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Literature review Definitions of Branded Entertainment have evolved since the early description by Balasubramanian (1991), who defined the placement of brands in film as a new genre of marketing communication tools, which he called ‘hybrid messages’. Branded Entertainment is defined by the UK Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA 2011) as a company who pays a TV channel or a programme-maker to include its products or brands in their programme. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA 2011) defines it as a fully integrated means of linking a product within an entertainment source. Hudson and Hudson (2006) define Branded Entertainment as the integration of advertising into entertainment content, whereby brands are embedded into storylines of a film, television programs, or other entertainment mediums. This includes co-creation and collaboration between entertainment, media and brands. Hudson and Hudson (2006) proposed that the term Branded Entertainment will be used and be defined as the integration of advertising into entertainment content, whereby the brands are embedded into the storylines of a film, television program, or other entertainment medium. This involves co-creation between entertainment, media and brands.
The literature review consisted of Experiential marketing (Schmitt 1999); the evolution of Branded Entertainment ( Hudson & Hudson, 2006; Newell, Salmon, & Chang, 2006);
challenges of Branded Entertainment (Russell 2007;Williams, Petrosky, Hernandez, & Page, 2011); and the ethics of Branded Entertainment (Chan 2003).
Methodology/approach This study was qualitative where we collected data from persons who have had experience in Branded Entertainment. The in-depth interview technique was employed because it is used in exploratory research, where respondents are probed on topics in a relaxed environment to maximise the richness of the discussion and data collection. The research population comprised marketing practitioners from advertising, brand and marketing agencies, and representatives from brands that engage in Branded Entertainment. To develop the sample, names were obtained from a variety of sources including industry directories and references obtained through secondary research such as published articles, the media, and online searches. Six Representatives from advertising agencies, branded entertainment, and marketing and PR agencies were targeted as well as six representatives from Brands that engage in Branded Entertainment concepts, partnerships, experiences, and projects.
A semi-structured interview format for data collection was used, guided by a list of openended questions that focused on core themes. Personal interviews were scheduled with the relevant respondent at their place of work or at a location and time most suitable for them.
The respondent insights were recorded using a dictaphone and then transcribed. Interviews were an average duration of 60 minutes. The interviews were content analyzed and themes, perceptions and opinions of respondents were identified and coded, and common themes were grouped.
Findings This study reflects insights from interviews of 12 Branded Entertainment / marketing practitioners. Seven interviewees were representatives from advertising agencies, Branded Entertainment, marketing and PR agencies. Five were representatives of brands that engage in Branded Entertainment concepts, partnerships, experiences, and projects. Of the seven representatives from Agencies interviewed, two respondents were from Brand Agencies, four from Marketing Agencies and one from an Advertising Agency. Of the five respondents interviewed as representatives from Brands, two were from the financial services industry and the other three from the food and beverage, fashion and media industry respectively.
Interviews took place with respondents in Johannesburg between June and December 2013.
Ten of the respondents interviewed were male and two were female. Respondents reflected varying levels of seniority; all respondents had more than five years’ experience and held senior positions within the marketing industry either with an agency or within an organisation, therefore representing a brand or brand portfolio.
We report on the interviewee responses to their definitions of Branded Entertainment; the challenges of Branded Entertainment; the factors for success as well as new findings not previously discussed in the literature.
Definitions included: Branded Entertainment is placing a brand / product in any entertainment medium; Branded Entertainment allows brands to offer an experience to consumers; and Branded Entertainment can be linked to increased brand equity and customer loyalty.
Examples the interviewees gave included: Our brand has done Product Placement in music videos. The success is: first, it made people more aware of the brand, and second, gave it credibility among the very niche hip-hop consumer. This has not really translated into sales yet, they need more convincing, but trial is there. They are trialling products, are not converted yet, but we have started to build equity, they are definitely aware of our brand and have positive sentiments towards it; Coca Cola is featured on every episode of M-net Idols.
Branded Coca Cola glasses are placed in front of the judges who sip from them during the entire show. This is an example of Product Placement.
As far as the challenges are concerned, respondents stated two major ones: There is a lack of agreed metrics to measure return, impact and effectiveness; and Branded Entertainment cannot be done in isolation.
Factors for success included: Branded Entertainment has become popular due to media fragmentation; Branded Entertainment has become popular due to various competitive forces: global, product category and media platform competition; Branded Entertainment is prevalent now due to media convergence; The Branded Entertainment must be relevant to the target audience; The Branded Entertainment must be relevant to the brand; Authenticity and realism are important factors for the success of Branded Entertainment; Understanding what today’s target consumer wants is a key success factor for Branded Entertainment; Branded Entertainment is important now because of the lifestyle of the changing consumer; Branded Entertainment exists because we live in a brand world; Successful Branded Entertainment is well integrated into the entertainment vehicle; There is distinction between sponsorship, Product Placement and Branded Entertainment; and Branded Entertainment is important now because of technology, digitisation and social media.
Our findings show that Branded Entertainment in South Africa is generally similar to previous studies in the developed world but some new issues were found (Hudson & Hudson, 2006; Russell, 2007).
Theoretical implications There were a number of new findings not found in the literature review that would have major implications for theory. Firstly, respondents described the convergence of media as a reason for the heightened use of Branded Entertainment. Secondly, marketing practitioners in this study described the importance of new marketing that fits into consumers’ lifestyle. A few have noted demonstrations of how Branded Entertainment fits into certain consumers’ lifestyles, such as Generation Y where music and entertainment is a lifestyle imperative, and Branded Entertainment can be created around this. Lastly, we live in a branded world and the result is that consumers today are more likely to accept brand images into areas of public life that were formally commercial-free and end up forming a natural part of everyday life.
