Wednesday, 8 October 2008

MAKING BRANDED CONTENT PROFITABLE



I just saw this incredible Australia 'Come Walkabout' Commercial Directed by Baz Luhrmann for Tourism Australia, and started thinking about its scale and how much easier it is to still do this on TV rather than online. Don't get me wrong you can upload it to the web after its made for TV. but there are few or no brands investing this type of money in online production yet. TV is still king for many tasks. Although expensive to produce and buy airtime, the actual return on investment for TV is actually really good when compared to the web particularly when compared to banner advertising. Search does pretty well on an ROI basis, but even better when accompanied by TV.

In the digital world we are increasingly asking clients to spend more on branded content, engagement, and branded utilities, but with low clickthrough rates in a cluttered and competitive market the numbers frequently don't stand up. However, when you make the advertising an experience like it is in this Australia commercial and add tools and functionality, and keep the mystery going with next steps, and staggered content then you give the tough-to-please web browser reasons to click.

A Unified Theory of Digital Advertising involves not only engaging online, but providing doorways which lead to brand or sales conversion. Sound easy? It's not. If we can engage and then convert all the way through and show the numbers then the big production budgets are coming. It will happen, but the next period promises to be tougher as online advertising rates continue to rise, and the market gets more and more cluttered. More means tougher.

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