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Preface:
Branded
Content
Made in
Germany,
Austria and
Switzerland
Introduction:
The Rising
Importance of
Branded
Content in
Germany,
Austria and
Switzerland
Market
Report:
Germany,
Austria and
Switzerland
Introduction
to Working
with
Branded
Content in
German-
Speaking
Countries
Legal
Aspects of
Branded
Content
Under
German Law
Storytelling:
“You need
to grab
awareness
in the first
second to
make people
watch”
7 8 9 10 11 12
Producing
Content
for TV:
Connecting
the DNA of a
TV Show with
a Brand
Producing
Content for
the Web:
The Millennial
Influencer
The Purpose
of Branded
Content
Engagement:
How to
Build a
Brand
Fanbase
with Music
Content
Marketing:
It’s all about
Distribution
Case Study:
Deutsche
Telekom
Familie
Heins
13 14 15 16 17 18
Case Study:
Fiat Urban
Stories
Case Study:
Dell Tough
Enough
Case Study:
Media Markt
Rabbit Race
Case Study:
Techniker
Krankenkasse
#wireinander
Case Study:
Webers
großes
Grillfest
Case Study:
Hasbro
NERF Toy
Blaster
19 20 21 22 23 24
Case Study:
ŠKODA
Austria Die
Große
Simply-
Clever-Show
Research
Findings in
Branded
Content
Marketing
The Three
Biggest
Myths About
Social Video
Advertising
– Busted!
Expert
Insight
Report
Thanks About
P2 P3 P8 P14 P16 P21
P23 P26 P32 P35 P40 P43
P48 P53 P59 P65 P69 P73
P77 P84 P92 P96 P109 P111
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111111 111111
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# By Sandra Freisinger-Heinl, joint editor and
co-author of BOBCM 2015 DACH book;
Managing Director, MA Media
Branded content is a big pool of wonderful
ideas and opportunities for businesses. It’s
so much more than just another marketing
technique – in fact, it’s on its way to
becoming a core activity for companies and
their brands.
This is the first edition of the Best of
Branded Content Marketing (BOBCM)
international ebook series exclusively for,
from and about the German, Austrian and
Swiss (DACH) region. I’m proud to be the
local editor. I’m also thrilled that we now
have a guide that sets some standards in
this area and serves as a kind of ‘DIY tool’.
The book focuses mainly on branded
content made with moving images, as the
use of this format continues to rise and
offers a variety of ways to connect
emotionally with viewers.
All of our contributors shed blood, sweat
and tears to develop branded content
marketing within the DACH region! So this
book is not just a technical guideline. As we
provide insights from our daily work with
brands and showcase the best examples of
our projects, we hope that you will be
inspired.
Whenever we present and recommend ways
of using branded content in this book, we
take a close look at the specifics of the
German-speaking market, including legal
and research aspects.
There’s still a long way to go. Our intention
is to build up a community of experts in this
field, to consult with and encourage brands
and agencies to use this very effective
marketing instrument we call branded
content. You can connect with us on
LinkedIn – please join the 650+ strong
international BOBCM Group moderated
by Justin Kirby.
Some Germanic traits – such as organising
production well and relying on technologies
– will encourage the development of
branded content marketing in our region.
Some might inhibit it. For example, the
desire to have evidence of value or success
at any given time might kill off some
excellent ideas, and make some brands and
agencies cling to the use of traditional media
only. We all have to be courageous to use
branded content to its full potential in
Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
I personally want to thank the book’s main
partner SevenOne AdFactory, an innovative
company of broadcaster ProSieben SAT1
Media SE – particularly Petra Kroop who has
a detailed knowledge of branded content
trends and who supported this book in
many ways. Thanks also to Margret Knitter
from SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte for
looking at the difficult legal areas of branded
content marketing in order to increase our
understanding. And I am very grateful to all
the other dedicated contributors to this
book.
Equipped with all the ideas, experience and
insights from this book, you can prepare to
test the waters. You can dive into the ocean
of branded content and use the power of the
branded content wave to enrich your
business and engage better with your
customers. We all love good content – let’s
go for it now!
# By Sabine Eckhardt,
Managing Director, SevenOne Media
& SevenOne AdFactory
According to creative talent Amir Kassaei, marketing should generate one thing
above all: magic!
The Chief Creative Officer of the DDB agency network is convinced that “companies
that live and breathe marketing and make all their decisions from the standpoint of
marketing are more successful than those that manage their business on the basis of
sales alone.” That’s because only the former type of company gives sufficient
thought to people and their needs, and truly recognises the importance of relevance.
However, says Kassaei, such companies are in the minority in our data-fixated, real-
time world driven by sales performance alone. What a shame!
Magic lives off imagination, generating stories that inspire us, enchant us, captivate
our attention. As always, a high quality idea is the most important ingredient, rather
than the type of content or how it's delivered. In the last few years, however,
consumers have come to expect much more from storytellers than they used to. In
this era of information overload and bewildering topical diversity, it has become
difficult to get through to individual people. Every individual is networked with the
outside world through computers, smartphones, tablets, even wearables, for 24
hours a day, seven days a week.
Possible ways of receiving content have
multiplied within the shortest timeframe, and
this development is not expected to slow
down. To the same extent, advertisers are
under growing pressure to deliver the kind of
content to their target groups that motivates
them to actively consider their brands.
Therefore, content marketing and branded
content are no longer just buzzwords, but
essential communication techniques that every
advertiser (regardless of budget) should employ
intensively.
Many are already doing this: according to a
recent survey by the Swiss digital agency
Namics, 77 percent of companies surveyed
already have a content strategy or plan to
develop one in the short to medium term.*
The worst sin in content marketing:
to be boring
The key to breaking through the media overkill
barrier is relevance. The messages aimed at
consumers must whet the interest and even the
fascination of individuals. They must offer
something that stands out from the constant
barrage of sensory inputs. Trivia, banalities and
substitutable offerings immediately fall through
the perception grate, and are punished with
merciless disregard. Moreover, the required
degree of relevance rises as the sheer number
of offerings expands.
