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Stretch Your Marketing Budget By Thinking Outside the Box

Stretch Your Marketing Budget By Thinking Outside the Box

Nicola Clark, Marketing

Cross-Platform Content

TV ads may help drive consumers toward virais, websites and extended online content but the 30-second spot is becoming less central to campaigns. As Chantal Rutherford Browne, head of programming at Mediaedgexia, points out: ‘We can now generate branded content for less than a traditional spot.’

However, Lisa Chapman, managing director of Whizz Kids Entertainment, warns that even if a brand has great online video content it needs to find a platform to reach its target authence – and, inevitably, this costs money. ‘You need a Yahoo! or a Bebo or an MSN to put your content in front of an authence, and the days when these services would pay for content are long gone,’ she says. In short, online video is not tantamount to a free lunch for a brand working with a limited budget.

Most brands looking to extend their message across multiple platforms want to do more than simply replay their TV ad on YouTube. Broadcasters feeling the squeeze themselves are increasingly receptive to cross-platform branded content, and agencies are getting more hard-nosed over scheduling and rights.

‘The days where brands invested 1 00% in a show, only to have the broadcaster own all the rights and then schedule it at 1 am on a Sunday night, are well and truly over,’ says one agency source. This does not mean that brands will no longer find themselves at the tail- end of schedules. However, there is a greater likelihood that they will own the rights to co-produced content and can stream it in- store and on their websites.

Mediaedgexia’s Rutherford Browne says that channels are increasingly willing to meet brands half-way and look at part- funding models. In addition, the type of slot that brands are being offered has changed ‘quite dramatically’ over the past two years. ‘Broadcasters need to find other ways of tapping into brand budgets and this has opened up opportunities,’ she adds.

However, Jack Horner, creative director of Fruckt, argues that measurement of this content remains an issue. ‘One of the challenges the industry needs to overcome is the issue of accountability and finding a robust way of measuring activity outside the traditional campaign space,’ he says.

Ultimately, as the benefits of online video become more evident, even cautious marketers will want to give their campaigns life outside the box. Moreover, as consumers are willing to share more information about their lives and innermost thoughts on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, so brands would be well-advised to follow suit.

The unpredictable economic climate is creating an unprecedented opportunity, and those brands that are confident will gain traction with consumers.

Copyright Haymarket Business Publications Ltd. Apr 29, 2009

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