Practical implications We provide practitioners with guidelines to follow for the success of Branded entertainment programs. The marketing of Branded Entertainment to consumers depends on the following criteria: competitive landscape; authenticity; target market; integration; budget; relevance;
and new technology.
LimitationsThere may be issues of generalizability being a qualitative study.
Originality/value This study of Branded Entertainment is the first of its kind in an emerging market and in South Africa in particular. There are also some new findings that have implications for theory as well as practice. Respondents described the convergence of media as a reason for the heightened use of Branded Entertainment.
Keywords: Branded Entertainment; Product Placement; Experiential Marketing; South Africa References ANA. 2011, (15 August). Branded Entertainment Initiatives Increasingly Important to Marketers, ANA Survey Reveals. http://www.ana.net/content/show/id/21842 [Accessed 10 November 2013] Balasubramanian, S.K. 1991. Beyond Advertising and Publicity: The Domain of the Hybrid Messages. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.
BCMA. 2011. Guide to Advertiser Funded Programmes, http://www.thebcma.info [Retrieved on 13 November 2013] Chan, F. 2003. Product Placement Effectiveness: A Systematic Approach and proposals for future research. The Marketing Review, 12(1), 39-60.
DeLorme, D., Reid, L., & Zimmer, M. 1994. Brands in Films: Young Moviegoers” Experiences and Interpretations. Paper presented at the 194th Conference of the American Academy of Advertising, Tuscon, Arizona.
Hudson, S., & Hudson, D. 2006. Branded Entertainment: A New Advertising Technique or Product Placement in Disguise? Journal of Marketing Management, 22(5-6), 489-504.
Newell, J., Salmon, T., & Chang, S. 2006. The Hidden History of Product Placement. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 50(4), 575-594.
Russell, C., & Stern, B. 2006. Consumers, Characters, and Products. Journal of Advertising, 35(10), 7-21.
Russell, C. 2007. Advertainment: Fusing Advertising and Entertainment. Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication. University of Michigan.
Schmitt, B. 1999. Experiential Marketing: How to get Customers to Sense, Feel, Think, Act, and Relate to your Company and Brands. New York, NT: The Free Press.
Williams, K., Petrosky, A., Hernandez, E., & Page, R. 2011. Product placement effectiveness: revisited and renewed. Journal of Management and Marketing Research, 7, 1Place branding and certification in commodity and value-added product choice decisions Nadeau, John Paulin, Amanda Dech, Jeffrey Purpose Brands are considered to be perceptions based on consumer associations held in their own memory about the brand (Keller 1993). Further, these images are made up of beliefs and feelings toward an object (Dowling 2001). Stern et al (2001) have argued that brand images are holistic representations of a brand and they are formed as a result of branding stimuli and the consumer as the perceiver. Place branding is directly related to product and corporate brands because place also invokes a constellation of beliefs and feelings which creates an overall image that can influence decision making (Papadopoulos and Heslop 2002). Place branding is defined as using "the place of origin of a product as a marketing benefit to enhance a country’s exports, protect its markets from foreign competition, retain or attract new development, or to place a country at an advantage domestically or internationally" (Papadopolous 2004, 36-37). Every place has an image that can be used to brand a product to create a unique competitive advantage (Bruwer & Johnson 2010). Place branding, although not new, is growing in popularity in academic marketing research (Kavaratzis & Hatch 2013). Global competition and international trade are increasing so that not only are domestic corporations in competition with each other, but also with foreign corporations (Dinnie 2004).
The images associated with a product are important because they influence the purchase decisions made by consumers. Specifically, the localness of the product may include perceptions of impacts on the local economy or environment (Megicks, Memer & Angell 2012). Certification and eco-labeling represent another opportunity to influence the purchase of place related products. Eco-labeling is used in many product categories. For example, in the forest industry, voluntary submission of forests to independent inspection can allow a determination about management standards and sustainability (Hrabovsky, & Armstrong 2005). However, there seems to be a disconnect between environmental marketers and their consumers as many studies have shown that consumers were unaware of the significance of certification (Thompson et al. 2010) (Ankit & Mayur 2013; Do Paco & Reis 2012; Kozak, Cohen, Lerner & Bull 2004; Ozanne & Vlosky 2003; Zabkar & Hosta 2013). Nonetheless, the ethical and moral implications apparently linked to certification still have an influence on their purchases (Hoek, Roling & Holdsworth 2013).
The selection of environmental products can be explained using justice motivation theory.
Lerner (1980) suggested that people want to believe the world is just, that people ultimately get what they deserve, and that terrible things do not happen to good people. Others have argued that people are compelled to act when an injustice is perceived in order to relieve the related psychological distress (Blader & Tyler 2002). Therefore, in the context of local and certified products, the justice motivation theory suggests that people would buy these products because of the perceived alleviation of injustice associated with these products on the basis of economics or ecology. In addition, consumer characteristics can help explain the product choice of local and certified products. For instance, ethical consumers may be more likely to purchase local or certified products and they tend to be more involved in the information gathering part of the buying process (McEachern, Warnaby, Carrigan & Szmigin 2010).
This study focuses on the potential effect of place branding and certification in influencing the product choice decision. Specifically, this will be examined in the context of value-added and commodity forest products.
Methodology/approach Four hypotheses were developed to guide the investigation of place branding and certification
on consumer beliefs, evaluation and intentions:
Hypothesis 1 (H1): Respondent's beliefs about local and certified products will differ between a sample of the general population and a sample of consumers in the home renovation market.
Hypothesis 2 (H2): There will be significantly higher mean scores on the assessment of quality, value and likeliness to purchase of local over imported forest products.