But what are the chief characteristics of
relevant content? The answer may sound
simple compared to the difficulty of
implementation: content should fascinate,
inspire, inform, even provoke us. Content
should captivate our attention and foment
discussion. Above all, it should never bore us!
The more we’re engaged and involved, the
greater impact the content will have on us. If
we can be motivated to take a thorough look at
the content, we’ll also share it with our friends,
comment on it, like it, et cetera, and that will
set in motion a dynamic, self-sustaining
process of widening dissemination, like falling
dominoes.
Brands are under constant real-time
observation
These days, content can be created in any
number of ways, whether pushed, random,
initiated, or even completely unwanted.
Therefore, advertisers and brand vendors need
to constantly see, read and hear what is being
written, posted, or tweeted about their brand.
Consumers and even non-consumers are
constantly expressing unsolicited opinions,
sharing their experiences, and calling upon or
even challenging brand vendors to clarify,
mediate, or give still more. Brands are under
constant, real-time observation, a thousand
times over. While this phenomenon poses risks,
it also presents opportunities. Brands that
generate attractive conversation material and
moderate the dialogue actively with consumers
will be rewarded with greater opportunities.
4* Source: Content Marketing Study 2014/2015, Namics, Zurich
This isn’t always easy, because – in addition to
having heightened expectations for content and
entertainment value – consumers are
increasingly turned off by in-your-face
advertising. In their stressful ‘always-on’ mode,
consumers have developed a pronounced
aversion to being interrupted or disturbed by
advertising and marketing messages.
Obtrusiveness is punished immediately and can
even unleash an avalanche of negative
reactions, possibly necessitating an arduous
campaign of costly communication measures
to smooth the ruffled feathers. Once defriended
or unliked, the brand falls to last place in the
attention ranking of the ex-fan. Rigorous
content marketing is required in this case as
well.
Paid, owned, or earned?
The combination of sound and image delivered
by video ads has long proved to be the most
important and most effective type of content.
Therefore, videos are the new, all-purpose
weapon in the battle for grabbing the attention
of consumers, because they satisfy a number
of communication objectives simultaneously.
They convey detailed knowledge and product
information, lure potential employees to a
company, or provoke emotions and stimulate
desire to purchase the advertised products. It
should come as no surprise, therefore, that
more and more companies are using videos to
get their messages out. They employ
entertainment formats to tell stories that fit their
brands and involve the viewer permanently.
The question of paid versus owned versus
earned media nearly always arises in this
context. Certainly, owned media (such as a
company’s own website or YouTube channel)
can play an important role in all stages of the
purchasing process, as a reliable and
appreciated guide on the customer‘s journey.
On the other hand, paid media is unrivalled
when it comes to reaching large audiences.
Broad target groups can be reached in the
shortest time. If a company wants its brand or
new product to become known very quickly,
wide-reach media is an indispensable element
of the communication strategy. And this will not
change in the future. However, the question of
paid versus owned versus earned media should
not be absolute. Instead, the different channels
should be combined as effectively as possible,
in such a way that they complement and inspire
each other. This is something of an art.
From reach marketer to content
marketing provider
Content marketing and branded content
always involve storytelling. Consequently, not
only the advertiser but also the media
provider must make the evolutionary leap to
becoming a brand storyteller. But how exactly
does a company evolve from a conventional
reach marketer into a creative content
marketing provider? For this very purpose,
ProSiebenSat.1 formed a specialised creative
company for innovative communication
solutions, SevenOne AdFactory, back in 2009.
As a member of the ProSiebenSat.1 family,
this company uses direct channels either to
link advertising campaigns closely with
broadcaster and format brands, or to develop
consistent storytelling tailored to the specific
requirements of the given brand, which can
be played on nearly all platforms. This
approach is summed up by the slogan
“content near advertising.”
In essence, the goal is always to showcase
the brand in the best possible way. This can
be done by networking across all media, or by
means of a specifically developed advertising
product.
5
The thrill isn’t even close to gone
Finally, more and more customers are looking
for tailored communication solutions.
Producing wonderful stories is not enough; the
environment or context in which the content is
embedded and distributed is just as important.
Just imagine that you want to advertise your
travel platform, but find it presented alongside
a news picture of the sinking Costa Concordia.
Such scenarios are the stuff of nightmares for
marketing executives. Not only the platform,
but also the direct contexts in which your
campaign is conducted are critically important.
A prime example of a good branded
entertainment campaign is the current web
series ‘Der Lack ist ab’ (‘The Thrill is Gone’)
on MyVideo, featuring the well-known
protagonists Kai Wiesinger and Bettina
Zimmermann. Their marriage has become a tad
stale, the children are almost old enough to
leave home, and each spouse’s flaws are
becoming all the more obvious to the other
spouse. In short, the husband and wife are
getting on each other’s nerves. But as always,
there’s simply not enough time for a fresh start.
This web series of 10-minute episodes
exposes the turbulent life of a mid-40s couple
and their stressful teenage children.
Furthermore, it shows how modern marketing
should function today: witty, imaginative,
unobtrusive. SevenOne AdFactory recruited
Vodafone and Opel as premium sponsors. This
sponsorship expanded the brands’ web
presence to traditional television under the
unifying effect of consistent storytelling, as well
as integrating the two celebrity actors into their
regular campaigns.
Branded entertainment: the
advertising product of the future?
Successful initiatives like ‘Der Lack ist ab’ are
created in close cooperation with the client
brand as well as their agency, in most cases.
The intensive consultation between them often
breeds formats that are both innovative and
efficient, and can be deployed on media such
as Facebook or Instagram in addition to
ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s own platforms.
With this kind of project, it’s vital for a media
company to advise and support the client
brand, and offer tailor-made communication
solutions on brand-relevant platforms. This
advisory service – consisting of the creative
idea, platform and environment
recommendations, and implementation – is an
important factor contributing to the success of
a branded entertainment campaign.
