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Branding factual entertainment

Michael Yudin, president of MY Entertainment Company, an independent production company that specializes in packaging and consulting, gives a quick run-down of the current state of branded entertainment.
September 24, 2008

Michael Yudin, president of MY Entertainment Company, an independent production company that specializes in packaging and consulting, gives a quick run-down of the current state of branded entertainment.

There used to be a time when people worked themselves into a tizzy over brand name products bleeding into entertainment programs from commercials spots. But now it has not only become much more acceptable, but companies now exist primarily to create branded content. Here, My Entertainment’s Michael Yudin explains what’s important and who’s missing the boat in branded entertainment.

‘I think it’s by far, stronger than it has ever been. Everybody has their own definition [of branded entertainment], but the simplest explanation is integrating product and brands within content. So you can travel with a product so that when the content moves, the brand is in regardless of whether there’s a commercial or not, the brand is in.’

Why are networks embracing this?

Because of major financial concerns, and the advertisers know that’s the way their product is going to get seen. The product will be seen in the proper environment and it will travel with it so you have integrations in a program whether it goes into syndication, whether it goes into cable, whether it goes international, web or mobile, your product is integrated.

How are audiences receiving this?

‘I think it’s the norm. I don’t think anybody has any issues with it, assuming it’s natural, organic, and it’s not obnoxious. It’s all in the way you handle it. Any advertiser that isn’t doing it has obviously missed the boat.’

What considerations must be at the forefront?

The most important thing it needs to be natural and seamless. It can’t be out of place, it can’t be intrusive. It can’t be, ‘Well why the hell was this brand there? It doesn’t make any sense!’

Is branded entertainment moving in new direction?

Just stronger and stronger. I think the time has come and it’s not just about television. It’s really about all media, all platforms, globally, domestically and clearly the future of advertising.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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