PANA GMM Brand Entertainment

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A “takatak boy” in glasses generously handing out Chiclet chewing gum was not exactly what the audience was expecting but it made for the perfect opening to introduce the topic of “brand entertainment”.

Paolo Mercado, Nestle’s Sr. Vice President for Communications, Marketing and Innovation, dressed up as a “takatak boy” for the May 2018 PANA General Members Meeting and stirred up memories of what is now considered vintage Chiclet TVCs of the 70s. He also drove home an important point about brand entertainment: “information is not enough”.

“In old school advertising, you don’t forget the branding, the hook (tagline) and the sell,” said Mercado as he began his talk.

That was then, but this is 2018. The age of disruption when anything that could be upended has been upended and everyone’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter despite being pulled left and right. 

This is the realm that our ads are competing in and why Mercado emphasized that information simply is not enough. 

“People don’t care about plain ads anymore. They prefer amazing content or stories,” he explained. Plain ads cannot rise above the frenetic clutter of TV and social media, but stories that are compelling and engaging will.

Audiences also have an expectation for stories, said Mercado. “If a story is too nice, it becomes boring.”

People are looking for tension and surprise; they want stories that transform into something unexpected. In a way, they are looking for stories that mirror real everyday life. 

For advertisers, that means providing strategic content that goes beyond pushing a brand and goes on to offer real value. Mercado went on to explain the different kinds of content that can be used tell stories. 

Sponsored content: In the 1930s, Ivory Soap placements became so successful in dominating radio opera shows that the term “soap opera” was born. The essence of sponsored content is brands visibly and consistently sponsoring independently produced content to build brand equity and audience affinity.

Branded content: In the early 2000s, BMW found itself in a stump. Their competitors had introduced new car models but BMW did not have new model to launch. The brand decided to focus on what they did have -- luxurious features. They collaborated with Hollywood’s best directors and created a series of short films that highlighted the BMWs features. 

The ads generated 13 million views, which was pretty impressive considering that this was all before the YouTube era. It also reportedly increased BMW sales by 13%. But the true mark of this groundbreaking move was how Cannes created a new category for these kind of ad executions.

Content marketing is when the content itself is the value the brand delivers. Mercado cited Michelin Tires as the example. The Michelin brand is both hailed as a tire company and an award-giving body that recognizes restaurants with Michelin stars. 

Meanwhile, social content involves social listening. This when the brands take real social media conversations and uses them to create content around the conversation drivers. 

Whatever strategic content advertisers decide to use, Mercado concluded by saying that, “Strategic content should be amazing, meaningful, lasting and should add value.”

The PANA May 2018 General Members Meeting was held last May at the Johnny B. Good Restaurant in Glorietta. At the meeting, Ardent World, Inc, Face and Body Rejuvenation Center, Inc., Beauty Profile Corporation and AB Heineken Philippines were welcomed as new PANA members.