Branded entertainment is the advertising
product of the future, if it’s designed to be
entertaining or if it provides valued information
to the consumer. The previously mentioned
Namics content marketing study found that
most of the companies surveyed in Switzerland
and Germany have been active in content
marketing for at least four years. “Nonetheless,
a majority of the surveyed companies consider
themselves to have attained little maturity in
their work with content marketing,” the study
found.
Content has become an important driver of the
economy. In this age of real-time
communication, brand vendors can choose
from numerous ways of directly influencing
customer relationships with their content. As
part of a consistent marketing strategy,
therefore, the production of proprietary content
can be an effective and important complement
to conventional communication measures.
6
Stories that remain in the memory
forever
Due to the trend of digitisation, the entire
industry is caught up in an extremely dynamic
transformation; channels and platforms are
constantly changing, new players and formats
are emerging overnight. Many advertisers (and
especially those that need to reach young
target groups) are finding it more and more
difficult to maintain the necessary perspective.
No matter what the recipients’ age, however,
the trick is to send the right message to the
right person at the right time.
In this digital era, in which opinions are formed
or changed in a matter of minutes, brands
amount to the sum of impressions that people
have taken from a large number of channels.
While those impressions may change at a
faster pace than ever, a good story can remain
in the consumer’s memory forever.
7
# By Sandra Freisinger-Heinl,
joint editor and co-author of
BOBCM 2015 DACH book;
Managing Director, MA Media
The use of branded content is increasing and becoming more and more important in
Germany. Austria and Switzerland are hot on Germany’s heels. But what is branded
content exactly?
Germany’s Digital Association, Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V.,
provides a definition for branded entertainment: “Entertainment on behalf of a brand
or product. This brand-specific content for the web delivers the brand’s or product’s
messages in entertaining formats (videos, games, etc.).” BVDW also supports a
focus group on ‘moving image’ where video content is discussed, and a roundtable
on content marketing.
I would define branded content as a “marketing activity where content is produced
and distributed on behalf of a brand or product.” But it’s even more than that, as it
influences marketing strategies, PR, sales, personnel and so on.
A German example that illustrates this point well is Deutsche Telekom ‘Familie
Heins’. It features a family facing all the challenges of modern communication,
presenting its daily life in multiple videos on the web and appearing in different
locations in real life – including an Ed Sheeran concert and a casting call for the
movie ‘Fack ju Göhte 2’. Telekom’s related commercials became a coherent
extension of this idea, including detailed
product information. The campaign shows
what happens when a brand places the idea
of branded content at the core of a product
strategy.
In the DACH market, branded content
activities can originate from marketing, media,
or company management. Ideally, all
departments and all agencies are involved,
forget their silo mentality, and work together
to generate relevant content for the brand and
to engage with its consumers.
Branded content in different lengths
and formats
There’s an amazing variety of successful
branded content projects in Germany, Austria
and Switzerland. Categorising projects by
length and media platforms used – (a
simplification, as all good projects are multi-
channel) – identifies five main groups:
1. Long formats and TV shows
Branded content can stand alone or be part of
a TV show, even a prime-time show. A Nissan
car was elevated in more than one way on
Germany’s famous Saturday Night TV show
‘Mein bester Feind’, presented by popular
hosts Joko and Klass. Broadcaster ProSieben
created a car bungee jumping game
featuring Nissan for the show, wowing the
participants and the show’s viewers.
An entire TV show can be built around one
product: ŠKODA Austria’s ‘Die Große Simply-
Clever-Show’ was developed with Austrian TV
channel ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 to accompany
the launch of the ŠKODA Fabia car.
An interesting Swiss public TV series is
‘Mission Surprise’ for Swiss International Air
Lines. This series of highly emotional surprise
visits to Swiss people living in foreign countries
was part of a larger campaign to strengthen the
airline’s image.
TV shows for brands can also be made in
shorter formats, like the six-minute episodes of
‘Fiat Urban Stories’. This magazine-style TV
9
series was broadcast on sixx to reach females
and on ProSiebenMAXX to reach males. It
involved famous TV presenter Annemarie
Carpendale interviewing designers, extreme
athletes and musicians from a Fiat 500 dubbed
“the smallest TV studio ever”.
2. Short videos on TV and the web
The majority of branded content is in shorter
formats: advertorials and paid-for advertising
space on TV, or videos that are seeded on the
web.
The hit last year was a simple idea, Edeka
‘Supergeil (feat. Friedrich Liechtenstein)’,
which has clocked up more than 14 million
views so far – just by saying combinations of
the word super, like “super-sweet” and “super-
products at Edeka food supermarkets”.
Relating video content on TV to a popular
programme makes sense. A classic example is
‘Maybelline Make-up School’ for L’Oréal,
developed in connection with ‘Germany’s next
Topmodel’. The Maybelline advertorials give
advice on using make-up and feature make-up
artist Boris Entrup creating special looks on
models from the cast of the show.
Videos can also have the high production
values of film. Following its mission statement
#MeetTheModernTrailblazers, luxury brand
Montblanc filmed a high quality new
storytelling campaign about bloggers, artists,
designers and Montblanc craftspeople on a
virtual trip.
The video Telekom ‘Wi-Fi Dogs’ had a high
quality requirement as well: to produce a
credible campaign with the right cast. The
result was ‘Jose’ promoting Telekom’s
European Wi-Fi product with ‘dogs that are
trained to search for Wi-Fi in holiday areas’. The
first time you see it, you think, “Is that real?”
That’s what they wanted and it was worth a
Cannes Lion.
The Swiss video ‘Kleenex Kiss of Life’
engages viewers just by connecting simple
paper tissues to highly emotional moments in
life.
Piggybacking on a topical news story can also
be engaging. The entertaining video 'Letter is
better!’, created by Austrian Post, assumes
that the NSA knows everything about our digital
communications but can’t get inside real paper
letters.
Other videos show that branded content even
works in the B2B sector, at least as part of an
integrated campaign. This was recently
proven by Dell ‘Tough Enough’, a sitcom
shot in an office and aimed at IT
administrators.
