What makes you happy? and other musings on branded content

[Posted by Mary Beth Kemp]

Mary Beth Kemp

On New Year’s Day, 2010, three young bloggers will begin touring the world, to try to figure out what makes people happy; and report it all through social media.  During the year, they’ll visit 206 countries and travel hundreds of thousands of miles… on behalf of Coca-Cola.  If you’re like me, you might wonder if they’ll get to keep the frequent flyer miles; or more seriously, how Coke became the arbiter of international happiness.   


To get our attention as consumers, brands are appropriating our passions, our interests, and yes, even our happiness.  Sometimes this association is a flop and sometimes it rings true.  It comes down whether the brand “really” has a compelling story to tell, and can make a contribution to the discussion.  Money helps, obviously. And although money can’t buy happiness, it can certainly help finance the discussion.     


Branded content -- content produced under the direction of a brand that captures people’s passions and interests -- can be a very effective way to build engaging relationships with consumers. Examples like Procter & Gamble “Being girl”, or Unilever‘s “In the Motherhood” series have proven that.  But many marketers are not equipped for the care and feeding of a content strategy.  And others may find their brand turns out to be the equivalent of the uninvited guest at the dinner party.  


Branded content is compelling, but not without risk.   To help you avoid some of the potential heartache, my colleague Kim LeQuoc and I have just published “Adding Branded Content To The Marketing Mix” which walks you through how to plan your brand becoming a content provider.  This is a subject we’ll continue to develop, so once you’ve read this, please let us know if you find it useful and what other aspects you’d like us to research. 


If you've already been there and done that, please share with us what was useful or troubling about your experience.  And do tell us: did it “work”?  Of course, if you’ve seen branded content that you think we should know about - good or bad; happy or unhappy – please send it our way too.  


And lastly, please join us in wishing those 3 brave – and hopefully happy - souls, touring the world to uncover the secret of cheer, "Bon Voyage!" Let's keep an eye on what they find out. 


re: What makes you happy? and other musings on branded content

Hi Mary, I'm the director's agent and digistrategist at http://www.rsafilms.com in London. My remit is to promote and generate new business for the company's commercial, musicvideo, documentary, TV and film directors from traditional and new media ad, comms, strategic and media agencies in UK, Europe and worldwide. I also liaise with foreign production companies and source new talent.We're trying to marry our core skills of production and creative storytelling through utilizing new tech across the new channels and platforms, developing new transmedia opportunities through likeminded relationships across the rapidly evolving new offline and online forms of engagement.Basically producing compelling brand funded video stories that entertain and engage us enough to want to spread and share it on with our own communities.Watch Scorsese in his award-winning brand funded short we produced here - http://bit.ly/5YlNFrWatch the results of that campaign here - http://bit.ly/7iPWaeWe also did www.luxfilm.jpstarring Catherine Zeta Jones for Lux shampoo brand for Japanese and Chinese markets. The short was the core of the campaign strategy and was written by Oscar nominated writer, Jeffrey Caine. Traditional TV ads would cut out of the short to drive consumers back to Lux site.Happy to chat further,Damiano