Content as a catalyst: TVNZ’s Jeremy O’Brien discusses the impact of branded content

In the latest instalment of TVNZ’s ‘conversations that move people’ online segment, Dominic Corry sat down with Jeremy O’Brien, the TVNZ head of sales, to discuss the scale of branded content and how it goes beyond programme integration.

Corry starts the interview by noting that the “traditional sponsorship model has evolved into branded content over the last few years.” O’Brien concurs with this sentiment saying that “communities form around common areas of interest and quite often content is that common area of interest. [This] is something that advertisers can tap into and get people to talking about their brands, more so than just straight advertising.”

There are two ways in which branded content can be incorporated into a programme. The first, recently seen with Countdown and MasterChef, involves the seamless integration of a brand into a show. The second, which has become a staple of The Mix and Tech in a Sec, comes about when branded products are used in specifically made videos.      

O’Brien identifies the degree of the advertiser’s control over production as the main point of difference between these two forms.

He says, “In the programme environment… we’ve got a story that we want to tell, primarily around a programme and in a programme format, then there’s less control that an advertiser would have in terms of incorporating and integrating into that content.”

He argues that with the second form advertisers have more control, because “you have greater certainty of message, greater ownership of that message, and so you can dictate a little more in terms of specifically how your brand is going to be represented.”  

The TVNZ head or sales does however warn against misuse of branded content, saying “you need to enable the storytelling to take place, and you need to think about the consumers and why they would want to engage with your brand.”

To see the full video, please click here.

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