3. Branded content connected with concerts
and events
Sometimes you don’t believe that finance or
insurance brands can tell good stories, but
they can. Well-established German building
society Schwäbisch Hall created ‘Band sucht
Bleibe’ (‘Band looking for a place to stay’),
in which singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko
appeared on music TV channel VIVA and
online asking viewers if they could put him up
for a night in their homes as he travelled
Germany on a concert tour.
Car brand MINI worked with the band ‘The
Vaccines’ as an integral part of the MINI John
Cooper Works launch. To create a TV
commercial, they used Instagram as the
platform to receive user-submitted photos of
places people wanted the new MINI to drive
through.
10
Swiss drinks brand Rivella also used concerts
and events to create emotive branded content.
It developed its own event tour, #Pool Hero, in
which funny challenges in swimming pools
were staged. It was supported by famous
Swiss YouTuber Bendrit Barja.
4. Social media influencers, hashtags, user-
generated content, etc.
This leads us to the next phenomenon:
YouTube stars as influencers with high reach
are becoming more and more important in the
German-speaking branded content world.
Brands are also creating their own concepts
and starting their own branded YouTube
channels. Coca Cola has popular CokeTV, a
collaboration with young YouTubers presenting
videos from events and taking part in new
experiences.
Entire concepts can be based around
YouTubers, as illustrated by #wireinander from
Techniker Krankenkasse. Although it’s
difficult for a health insurance company to
reach young people, this campaign succeeded
by telling stories about YouTubers who had to
change their lives after accidents or illness.
Other young people then shared their own
stories via #wireinander. The campaign
involved YouTuber LeFloid who recently
interviewed Angela Merkel, which shows his
reputation in Germany.
An international campaign in which user-
generated content (UGC) played the main role
is #lovemyfridge by Robert Bosch AG. It
inspired users in 12 countries to post online
declarations of love to their fridges. Food
bloggers supported this initiative with their own
love messages and cooked their favourite
leftover recipes. Humorous and charming UGC
was created.
5. Live branded content
The latest trend we’re seeing in branded
content is one that’s been recognised
internationally as well. It’s the trend to go live
and it works on TV and online. However, the
use of live-streaming apps like Periscope and
Meerkat is still rare.
An outstanding campaign with an important
live TV feature is Media Markt’s ‘Rabbit Race’
(Das große Osterhasen-Rasen). A series of
races involving real rabbits that had been given
humorous names and back stories was
broadcast live on nine major German TV
channels in prime time slots and live-streamed
on three websites simultaneously. Sports
presenter Frank Buschmann commentated and
viewers could win reductions on their Easter
shopping at Media Markt.
Another live TV event, running annually for
more than 10 years in Germany, is ‘WOK-WM’,
in which stars go down an iced toboggan
run in a wok (yes, an Asian cooking pot).
Competing teams are named after brands like
Dr. Oetker Pizzaburger, Rewe.de and
handyflash. This year, a worldwide team of
YouTubers from Studio71 – including Sarazar,
11
LeFloid and Dner – took part, adding a new
twist: enormous reach on social media driving
young viewers to watch TV.
Live branded content is also taking off on the
web. Charity poker event ‘Let’s Play Poker
pokerstars.de Show’ regularly brings together
a group of card players and YouTubers in
locations from the Caribbean to Berlin, and
broadcasts live on MyVideo and YouTube.
In ‘Webers großes Grillfest’, live web banner
ads asked viewers to click and watch famous
chef Johannes Lafer showing them how to
cook a four-course meal on a BBQ in a live TV
event. Viewers could join in by sending
ingredient suggestions and questions via
#WeberGrillFest.
A glance at brands becoming media,
and platforms being used by brands
Brands engage the services of famous actors,
artists, presenters and YouTubers to drive
attention to their content. They invest
significant effort in storytelling, whether
emotional, comic, or functional. Many key
players are involved, as you need a lot of
factors to work well together in order to create
great content. This has changed the agency
world in DACH and found its expression in
content and media hubs, too.
Austria’s Red Bull Media House is well known
for its advanced content strategy. It produces
great content about action sports and even
extreme basejumping (culminating in the
‘Stratos’ project with Felix Baumgartner in
space). The brand has effectively ‘become’ a
media house.
Originally the job of TV ad producers and ad
agencies, now all media agency networks, like
MediaCom with Beyond Advertising and
Omnicom with Fuse, have large departments
supporting the creation and production of
content for their clients.
L’Oréal has gone one step further and invested
in a German-wide sustainable strategy for its
brands. In April last year, L’Oréal’s Content
Factory was founded under the roof of WPP
and a new agency model that reacts quickly to
client interests was born.
Roles change and the traditional lines of the
client–agency–media triangle have become
blurred, wrote W&V.* They explained that a lot
of agencies are rebuilding and investing in
digital as the advertising market changes. In
general, the borders between media, creation,
production and distribution are becoming less
defined.
C3 Creative Code and Content evolved from
corporate publishing to cover all types of
12 * W&V 26-2015, W&V-Redaktion, ‘Alles kommt zusammen’, p.13 ff
storytelling for brands and is now one of the
leading German content marketing agencies.
Private TV broadcasters have also joined the
content business, as they recognise the
necessity and have the resources available in
their different departments. Large private TV
channels can create branded content and arm
it with image and reach.
Meanwhile, TV media houses are becoming
interested in the younger target group, as many
of the traditional media players sign up
prominent YouTubers via subsidiary companies
or collaborations.
New media players are also getting on board
as the importance of non-linear TV is about to
grow. For example, Vice Media, with its
innovative channels for millennials, has
increased its presence in Germany.
Germany’s AGF Arbeitsgemeinschaft
Fernsehforschung is working on a
measurement project, ‘Moving Image
Currency’,** which will provide cross-media
data on streaming ads. Google agreed to join
the project, making it highly relevant for mobile
video research.
