Branded Entertainment Essay

2484 words - 10 pages

At a time when television viewing is down, advertisement skipping by means of DVRs is up, (Kalliny & Gentry, 2010, p. 7) [ As of March 2009, 31% of American households have a DVR, up significantly from just 12% in January 2007 (Nielsenwire, 2009). Among TiVo owners, 60% record TV programs and 92% avoid advertisements when they view these recordings. (Lehu, 2007, p. 35)] and advertisement clutter is unbridled (Panda, 2004) the future of brand marketing on television poses a problem for advertisers. Product placement is an old advertising tactic (Kalliny & Gentry, 2010, p. 5), however product placement is the basis for a somewhat new strategy that has acquired multiple names including hybrid advertising, “advertainment” (Kretchmer, 2004, p. 39), branded entertainment, brand convergence and lastly, product placement synergy. Instead of featuring products in the background, advertisers and networks make sure viewers do not miss brand integration by imbedding advertisements into television programming. While it seems like a great idea, the effectiveness of branded entertainment is in question. For this reason I propose that as technology advances brand placement will increase in usage and significance and for this reason it is important to think critically about branded entertainment and how it can be a successful medium for advertising.
Since airing in 2007, Gossip Girl has served as an advertising outlet for numerous brands. For instance, brands such as Vitamin water, Tally Weijl, Droid, Bing and Verizon play a significant role in the show while luxury brands like Givenchy, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Louboutin, Gucci and Chanel make minor appearances. Aside from products individuals are advertised on the show through self-cameos. To illustrate, socialites Tinsley Mortimer and Lydia Hearst as well as Jay McInery, the author of Bright Lights Big City have made appearances on Gossip Girl for self-promotion. The marketing does not end there, as Gossip Girl is also a promotional medium for music artists. As an example in the episode “Panic Roomate” Florence and the Machine perform at an elaborate party all of the characters attend. Likewise, Gossip Girl includes various artists on their soundtrack, which can be found on Itunes under “featured Gossip Girl playlists”.
All things considered, Gossip Girl has successfully integrated branding into entertainment by implementing the newest innovations in social marketing, social networking, and technology to sell products. Gossip Girl has been running for four seasons and continually incorporates multiple brands into every episode; it is different than other branded entertainment because Gossip Girl employs multifarious advertising tactics. “It is not the first show to collect revenues from product tie-ins, but it probably is the first to have been conceived, in part, as a fashion marketing vehicle” (La Ferla, 2008, p. 1). By analyzing Gossip Girl’s strengths and weaknesses Gossip Girl can be used as a case...

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