Why is Branded Content so Popular?
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
Did you know 82% of people ignore online advertisements? Consumers are instead engaging with branded content now more than ever. But, why?
You may have watched The Boy Who Learned To Fly, a short biopic from Gatorade, which documents the life of the legendary Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt. Or perhaps, you’ve watched Dove’s awe-inspiring series of Real Beauty Sketches? Maybe you caught a glimpse of Carhartt’s Canvas of Life engrossing eight minutes of Jason Momoa detailing his life before Hollywood turned him into our latest superhero, Aquaman.
These are just a few incredible examples of branded content-- content that is driven by storytelling and creativity. Branded content is not a new concept, it is just now, however, skyrocketing with popularity for a number of reasons.
1. Content Consumers Want to Consume
“If a story is moving, no one is going to care that it’s brought to you by a brand. Rather, they’re going to be happy the brand brought it to them,”
-Mary De Wolf Swenson, Adweek
When branded content entails impactful and purposeful stories focused on the consumer experience it becomes representative of what your brand stands for and builds a foundation of trust with consumers.
In fact, more brands have started to focus on the idea of “taking the brand out of branded content” by becoming even more focused on the consumer experience. The Boy Who Learned to Fly is a perfect example of this--Gatorade itself is almost indiscernible throughout the video. Even with the brand’s lack of presence, the video has earned over 15 million views on YouTube alone.
2. Shareable Content
Branded content is content that consumers actually crave to engage with. Viewers are compelled by how the brands are incorporated into stories--just how Momoa’s tattered Carhartt pants tell a story about his life and how they will leave a legacy for generations to come.
So, when people feel inspired, find comic relief, or come across content that sparks a conversation, they are compelled to share the experience or dialogue with others. This unique characteristic of branded content not only sets it apart from traditional advertising, but drives the potential amount of views or interactions that a brand can amass.
3. Brand Recall
With 82% of Americans ignoring online advertisements the need for brands to create purposeful content is growing. An analysis from Nielsen found brand recall for traditional advertising was 65% among viewers compared to 86% for branded content.
Thus, branded content is the easiest way for brands to resonate with their audience instead of focusing on the actual product, which helps build a loyal and trusted consumer base.