According to a Nielsen study cited in W&V,
YouTube reaches an amazing 21.4 million
unique viewers each month.** Web pay-tv
broadcaster Netflix has only 0.2 million, but is
not really relevant for branded content here yet,
although this is predicted to change. German
video platforms, like MyVideo with 3.5 million or
T-Online with 2.2 million, also reach large
audiences. Platforms like Vevo that focus on
the music business can also be relevant
partners for brands, as used for example in the
Seat branded content campaign ‘On Tour’ (Auf
Achse).***
Google’s YouTube provides tips on building a
content plan and engaging with the community
in the YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands.
Social media are compulsory to distribute
branded content and to engage with users by
asking for comments or soliciting UGC.
Since the Facebook video player was
relaunched in 2014, the number of videos on
the platform has risen rapidly. According to a
Facebook source, Facebook usage intensity in
the DACH region is higher than global usage
intensity, and more rich media formats are
shared. This is due to our good infrastructure
with a 3G+ network, which make videos
available more easily than in other parts of the
world. 34 million people are active Facebook
users in DACH, 27 million in Germany alone,
which offers massive potential to integrate
branded content into the Facebook stream and
be discovered by the right people.
Instagram is used for sharing emotive content
such as photos and very short-form 15-second
videos.
The importance of mobile is growing rapidly in
DACH. As a lot of branded content is watched
on mobiles, some experts advise that videos
should work without sound and be very short-
form. Regardless, the decisive factor will be the
user experience.
In conclusion, the German-speaking market is
increasing and perfecting the use of branded
content and media platforms. In one episode
of Telekom’s ‘Familie Heins’, Grandma
Charlotte orders a rocket device to jazz up her
grandson’s school presentation. She clearly
knows how to grab attention, present a
complex topic and engage a large number of
viewers. That’s exactly what branded content in
Germany, Austria and Switzerland does – it
inspires.
13** W&V 27-2015, Thomas Nötting ‘Die Grenzen Verschwimmen’, p.23-25 (Nielsen 2014) *** www.horizont.net, Tim Theobald, Branded Content: Warum Seat und Vevo gemeinsam ‘Auf Achse’ gehen
By Sandra Freisinger-Heinl,
joint editor and co-author of
BOBCM 2015 DACH book;
Managing Director, MA Media
Branded content is very important to convey a brand’s story to its audience. But
content is available in many variations and can be distributed on many media
platforms. So how should businesses approach branded content and what should
marketers bear in mind?
If content is king (and distribution queen), context might be god,* because it’s
necessary to consider the project environment as a whole. Content always has to
serve a purpose.
A narrative brand
Every brand has its targets and slogans to substantiate its brand positioning. Let’s
look briefly at the Red Bull brand and its marketing slogan ‘Gives you wings’.
Former Red Bull Manager Wolfgang Puetz stated: “The brand message has to be
distributed via all manner of storytelling and multiplied. Storytelling is the most valid
way to emotionalise company and brand messages, and content distribution to
spread them. Ideally not the product itself will be advertised, but a story around the
product will be told, which is emotionalised. (…) It’s becoming increasingly essential
* Michael Buergi, Adweek USA, stated: “If content is king, context is god!”
in MIPTV Forum presentation ‘Video is the new black’, 14 April 2015
to talk with your customers and, best case, to
make them want to tell your story to others.”**
It’s basically all about content creation,
engagement and distribution.
Brands should also look at which teams and
agencies they partner with to achieve the best
results, as branded content falls within many
areas of expertise. The necessary change or
collaboration can be challenging if, for
example, the media agency is used to being in
charge of commercials and allocating the
advertising budget.
In practice
To develop a branded content project for a
brand, you have to plot several points along the
customer journey. The questions WHAT, WITH
WHOM and WHERE TO DELIVER have to be
answered, in order to finally MEASURE your
relevant KPIs.
Content has to be different if it’s made for TV –
which is of great importance and prestige in
German-speaking countries – and if it’s made
for the web, which is definitely essential to all
campaigns. You also have to comply with
LEGALITIES at all times – an aspect that’s not
exclusive to the DACH region, however it’s
crucial here.
No matter what your project, different content
should be used for different platforms. To keep
your customers happy, they have to be able to
discover interesting pieces of content regularly.
How you set your branded content project
priorities is a tough choice, but many roads
lead to Rome. You can read about working with
every kind of option in the following feature
articles by DACH branded content experts.
15** Werben & Verkaufen, So erklärt ein früherer Red-bull-Manager Brand Storytelling,
26 February 2015
Source: BOBCM
Strategic Considerations of Branded Content
Storytelling
# By Hanna Bickel,
LL.M. (New York University),
Rechtsanwältin (Legal Attorney
registered at the German bar),
SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte
and Margret Knitter,
LL.M. (University of Edinburgh),
Rechtsanwältin (Legal Attorney
registered at the German bar),
SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte
Introduction
The general idea of branded content is to reach an audience in order to promote a
brand without annoying the consumer. The goal is to produce content so
informative, amusing, or engaging that the consumer actively chooses to read,
watch, or listen to the content out of his or her own interest. Ideally, branded
content shouldn’t feel like advertising. It should be entertaining and tell a story in
order to communicate a certain brand image, thereby establishing a stronger
relationship between the customer and the brand.
To reach this goal of providing genuinely interesting content, the lines between
entertainment, editorial and advertising are deliberately blurred. As such, the
consumer may not always be aware of the commercial character of the content.
Yet this lack of consumer awareness of commercial communication is exactly the
vulnerable aspect of branded content addressed by German legal standards
prohibiting concealed advertising.
According to German unfair competition law, it constitutes an act of unfair
competition to promote the commercial activity of a company by concealing the
advertising character of a communication with the consumer. In addition, the
German Interstate Broadcasting Treaty (Rundfunkstaatsvertrag), the German
Telemedia Act (Telemediengesetz) and the
Federal States’ Press Acts
(Landespressegesetze) provide that advertising
or commercial content must be clearly
identifiable as such and therefore clearly
separated from editorial content.
These regulations guarantee unbiased opinion-
making through two aspects. The consumer
must be able to react to advertising content by:
1. critically judging and questioning it, and
2. rejecting it.
