Branded Content sends messages ads cannot, Diageo boss says

Diageo's global managing director, James Thompson, says branded content lets brands tell a story in a way that ads don't allow.

Speaking exclusively to Campaign at Johnnie Walker’s 'Symphony in Blue' live event, which included Moulin Rogue inspired dancing and acrobatics, Thompson said the trend of live interactive events will be part of the future of branded content and will be how other brands will communicate in the future.

He said: "We wanted to tell the whole's quite hard to do that in an ad. There's a trend of interactive's part of the future of branded content.

"It’s not just about film or ads or sponsorships, it’s about creating experiences and things that people will talk about. It is going to be how a lot of brands communicate in the future, particular luxury brands."

Thompson said the event, which explains how to match whisky with food, will become the foundation of its marketing for years to come.

He said: "What we’re trying to be is part of people’s regular everyday lives, that’s the social fabric through our marketing. We want to do things that surprise people, we’ve got messages. If you look at the (Johnnie Walker) film, messages ooze through it."

Big filmic online ads, such as Guinness’ award-winning "sapeurs" and Johnnie Walker’s "the gentleman’s wager', will continue to be a big part of Diageo’s marketing strategy as they allow the brands to tell the "whole story" and provide an "intimate viewing experience".

Diageo said it will look to invest in start-ups that have the potential and technology to help the industry as well as the brand.

Watch the full interview above. 

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