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
- Thoughts on book publishing industry - July 2, 2012
- Business Idea: Market Intelligence Firm - September 12, 2008
- Call Taxi India - August 1, 2008
Here is an interesting concept. How about setting up Cricket Batting Cages with Virtual Twenty20 Arena all over India’s metroplis ? The idea is bound to click, have an enormous potential to succeed, great investment opportunity and is totally unheard of and non-existent anywhere in the world.
Thoughts ?? Comments ? Feedbacks ??
On “Creating Media Around brand”: I think the prevalence of the brand may influence the success of the product.
Do you think having a relatively unknown brand and creating media around it would a) Convey the message and still be subtle? If I did not know what Tata Safari was — maybe this would be just another SUV in the movie, totally un-noticeable b) Overpower the product itself. Again, if it is not a widely known product and the messaging is not subtle, the brand may overpower the product.
Corollary to this could be — If the brand is very popular or widely known it may be allowed to overpower the product. Take a look at the NFL Madden football. John Madden and NFL’s association shadows the pro football gaming franchise but they’re also very strongly recognised and the gaming series itself is very successful.
I’m in line with your thoughts, right?
Very apt post. Just once itch that I’d like to scratch here w.r.t. your comment “..BUT if we create media with brands at the centerpiece, it might work…”.
If I read it right, my personal feel is that media creation should always be done with brands *not* at the centerpiece, atleast not directly. That way a great story can be essayed.
My fav. e.g is those (old) SHELL company TV ads. if anybody
had noticed, it used to be run very frequently some 3-4 yrs back. The ads largely talks abt their employees who do various work for the environment and the people and so forth.And the ad closes by saying “S/he also works for SHELL”.
p.s. – FWIW, those ads was my sole point of inspiration
for people2meet.com (a story in progress!)
Hi Deepak … end of the day it will still remain an ad.
Road is a very good example what I want to do. Probably MTV Roadies comes close. It has an entertainment value and people start knowing the brand of the bike they are riding.