Are we no longer in the Information Age?_Are we destined to be “gamers”? Whether you’re in marketing particularly the digital side or just looking for a job in marketing and related fields, you may have noticed the growing emphasis on entertainment. Entertainment activities becoming more the focus of our digital and offline lives.
And, as you’d expect, entertainment marketing seems to be following that growth. I don’t mean entertainment marketing as in promoting movies, actors and actresses. I’m talking about entertainment marketing for the sake of having fun with a brand wrapped around that fun.
The traditional, age-old tactics of marketing to customers and prospects via one-way communications is falling by the wayside. Ads of all types direct mail and mass-distributed news releases will always have a place but those tactics of marketing communications are becoming a smaller part of the total marketing effort.
Today’s successful marketing is individually-focused and better targeted to people’s own interests. Mass marketing is slowing going the way of the dinosaur.
The strong potential of wrapping marketing around entertainment first hit me a few years ago, After reading an article in BusinessWeek I was convinced that this was the wave of the future, here is an excerpt from that article,
“Plenty of advertisers…have been putting their products in video games for several years now. But marketers and game-makers successfully pushed Nielsen Entertainment in 2005 to start measuring the impact of in-game product placement, where there had been none before. This in turn is drawing more ad dollars and making game-makers as eager as TV networks, perhaps more so, to open up their stories to the highest bidders.” In-game product placement is targeted and part of the users’ activities. It’s immersed in what the marketplace members do. It involves marketers in prospects and customers’ lifestyle and interests.
We’ve all read a lot about viral videos and how to create them. Of course, the main aspect of viral videos is their entertainment value. No one will share a commercial with friends and family unless they see it as entertaining first and foremost. Any marketing push in the video must be secondary and indirect.
There is even a web site with the most popular viral videos, here is a great example….http://www.bravotv.com/Viral_Videos/Videos/ep6_bush.shtml
But, a successful viral video is not easy to develop and is not right for marketing every company, product or service. The trick in the entertainment and marketing combination is to develop some level of connection with your audience. Create tools, services and experiences that complement your company, products or services while being part of your customers and prospects’ entertainment habits and interests.
Here is a great example with over 300 million views! John West salmon.
There are other ways to connect marketing messages with customers and prospects’ lifestyle. One is video – and not on TV. The use of online video is becoming more and more popular. And, video is being used for entertainment purposes more and more, according to a June 25, 2008, eMarketer article.
Based on a study it conducted, Solutions Research Group “predicted that total hours with video-based entertainment would grow by nearly one-third to an average of about eight hours per day by early 2013.”
Another key stat from the eMarketer article is the trend to online rather than offline video:
“Key research from Deloitte Development signifies the shift away from TV to the Internet, with 69% of respondents in the firm’s second annual ‘The State of the Media Democracy’ survey saying their computer has become more of an entertainment device than their TV.” That same Deloitte study also found that 36% of all respondents use their “cellphone as an entertainment device.” That percentage soared to 62% for the Millenials (13-24 age group) – who will be the future targeted prospects for many of us as they age.
Marketing is evolving to have companies become connected with their audience much more so than just communicating to them. And, as more of the audience members are focusing on entertainment, it’s up to the marketers and communicators for companies to develop ways to connect brands with their audience around their entertainment preferences.