makers08 092_119.qxp_Layout 1 24/11/2021 21:20 Page 96
Branded is back
In the wake of the pandemic and growing concerns about digital ad fraud, advertisers are placing a greater emphasis on the power of meaningful stories that resonate with consumers, and less on short term promotional advertising. makers reports.
The past year has seen something of sea-change in thinking within the advertising industry – one that has placed a greater focus than ever on branded content. The reason is twofold. Firstly, in the wake of the pandemic, social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter and growing concern about the state of the natural world, many advertisers have elevated their brand content strategies. Many are placing a greater emphasis on the power of meaningful stories that resonate with consumers, and less on short term promotional advertising. More than half of advertisers using paid branded content and inﬂuencers say doing so is more critical than it was a year ago, according to a recent Advertiser Perceptions report.
Secondly, many agencies and commercials producers say there has been a move away from hyper-targeted, pay per click (PPC) advertising designed to maximise short term sales over long term brand building. “There’s been a really interesting shift,” says Maurice Wheeler, chief executive of the We Are Family agency network, which specialises in children, young people and family marketing and works with brands such as Lego and Mercedes-Benz. He says that brand (or native) content was the hot thing ﬁve years ago as advertisers tried to foster deeper engagement with audiences. But then the hyper-targeted programmatic ad buy enabled by tech giants like Facebook and Google grew in popularity, with algorithms allowing advertisers to deliver speciﬁc pieces of content to speciﬁc people.