The consumer may be especially limited in his
or her own judgment if content seems to be
objective and neutral when it’s actually
produced or supported in some way by a
company for the purpose of promoting its own
products, services and image. For example,
when advertorials are placed in the media in a
neutral and objective setting, the consumer
expects the content to be objectively and
neutrally researched and, therefore, tends to
question the truth of the content to a lesser
extent. In contrast, a consumer is inclined to
scrutinise advertising more critically when it’s
more blatant in its commercial orientation and
content.
These regulations don’t forbid branded content
per se, but rather delineate the conditions
under which advertising content must be
designated as such in order to avoid
misleading the consumer. In the following
sections, we’ll provide guidance on the
handling of different forms of branded content
under these regulations by way of examples
from recent court decisions.
Of course, there are other legal aspects that
can always become contentious, such as rights
clearance issues, data protection issues, the
publication of unlawful misleading advertising
statements, et cetera. These topics are not the
subject of this chapter, because they apply to
all advertising activities and are not specifically
related to branded content.
Advertorials: Principle of separation
between advertising and editorial
content; clear identification as
commercial content
Branded content may be unlawful under the
previously mentioned legal principles if it
conveys the impression to the well-informed
consumer of being editorial content created
and published by a neutral and objective
source. Advertorials are a mix between
advertising and editorial content and, therefore,
specifically aimed at blurring the lines between
the two. The placement of an advertorial in the
neutral setting of a third-party medium with
editorial content – for example, on an editorial
website, blog, or video blog – further adds to
the impression of objectivity of such content
that has in fact been created by an advertising
company. For these reasons, advertorials
placed in a medium providing at least partially
editorial content are especially vulnerable,
according to the principle of separation.
Placement of advertorials with payment of a
fee
Whenever a paid-for advertorial promoting a
company’s products or services is placed in
editorial media, it’s unlawful if it’s not clearly
identifiable as advertising.
17
Advertising or
commercial content
must be clearly
identifiable as such and
… clearly separated from
editorial content.
In these cases, the content itself doesn’t
necessarily need to include passages that
positively portray a certain product to be
deemed unlawful; it’s sufficient if the article or
video simply names a company or product, or
includes product placement. The fact that the
naming of a company in an editorial setting is
paid for makes the content misleading per se,
unless it’s clearly identifiable as advertising. If
advertorial content is not clearly identifiable as
advertising, it must be accompanied by the
word ‘Advertisement’ (‘Anzeige’) or
‘Commercial’ (‘Werbesendung’) in a position,
colour and type style that are clearly visible in
order to avoid misleading the consumer.
The following court decision provides an
example of content that was held to be clearly
identifiable as advertising even though it wasn’t
designated as an advertisement. The website in
dispute was a preview page that included
banner advertising and several teasers linking
to both editorial and commercial articles on
other websites. The teasers each consisted of
a photograph next to two or three lines of text.
The teaser in question included the following
wording:
Vita 34. Pregnant? Get prepared now! Opt
for cord blood before birth more
This teaser was held to be clearly identifiable
as advertising as the name of the company
‘Vita 34’ was clearly understood as a brand
name responsible for the content the teaser
linked to, even to people not familiar with the
brand.
Placement of advertorials without payment of
a fee
When an advertorial placed in editorial media
isn’t paid for – even if it’s created, for example,
by a blogger to promote his or her own blog – it
may still need to be designated as advertising if
it excessively promotes a company or its
products and services. This applies to any
advertorial content – for example, videos or
articles placed on YouTube or another website,
including blogs and video blogs.
Admissible editorial content not considered to
be concealed advertising must have a
journalistic cause – that is, it must cover a topic
of interest to the audience of the medium
involved. For example, an article about a
specific diet programme presented by the
German celebrity Verona Pooth on a
magazine’s website was regarded to have a
good journalistic cause, as dieting is a topic of
general interest to the readers of the magazine.
Beyond that, the content must be reasonably
objective and the positive portrayal of the
product or company must not go beyond
what’s necessary to provide an analysis of the
subject. While it’s not generally unlawful to
present only one product or company, an
article can be unlawful if it promotes that
product excessively. This is the case if the
product is portrayed very positively using
soliciting language, and without actually
discussing and analysing the product features.
In the aforementioned case, the Court regarded
the article about the diet programme as
excessively promotional since the programme
was presented using general attributes such as
“wholesome”, “valuable”, “delicious”, but the
article failed to discuss the programme and its
concepts in detail. The accompanying sports
programme, for example, was merely
18
When an advertorial
placed in editorial
media isn’t paid for …
it may still need to be
designated as
advertising.
described as including specifically tailored
exercises without specifying them in further
detail. The article could therefore only be
published if it was clearly designated as
advertising.
The same would apply to a product test in a
video blog, such as on YouTube, in which the
product is praised without any critical approach
or material discussion of the product features
in detail.
Advertorials placed in company’s own
medium
Even if advertorial content isn’t placed in a
third-party medium, it may be regarded as
concealed advertising if its commercial
character is not clearly identifiable by the
consumer at first sight and without further
analysis.
Obviously, consumers will expect advertising
content on a company’s official website or
social network profile and not be misled. The
situation is different if the content is placed on
a blog or website run by a company itself for
the promotion of its own products or services,
or especially created for a campaign, when the
site doesn’t disclose clearly that the company
is the author.
The DACIA case is a good example of this. In
2013, the automobile manufacturer DACIA had
promoted its “reasonably priced” SUV in a blog
satirically addressing the pathological status
symbol-driven consumer behaviour in the
automotive market. The Court ruled that
consumers linking to the blog via the URL
www.status-symptome.de from other
advertising material by DACIA, such as their
official webpage, certainly expected advertising
upon entering the webpage, even though the
page was designed like a blog. However, the
Court assumed that many consumers would
link to the blog on the recommendations of
friends on Facebook who had liked and shared
the blog. In such a private setting, these users
wouldn’t be aware of the blog’s advertising
content, because the generic link www.status-
symptome.de doesn’t refer to a company or
otherwise make clear that the content is
advertising. As the consumer is supposed to
have the opportunity to reject advertising
before consumption of the content, the Court
found it not sufficient that only after reading
and analysing the blog was it identifiable as
advertising content. However, if the content
had been clearly designated as an
‘Advertisement’ (‘Anzeige’), it would not have
been deemed unlawful concealed advertising.
