At this month’s Advertising Week Europe ITV’s Group Commercial Director Simon Daglish was quoted as saying “90% of content is crap”. Carla Faria, UK Solutions Director, Say Media looks at why branded content creation is best left to the experts.
When Simon Daglish, ITV’s Group Commercial Director, said at Advertising Week Europe that “90% of content is crap”, I skipped a little celebratory dance. While it might seem harsh to tell brands that want to become programme makers that most consumers “don’t give a stuff” about them, the sentiment behind the statement is right. The essence of what you are trying to communicate will die a bloody death if it has even the faintest whiff of corporatese about it.
I also agree with Daglish’s follow-up statement to the Guardian: “One needs to be careful in this world of anybody-can-produce content. If you are a brand, and thinking about producing content, talk to people who produce content.”
The reality is that branded content is the Cara Delevingne of the marketing world – beautiful, cool and incredibly difficult to copy. And the truth is that, although it seems so effortless, not everyone can pull it off. Creating genuinely compelling content requires editorial expertise, a deep understanding not of how audiences consume product, but of how they consume content. Above all else, it requires bravery – and that’s a quality that only really exists if the content creator is allowed to be independent.
In this exciting world of hyper-individual experiences, the audience now sets the publishing (or broadcasting) agenda. Readers (or viewers) have fundamentally changed their expectations around how aligned their tastes are with the content they consume and how connected they are to the people that are creating that content.
The secret? Give it up and leave it to those who are great at it. Not only do they know how to spin a good story, the best ones have spent years listening to and understanding their audiences and knowing exactly how they like to read, listen or watch. These guys know how to do it so trust them.
By Carla Faria
UK Solutions Director