Friday, March 24, 2006

Brands seek "alternative" cure

For many brands, the search for the alternative to the TV ad continues, while some may have found answers of their own. Read more to find out…

The study of the decline of the 30-second TV commercial – that goes by the cutesy nick “the 30” – has been the cause of concern to advertisers in developed advertising and media industries for some time. If the good old ad doesn’t work, what does?

For some time, the industry has been looking to alternatives such as “branded entertainment.” Brands are looking to engage consumers in new ways. And in this quest for the Holy Grail of New Ways of Consumer Engagement, the phenomena called “branded entertainment” seems to be having a lot of promise.

In my opinion, branded entertainment, which has become the fashionable catchphrase in even underdeveloped markets such as that of Pakistan for no reason but fashion & following, is the of the ad & media industries: it is not quite understood, it is pursued in search of delivering results, and it is built around concept as flaky as the era was built around.

There is often little understanding that branded entertainment and/or possible alternatives to the 30 are not the answer to a quest for making ads more creative, they are based on economic needs of societies that are saturated with products, media, and ideas. And just as a does not make an average brick & mortar business a Google-like success, jazzy alternatives to the 30 do not solve “the problem.”

And so, for those like BMW who understand the perils of considering branded entertainment a cure-all, the search for the alternative to the TV ad continues. There are some lucky ones, though, who have found much needed new rules for consumer engagement – at least for now.

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