• digital content worth paying for

Promotional content so good, you’d pay to see it…

31 October 2016

Need to sell chocolate and fizzy drinks?

Better start producing top notch content and mobile games.

That’s the approach adopted by brand giants such as PepsiCo, Unilever and Mondelēz, who are investing big bucks into in-house content studios.

So far, so content-marketing.

But there’s one difference with these giants of FMCG. They want to make money from their content, not just the products their promoting.

In an environment of catered consumption and ad-blockers – over 20% of British adults use ad blocking software, according to latest figures from Internet Advertising Bureau – original and branded content is a popular choice.

Brands turn to producing content with added value in order to bridge that connection with consumers, without producing content plastered with product placement that people will avoid like the plague.

PepsiCo want to behave like a ‘Hollywood studio’, according to Brad Jakeman, president of their global beverage group, and invested heavily in a cutting edge New York studio.

Meanwhile, Mondelēz are focusing on mobile apps and games development, after the success of their Oreo ‘Twist, Lick, Dunk’ app, launched in 2012, which helped make back the money invested and then some.

Even for such monolithic companies, there’s still risk involved in these ventures.

But it shows a willingness to account for the huge amount of ad spend these brands work through.

PepsiCo’s Jakeman said to Adage back in May: “The holy grail for me is to leverage the incredible power of our brands and their equities to essentially fund their own marketing.”

There are parallels to be drawn with Netflix and Amazon Prime, who have been funding and producing their own shows for years now.

Not only has this allowed producers much more freedom than they’d have on traditional networks, but it also serves as one of the best possible ads for their own service they could provide.

“Watch our service, we fund epic shows about orange prisons, people in high castles and rather strange things!”

We’ve said it before (quite a few times now), but their efforts will live or die on the quality of the content actually being produced.

Audiences these days know when a brand is selling something to them, but they don’t necessarily mind it, if the content itself is good enough. 

That goes double for something you expect them to pay for.

On the other hand, mobile free-to-play games are so successful, they’re essentially a license to print money, so we won’t be surprised to see Mondelēz making bank.

Buy your ‘Cadbury Coins’ and ‘Bournville Bucks’ now!


Strawman Says

Interesting Content is King… when it’s free.

But if you want people to pay to see your advertising, it’ll have to be Incredible Content.