Content Marketing

Content Marketing For TV? You Need To Work Harder

Content Marketing For TV? You Need To Work Harder

True “content marketing” may never come to the TV screen. But can you blame marketers for trying?
In a fractionalized media environment, and with so much advertising avoidance, TV advertisers may be tempted to look for alternatives.But I contend: Content marketing for TV ain’t it. Not that I’ve seen many examples yet; there is just a lot of talk that it’s coming.
Some of this is born out of initiatives like branded entertainment, which has been around in its current form for around 16 years or so, probably when CBS’ “Survivor” first launched in 2000.
Branded entertainment is better than “content marketing” because it is more of a quick hit. Do your business and be done with it — even when viewers’ eyes roll, watching that extra-long shot of a Toyota Camry in a scripted TV drama and/or comedy.
TV shows with heavy branded entertainment seem to have deepened their relationship with viewers. Still, do consumers appreciate this kind of sponsored content? That might be a leap.  
For sure, this kind of marketing-related TV content — sponsored segments on NBC’s “The Voice” for example, or any number of reality TV shows on cable these days — is here to stay.
You can see a segment where a group of finalists for a singing reality show are driving around in a Ford Focus in preparation for a season-ending show. This is just part of a TV advertiser’s overall tool box now.
Content marketing for digital media — stuff that looks like a print article but really isn’t? That’s the main form. Not all that crazy about this — not from a consumer perspective or as a business marketing opportunity.
What might be needed is a new type of content marketing.
Sure, an in-depth article about alternatives remedies for headaches, aches and pains seems like a good story. But when learning it is sponsored by Aleve, Advil, or Tylenol? Nope, that doesn’t really cut it. Do better.
While you need to be upfront with media consumers — telling them what stuff is sponsored, and perhaps why — you’d better figure out better ways to attach your precious brand name.
Take your cue in part from WPP Group’s Sir Martin Sorrell, who said recently: “We are not in the advertising business anymore.”