Brands It is All About Entertainment

The ‘Movie-fication’ Of Brands: It’s All About Entertainment

by Jeff Whatcott, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013

Brand marketers have long championed the value of readily available, educational content. This is because — given the tech-saturated nature of daily existence — consumers want immediate access, typically on our mobile devices, to any number of microscopic pieces of information before they make a purchase.

Admit it: You scour online reviews before you even consider buying an item for personal use. The same in-depth, siloed, independent research occurs when we make business-to-business transactions. That’s why content marketing has become table stakes for brands — it’s not really new or innovative anymore; it’s a given.

But, brands aren’t just sitting on their laurels now that they’ve mastered content marketing 101: that is, to educate and inform. Instead, they’re elevating their content efforts. Consumers expect information, but they don’t necessarily expect a brand to appeal to their emotions or to delight them with entertainment.

They’re in for a surprise, though! We’ve found more and more brands taking advantage of streaming video to reach consumers on a whole other level of engagement. Call it the “movie-fication” of brands, if you like. So what does that mean, exactly? Here are a few examples:

The fashion brand Hugo Boss (a client) has embraced online video with gusto. In addition to taking advantage of live video streaming services to bring its fashion shows to the masses in real time, the company has also embraced the power of short film by recruiting famous directors to develop film narratives on its collections. The beauty of this approach is that the entertainment value — brand affinity — remains long after the bright lights of the fashion show are dimmed.

Chipotle provides one of the coolest examples of semi-non-branded “brand” marketing I’ve seen in a long time. Through an extended (three-and-a-half minute) animated video, or movie, really, Chipotle tells the story of a lonely scarecrow disturbed by the process by which food is prepared. Through only subtle brand hints (i.e. the Scarecrow discovers a chili pepper, part of Chipotle’s logo, near his home which inspires him to start a business as a fresh food vendor), Chipotle communicates a powerful message to its target consumers and showcases its position as a purveyor of natural ingredients. There is simply no way this type of emotional connection could ever be achieved without the power of video.

Lexus’ foray into entertainment video hosting offers consumers free access to a variety of Web series and short films featuring household names such as Lisa Kudrow,, Seth Green and Diablo Cody. The material doesn’t promote or feature Lexus in any way. Instead, it aligns the carmaker with content and themes that it knows its target consumer will be interested in. Offering something for nothing — at least, not immediately expecting anything in return — is always a great starting point for a brand-to-consumer relationship, and Lexus is embodying thi

These examples are only the tipping point. As the content marketing ecosystem continues to evolve, consumers will only benefit more. To gain mindshare, brands know that they have to be creative, and they have to push the envelope. Brands are taking pages from both Madison Avenue and Hollywood’s playbooks as they usher in this new era of brand/entertainment marketing.

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Jeff Whatcott is chief marketing officer at Brightcove, where he leads worldwide marketing activity for the company. Jeff has previously served in senior leadership positions at Acquia, Adobe, Macromedia and Allaire where he was responsible for software products and services.

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