The placement of the advertisement label
‘Anzeige’ should remain visible even when
scrolling down.
The same situation may apply to, for example,
video clips placed on YouTube that aren’t
clearly branded and thus not clearly attributed
to a certain company.
Obvious commercial content must
be identifiable before consumption
In cases in which branded content is clearly
identifiable as advertising, the content itself
doesn’t need to be labeled as advertising.
However, the consumer is still protected under
German law from exposing him/herself to
19
Even if advertorial
content isn’t placed in
a third-party medium,
it may be regarded as
concealed advertising.
advertising content without being informed of
its advertising nature beforehand. This is
extremely relevant for viral campaigns. In a viral
campaign, the commercial may be entertaining
in some way and, therefore, shared on
Facebook and the like for its entertaining
quality, even though it’s clearly branded and
identified as advertising. However, in these
cases the links shared must still make clear
that the following content is commercial in a
way that enables the consumer to reject it.
The following example – which hasn’t yet been
decided by the Courts – further demonstrates
this principle. In a recent viral campaign, the
rental car company SIXT, known for amusing
and somewhat edgy commercials, has had the
advertising agency Jung von Matt produce two
music videos starring the singers Matthias
Reim and Roberto Blanco. It was recently
reported in the press that these two singers are
broke. In the videos, they present songs
conveying the message that, whether broke or
not, they’re still impressing the girls with a
rental car from SIXT. The entire commercial
contained SIXT branding in its visual and audio
elements. If – hypothetically speaking – the link
to these videos was presented only making
reference to the artists and not to SIXT, the
presentation of the link would probably be
deemed unlawful, even though the video itself
is clearly commercial. Consumers might follow
the link in search of a new song by the singer
and not expect advertising. Any link mentioning
the well-known brand SIXT and thereby making
clear that the video contains commercial and
advertising content would, however, probably
not raise any legal issues.
When planning viral marketing campaigns, bear
in mind that content on blogs is further
disseminated by private individuals sharing
links to it. In this way, the content is presented
in a non-commercial environment in which the
addressee doesn’t necessarily expect
advertising. To cover this situation, the name of
the link should make clear that the link leads to
advertising content. In cases in which a brand
name is very generic and not clearly identifiable
as a brand, it may even be necessary to
describe the material linked to as commercial
or advertising content.
The same applies to links presented in an
editorial environment. For example, the
presentation of a link to the SIXT ad next to an
article discussing the rental car market would
be unlawful, if it didn’t clearly disclose that the
link will direct viewers to a website containing
advertising content.
Conclusion
To make a long story short, the dissemination
of branded content doesn’t raise legal issues,
as long as the content’s advertising character is
not concealed from the consumer and the
content is clearly separated from editorial
content. However, since the concept of
branded content is to provide content so
interesting that it’s actively consumed by
potential customers, it shouldn’t lose its impact
by openly communicating a commercial
purpose.
20
Storytelling
# Interview with
Palle Finderup Diederichsen,
Head of MediaCom Beyond
Advertising, EMEA (Europe,
Middle East, Africa)
by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
BOBCM Germany (BG): Let’s start with your view on branded content in Europe.
What’s Germany’s position in this field?
Palle Finderup Diederichsen (PFD): The use of branded content is gathering pace
quickly everywhere. In Europe, the UK is still leading, followed by France. Both
started early with branded content. Germany, Italy and Scandinavia are catching up,
but for different reasons in each region: Scandinavia has mobile as ‘the tool’; Italy is
traditionally good in design and fashion, and produces stylish branded content;
Germany is good at conducting studies and using relevant data – several key market
research projects are done there; Austria and Switzerland are latecomers, but they’re
starting to do experiential outdoor executions, mainly through our German office.
BG: What is ‘good video content’ and where do you distribute it?
PFD: From the early days of video, we’ve been involved in what good content looks
like. In the past year alone, we can see how much the structure of video has
changed.
Today’s audience will watch your video most probably on a social platform like
Facebook. So this means it’s in a very busy environment, it’s autoplaying and silent.
Therefore, a good video today has to capture the interest of your audience without
using sound, in a very cluttered environment. That’s very different to the heyday of
TV; it’s about being loud in a different way and
it influences everything from the actual
execution to how it will be distributed.
Where do you put your video to make it a
success? If it’s good, you can promote it using
just a press release, or believe in viral
engagement. If it’s not very good, you have to
put it up on places such as YouTube in a ‘must-
see format’ like a pre-roll, which you can’t skip.
Non-skippable is the solution of choice when
the content is poor.
BG: How does storytelling work best
nowadays?
PFD: It’s a very interesting area, because again
this depends on what’s seen as ‘good content’
and the impact it has on how you tell stories.
The traditional storytelling curve of a Hollywood
movie, which has been adopted by many other
stories, means that you build tension that
peaks about 70% of the way in and then
develops the resolution for the rest of the story.
It’s the classic storytelling curve.
In videos today, in social on the smart phone,
you have to engage people from the very first
second. And we also know from all our
research, if you want people to engage with
your content and to share it with their network,
you have to be on a high at the end as well. So
that’s a transformation of the storytelling curve.
BG: How do you predict or measure which
content really works?
PFD: We use emotional recognition tools and
technology, such as Unruly ShareRank and
Realeyes, to help us predict shareability. We
then use this data in combination with our own
data to inform our approach to content
distribution.
Emotional recognition through webcams shows
us how people react: are they happy, are they
sad, are they curious, or what are they? We
track that and then we use it to inform our
creative composition and also to inform our
distribution. This measurement method has a
bigger impact on distribution.
