In-film branding & Content Marketing down South

Though late as always, Kerala brands are waking up to content marketing. Thanks to demonetization, the subsequent fall in business and less black money to flaunt around, business houses in Kerala are now thinking different. From the all-out spending on creating television commercials & traditional advertising they are slowly but steadily moving towards content driven advertising including online & in-film branding and they have started to look for other avenues for their marketing communications. But as usual there seems to be a tendency to misuse these new mediums both in terms of creative content and expenditure on such media. This might be either because of the ignorance about the basic concepts of such marketing tools or just because of the age old misconception of advertising – ‘the more you spend the more it reaches out and the more you spend the more you should have voice in such content’. Times have changed. It is not how much you advertise but what you advertise that matters. Today content is the King. Future is in content driven marketing ideas and the content will be influenced and even created by customers.

In-film branding

Recently I happened to watch a malayalam movie which had in-film branding by about a dozen brands in Kerala. Unfortunately it was done in such a bad way that it didn’t do any good to the movie or the brand as such. The basic concept of in-film branding is that our brand subtly slips into the narrative of the film rather than shouting at every opportune moment. In most of the recent films we can see blatant use of in-film branding techniques which makes a negative impact on the viewer’s mind rather than a positive affiliation to the brand. It would be good if some basic points are kept in mind while going for such branding techniques.

  • Viewer is sitting out there in the theatre to watch the film not our brand. So never should our brand be shouting at the viewer in between the film’s storyline.
  • Whatever be the brand’s spend on a movie, tweaking the storyline to suit the needs of the brand should never be done as it spoils both the brand and the movie. First the movie gets spoilt by such in-film branding and second it results in wastage of money for the brand to be in a flop movie.
  • Hear out the whole storyline and decide whether your brand could fit in somewhere in the storyline. For eg. a movie about atrocities in a medical institution and your hospital brand being used in the film as that hospital will be disastrous for your brand.
  • Do not shout your brand at your audience because you are not airing your TV commercial within a film. Keep in mind that James Bond is not every now and then waving his Omega watch at the audience; rather it is a device that helps him all his way. James Bond is not mouthing out the words ‘Iam using an Omega watch” rather the brand is promoting James Bond films in their other communication materials.

Content Marketing

Though content marketing has reached its advanced stages in India and abroad, Kerala brands still don’t use content marketing as a part of their marketing tools. Online is all about content which is relevant to the viewer. Even Social Media like FB, Twitter etc. are used in a wrong sense by most Kerala brands just as another medium to showcase their print ads or TV commercials. Better be aware of some basic points while using online as a medium.

  • Internet is a medium which can be used to make loyal customers but it can be done only by giving them relevant content. For eg. a print ad put out as an FB post wont create a customer for your saree showroom but a relevant information about a particular cloth material may create interest in the mind of an FB user.
  • Nobody is going to search out and see your TV commercial in YouTube. Create short films, music and other contents which help out to reach your brand to viewers instead of posting your TV Commercials.
  • Think yourself as an FB user. The third time you see an irrelevant post from a business house or a brand you would hide such posts. So no need to insist on daily posts of your brand in social media. Rather go for interesting posts keeping intervals between the posts and make sure they are relevant for your target consumer.
  • Internet is not only about social media and social media is not only about FB, twitter & instagram. It is a wide wide world out there which includes blogs, travelogues and much more. Use online media in such a way that internet has rich content about your brand or product, again make sure it is relevant to the reader.
  • Mobile games, mobile apps are all alternatives to increase your brand visibility but again it all depends on how you create content specifically for these mediums.
  • Last but not the least, online marketing is all about interactivity and even a single post on FB can create interactive sessions with your customers if they feel it is beneficial for them to interact. Better stop shouting online about what you have to say about your brand/product and start speaking what your target audiences want to hear.