Cast Away is an awesome movie. You see it and you come back with two things. One, Tom Hanks survives the lonely island. And Two, he is a FedEx employee and he delivers that Wilson ball in the end.

Then there is a book called How Starbucks saved my life. You read the book and you again remember two things. One is making tough decisions. And two how Starbucks helped a guy discover what he wanted in life.

Both these, the movie and the book are awesome pieces of entertainment. People have seen these, talked about these and recommended these to their friends. On a standalone basis both of them are pieces of art. And most probably, both were original productions created by individuals without any influence by the company they talk about. And this is where the idea comes. What if both of them were sponsored and paid by the company they talk about?

I have been thinking about a company that creates these branded entertainment products for money. Obviously there are limitations and issues but none that stops the company from flourishing. Please note that this is very different from product placements in media. This is creating the product first and then inserting the brand.

Business Need: Advertising as we know it, would be dead very soon. People would start filtering advertisements automatically and recommendations from influences would start loosing meaning. then what? The solution lies in creating media around brand. Think of The Truman Show done at a smaller scale.

Possible Entertainment Options: This could be a very very long list. Starting with movies, television shows, radio shows to print media (newspaper, magazines, books, travelogues etc.) to interactive media (Internet, blogs, websites), others (computer games, hotspots, retail). The list is long.

Problem Areas: There are quite a few. Biggest one is obsolescence. Once an entertainment outlet is used for a brand, it becomes difficult to innovate and use the same medium for another brand. Then there are other petty issues like it being very expensive for brands. We are talking about professional book writers, movie makers, gaming companies working on the brand. We can explore cheaper options like blogs and websites but how many consumers of a brand like say Rin, be on Internet? They would be on TV for sure.

A lot more thought needs to go in place. I have about 4 more pages of random thoughts and comments. If anyone is interesting in talking more about it, please let me know and I shall share those docs.

Any opinions? thoughts? Crossposted

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