, but now brands are seeing an urgent necessity to create entertaining content in order to stay relevant. Or even stay in business…

“A lot of companies are being reactive to the demand, adding “media” or “360 content” to their names without shifting their big picture approach.”

What makes for good branded content? This form of advertising has to have the same framework as any quality TV show or feature film. It’s just as inspiring to take in a really well-written 30 second spot as it is to read a great feature script.

You want to laugh. You want to cry. You want to feel something. You want to learn something. The best work comes down to evoking emotion. Whether it be a feature film or a two-minute branded video, it has to tell a story that resonates with people.

 Snapchat may be a “hot” new platform to be on, but that doesn’t mean it will be effective for every brand.

Production companies that have always had their hands in long-form entertainment have navigated this shift with greater ease. A lot of companies are being reactive to the demand, adding “media” or “360 content” to their names without shifting their big picture approach.

Focusing on the talent is what it all boils down to: if you represent unique talent and people from different disciplines, then you will always be sought after for work that is narrative-driven. For instance, we have always had film projects coming out of Washington Square Films, so when broadband improved and agencies started asking for longer content for the web, we automatically got the calls.

Academy Award-winning director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, who directed Birdman and The Revenant, as well as Nike’s Write the Future.

A lot of longer-form content creators are interested in shorter-form work. If you can bring a director who has been nominated for an Academy Award or won major festivals to a two-to-three minute content piece, then you are upping the ante.

Everyone wants to work with the best talent they can and now that the lines between entertainment and advertising are blurrier than ever, the separation of talent is a lot less rigid. There is no longer a stigma associated with shifting between feature and short-form work.

What doesn’t work? Forcing a certain type of content on a brand that doesn’t fit the approach or aesthetic. Snapchat may be a “hot” new platform to be on, but that doesn’t mean it will be effective for every brand.

Success is now measured in views and shares. If people aren’t talking about it, then what’s the point? And since what motivates a person to share a story can be extremely subjective, it’s absolutely essential to know who your audience is. It can’t be heavy handed and it has to fit the brand. There’s nothing worse than being hit over the head.

Original link: SHOTS – Branded Entertainment with Jonathan Schwartz