The Week: i-Q - The internet question - Can ad agencies do branded content?

Branded content must be of a high enough quality to draw consumers in above other non-branded entertainment forms.

Taking advertiser-funded programming as an example, an advertising agency wanting to secure a broadcast commission would need to compete for a slot alongside TV production companies, for whom producing and pitching in programming ideas is their lifeblood. So, although advertising creatives may be masters at distilling the essence of a brand into a compelling 30-second ad spot, which is then automatically broadcast, as it currently stands, they do not have an understanding of the commissioning process, nor the experience to write programme treatments, nor the contacts to secure a meeting with the commissioners who count. - Anna Watkins

The fundamentals are there: an understanding of what makes the brand tick and how to engage with an audience. They should be able to do it if they have the right specialists in place, who come from the areas for which they are creating content, eg. film or music. After years of demanding people's attention, it's a shift in paradigm to ask people to volunteer it. Unless agencies adopt this, rather than thinking it's the remit of production companies in cahoots with niche marketing agencies, they'll find themselves behind the game. - Gemma Newland.

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