I hope I didn’t say that out loud just now?
I’m going to be honest with myself for a moment, perhaps in detriment to this blog post and our collective profession as a whole. After having been in this business in some form or fashion since 1995 (ughh, should I even be saying this out loud?), and perhaps that fact alone is partially to blame, but certainly the current state of the advertising industry likely has more to do with it. I know you are probably with me on this, but I’m likely lonely when grouped with fellow marketing professionals. (Queue inner dialog again: I’m stalling, get to the point. But I shouldn’t be saying this. But it’s the truth … ) I HATE MARKETING!
Side Effects May Include
Let’s face it. It’s intrusive. Unapologetic. Bombarding. Relentless. Soul sucking. Boring. Predictable. Crushingly repetitive. Impotent. Uninspired. Yeah yeah yeah… Every opportunity to escape ads is being eaten back up by the deep pocketed, wholy lame corporate advertisers who push quantity over quality. (Maybe they are using Fiverr?). Nowhere is safe anymore. Of course there is a random pleasant surprise, but I sense that the majority of mass-market-serving media “talent” has finally either lost their will to live and “fight the good fight” in the name of creativity or has simply reverted to some form “yes ma’am, great idea sir!”.
WTF is still with the pharma commercials? I mean they must work? Do they? Can you imagine the money being spent!? For god’s sake who trades Restless Leg Syndrome for a bleeding anus (possible side effects may include …). And, who decided that every single insurance commercial had to be funny? Geico, now the second largest advertiser in the US, set the stage only to reboot it 1000 times over. Remember the very first caveman commercial? Brilliant. One of the best ever. I still listen to that song…”everywhere I go, there’s always something to remind me of another place in time … dee dee dee dee de deee deee dee dee.” And don’t those memorable AT&T and Verizon commercials make you, as a former corporate exec used to say “get up off the couch and buy!”? Can’t remember one can you? My 5 year old remembers all of the jingle hooks though. Nice. If you care to get a shockingly accurate inside look into how most corporate advertising comes to be click, on the image below for a look at “Truth in Advertising” by Tim Hamilton. It still holds up after 10 years! (https://bit.ly/3t4Axaa)
We’re All Quite Mad Here. You’ll Fit Right In.
Whoa pard! Get out of the rabbit hole! That kinda felt good though. Thank you for indulging me. Let’s just say props and word-up to those out there, clients and marketing professionals alike who remain worthy of our limited attention span. But, on to the point of this post … How to not fall into this monotonous, effective only in cadence and frequency corporate drivel. The answer is more BRANDED CONTENT MARKETING!
Branded content is the most effective comeback to an increasingly saturated market. To combat this disdain for ever-present promotion, marketers need to look for more genuine, informative, and entertaining ways to connect an audience. We must impact them in creative ways that don’t SELL but rather SPEAK (not to be confused with preach Patagonia!). This isn’t a new concept folks, but one that will continue to drive effective marketing plans that produce more genuine and positive brand impressions.
For the uninitiated, branded content is lifestyle content with a touch of product placement presented by some sort of brand ambassador beit an owner, employee, influencer, etc. Most of the best branded content is found on the Youtubes, Tik-Toks and Instagrams of the world, and some of it is darn right brilliant but it remains out of view of the remaining mass-market audience. Let’s face it though, what is still regarded as “mainstream” mass-market just ain’t so anymore. Nowadays, mainstream is all online apps and social media. But somehow old-guard advertising echo chambers find a way to beat their way into our collective consciousness.
Everything is Awesome!
Podcasts, blogs, video, music, events, long/short form, really any medium can become viable branded marketing content. Just don’t sell! That’s the kicker. Today’s audience can smell a rat in no time. Rather, the product must be seen as an attribute to the skill, activity, service, lifestyle or even point-of-view being portrayed. The great part is that once the content is created, there are endless ways to effectively publish and measure the results. In the marketplace, big-money efforts continue to flood into the content/influencer marketing mediums. This is especially so on the heels for the world being pent-up indoors for over a year where digital marketing gains greater and greater footholds. For a powerful example of top-tier branded content marketing, look no further than the Lego Movie franchise.
So how do you tell your story in a way that connects with people and promotes your brand or products in a more genuine manner? I can tell you that it can be a bit challenging and certainly does not represent the “easy way” as most advertising does. But that is how you get your customers to know, trust and appreciate what you are selling. There’s lots of info on the google machine, most of it vague but you can begin to piece it all together. Start with the bare essence and begin to script out your high level thoughts. Or, maybe just reach out to us and we can point you in the right direction or we will help you sort it all out!