Branded Content – A Beautiful Story or a Sales Pitch?

One of this week’s hottest and top trending videos is a great example of how to create branding and how to communicate a story that really resonates with an audience. It is also however, a potential way to turn an audience off your product and to lose interest in the story that is being told.

This style of marketing is called Branded Content. It is not a new marketing technique, but it is definitely something that is, and will, become a more prominent marketing tool in the near future. It is most effective for creating brand awareness and services, and in my opinion, less so for specific products or product launches.

Branded content is essentially entertainment with a marketing spin. So in the case of this Samsung video, the first half of the video focuses on a heart-felt story about a family separated by distance, and a father who wants to be there for his child’s birth. The video is intriguing, beautifully crafted and most importantly, engaging on an emotional level.  The real people in the video are relatable, and the audience can feel a real connection with these people. For these reasons, you want to continue watching to see what happens.

So what happens? Well I won’t spoil it, you can take a look for yourselves  – but once you get about half way through this beautiful story, Samsung  throw in what is essentially a blatant product “launch” video that they cobbled into this emotional and loving story.

 

In my opinion, at that point of the video, all the good will that was built up preceding, was reduced by half when the video became more about the product on offer rather than the story I had become absorbed in. I continued watching until the end, purely to to see how the technology actually worked.

Samsung is a well know worldwide brand. In 3 days this video has generated around 8 million views – which is a pretty impressive feat – but looking at the other top trending videos this week, the 100 Years of Beauty video we showed in the previous blog garnered close to 4 million views in just 1 day. This Samsung video is still an amazing piece of marketing, and has had incredible result nonetheless… but I believe the product could have been fused into the story in a more subtle way, continuing the journey the video had started to lead us on.

With branded content, there is always a fine line between what is content and what is pure selling – and in this case, I feel that the incorporation of the product and the product demonstration, really took away from what was to be an engaging and emotive piece of work. What are your thoughts?

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