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Kiersten Toye
March 09, 2017

How Branded Content Is Trending in 2017

Visual advertising has been the monetization method of choice for websites and television for decades. However, research findings dictating that 90% of viewers skip and block online and televised ads highlight publishers’ urgent need to creatively captivate visitors with advertising. The current trending solution to this need is branded content.

Branded content involves publishers substituting direct marketing of brands in ad spaces with self-made content that showcases brand sponsors in a more subtle way. With this content, brands witness brand recalls as high as 59% and have consumers 14% more likely to seek further information about them. The growing popularity of this type of content has also spurred the establishment of the Branded Content Marketing Association, which dedicates its time to analyzing and reporting branded content trends among international businesses.

Comedy Central, for instance,  is one company utilizing branded content.  The popular broadcasting channel now invests time to promote their sponsored brands via a humorous miniseries called Handy the Series. Written and directed by Josh Miller,  the series focuses on a hand model named Erik Thomas Layne (played by actor Erich Lane).


Handy The Series Joe's Crab Shack Video Handy's Erik Layne prepping for his Joe’s Crab Shack shoot

 Each skit is under seven minutes in length and consists of how Layne's attempts to climb the hand-career ladder lead to clumsy misfortunes that center around an individual brand. Joe’s Crab Shack and Zales are two brands that have been currently spotlighted in the series.

Video isn't the only outlet for branded content. Interactive gaming platforms are becoming the go-to way to expose consumers to brands. In December 2016, the app Pokemon Go began turning their game’s PokeStops into virtual billboards that display sponsored messages.

Pokemon Go stop

PokeStops located outside Starbucks cafes, for instance, tell players about a special off-menu Frappuccino created as homage to the game. Other current brands marketing their real world businesses to the app’s gamers include Sprint, Radioshack and Boost Mobile.

Insticator is also adding branded content to its agenda. Alongside its trivial, revenue-boosting widget, Insticator’s new tool InstiPoll is designed to help brands outreach to customers in an interactive manner. Through branded trivia and poll questions, advertisers gain an outlet of market research that ultimately strengthens decision-making process in regards to brand recall and target demographic strategies.

Aside from its limitless possibilities in terms of presentation, branded content’s successful outcomes continue to grow in popularity among businesses.

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