Branded Entertainment

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Branded Entertainment is where an entire television show is sponsored as part of a marketing campaign for a product.

Fake News without the Gatekeepers

It's "the most aggressive example yet in a growing trend of marketers utilizing broadband video downloading to bypass traditional TV outlets," writes Joe Mandese. During the ABC network's Super Bowl coverage, Anheuser-Busch debuted "Bud TV," a "direct-to-consumer network ... offering viewers the opportunity to download advertising, programming and branded entertainment content directly to their computers, iPods and other devices." [1]

Bud TV is run by Maven Networks, which previously ran a "limited channel" for PepsiCo's Mountain Dew. General Motors is readying similar efforts for Chevrolet trucks. The PR firm Medialink Worldwide recently "announced the creation of its own direct-to-consumer distribution channel with the release of a new VNR (video news release) for General Motors' Buick division featuring golf superstar Tiger Woods." Medialink CEO Larry Moskowitz calls the approach "narrative marketing," and says it gives "marketers more control over their messages than relying on traditional TV news department gatekeepers." [2]

On MTV, the Ads Never End

In February 2006 Advertising Age reported that Unilever's advertising firm, the Publicis Groupe agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), and the production company Radical Media are behind a new MTV show.

"The Gamekillers" is both "a scripted reality show" and "the first major marketing push behind the new Axe Dry antiperspirant stick." This foray into "branded entertainment" will not directly feature the Unilever product, but the show's characters, "visual look and typography will be tied to the brand when they appear in an ad campaign that breaks a week after the show makes its debut," on February 6. BBH's Kevin Roddy said, "The whole show is about making a brand statement without mentioning the brand." Unilever covered production costs, while "MTV brought air time and marketing support."

Hottest Mom In America

Hottest Mom in America, a reality television series that auditions American women vying for the title of "Hottest Mom", is one of the first entries by a pharmaceutical company into Branded Entertainment. The show from Buzznation studios is backed by a single sponsor Medicis Pharmaceutical, the makers of the Restylane cosmetic injection treatment.

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