22
New way of storytelling
‘Hollywood’ storytelling curve
Storytelling curve for branded content
Source: Palle Finderup Diederichsen
Storytelling
# Interview with
Jobst Benthues,
Managing Director, RedSeven
Entertainment GmbH
by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Many brands would like to tap into the high reach of TV with their own
successful show using a branded content format. Jobst Benthues,
Managing Director of RedSeven Entertainment GmbH, explains how
this works and tells us the winning factors to bear in mind when
creating branded entertainment for TV.
BOBCM Germany (BG): How do you develop successful branded entertainment for
TV?
Jobst Benthues (JB): It’s all about good content – always. Every successful TV
programme is also a suitable vehicle to carry a branded promotional story. So it
makes sense to bring the experience of a TV production company into the mix when
developing your branded content initiative.
Previously, ideas often came from advertising agencies. Now, branded content
formats are being developed and produced by the professionals who already
specialise in making TV shows – we call it media created by media experts. Most
importantly, this process needs to focus on content, and that requires an insider
approach so that the TV programme is
produced in the right way for the relevant
brand. This is essential for success.
Ideally, a show with a branded content format
should also work without a brand. Just like a
normal TV show, the branded content has to
excite the viewers. A good example of this is
‘Maybelline Make-Up School’ for L’Oréal,
which airs every year alongside the show
‘Germany’s next Topmodel’.
For more than 10 years now, this branded
content programme has been more or less as
successful as the model casting show itself.
Why? In Maybelline Make-Up School, celebrity
make-up artist Boris Entrup gives beauty
advice by presenting the latest looks from
Germany’s next Topmodel on models from the
cast. This entertains and reaches L’Oréal’s
precise target group. However, Maybelline
Make-Up School would also be interesting to
young girls if it didn’t have the branded element
– that’s what makes it so successful.
BG: What are the key factors to bear in mind
during the format development process?
JB: You need to start with a strong programme
idea. TV broadcasters decide on new formats
by establishing the specific challenges of
certain time slots. TV production companies
work out the best kind of format to use in each
slot. Then the brand comes into play.
What appeal does the brand contribute? Which
key messages should be communicated? And
– most importantly – would a viewer also watch
the show if it’s a broadcast without a brand
association, in a normal TV format?
The format of a branded content show has to
be appropriate for the broadcaster and the
brand, and it has to work on multiple levels. It
has to be created in a way that enables the
show (and therefore the brand) to achieve
maximum reach and that you can extend
across social media and second screen.
BG: How do you make TV viewers enthusiastic
about a branded content format and a brand?
JB: With branded content, you can create the
same incentive to view as with normal TV
shows. The viewer of an advertorial-style show
can feel entertained and informed in the same
way as they do when watching any TV show.
One example of this is ‘Fiat Urban Stories’, a
lifestyle TV show featuring the iconic Fiat 500
car.
In the show, popular German TV presenter
Annemarie Carpendale interviews various
interesting people – artists, comedians,
musicians, athletes – in various cities, inside a
roving Fiat 500 car. This show married
interesting content with the right celebrity
24
presenter and a twist on distribution – different
episodes were broadcast on women’s TV
channel sixx and on men’s channel ProSieben
MAXX. (You can read a case study about this
branded content marketing campaign here.)
Ultimately, you shouldn’t differentiate between
branded entertainment and other entertainment
on TV. You must approach the development of
branded content with the same rigour as
producing Germany’s next Topmodel, The
Taste, or other TV shows. Only then will you
reach a large audience and the right kind of
viewers for a specific brand.
25
#
It seems like the online video content business is finally coming of age.
YouTube has been the global incumbent for a decade, and now
Facebook and Twitter are about to kick off their crusade into the online
video territory.
The same goes for live streaming platforms: Twitch.TV has offered
streaming services to up-and-coming game casters since the early
2000s. But it was not until 2014 that ecommerce giant Amazon bought
the platform for roughly US$1billion, shortly before complementary
streaming services like YouNow, Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope were
about to become popular.
In this age of online video, marketers usually have one big question:
“How do we produce great integrated web content that will lead to
increased awareness for our brand?”
Well, the answer is: “It depends on who you ask.”
By Ronald Horstman,
Managing Director,
Studio71 & Board Member of
Collective Studio71
and Marco Knies,
Head of Production & Branded
Entertainment, Studio71
At Studio71, we usually recommend asking
your prospective audience – and by asking we
mean watch, listen and learn. In our
experience, the first step to creating great web
content is to define a specific target group, go
where they are and watch what they watch,
listen to their conversations and learn what they
like so far and would like to see in the future.
To most marketers looking deeper into branded
online video content, the target audiences are
generation Y or the so-called millennials. Born
between the early 1980s and the early 2000s,
this demographic cohort grew up as digital
natives who use computers, smart phones and
online tools like social media platforms almost
intuitively. Millennial teenagers born in the late
1990s and early 2000s are especially interesting
to brands, since they’re used to all kinds of
online communication tools, they like to interact
with each other and like-minded peers online,
and they express themselves through their
social media profiles. By doing so, they have
tremendous influence on their peer group, but
also on the rest of the (older) online
communities.
The social media reach of some of these
millennials has grown so rapidly that they’ve
become social influencers. Nicknames such as
‘Pewdiepie’, ‘Rhett&Link’, ‘dFashion’, ‘Sarazar’,
‘MissesVlog’ or ‘Dner’ might not be familiar to
you, but to your kids these influencers are more
important than well-known bands or movie
actors, which makes them extremely valuable
to brands that want to reach the young
millennial target group. So if you ask your
teenage audience what or who makes great
web content, there’s a fair chance that the
answer will be “Kelly aka MissesVlog” – well, at
least if you live in Germany.
As a brand creating content for the web, this
means you should think about collaborating
with influential creators that match your brand
values and have a high reach in your preferred
target group. Usually, these creators have huge
social media followings on YouTube and
complementary platforms such as Facebook,
27
“Define a target group,
go where they are,
watch what they
watch, listen to their
conversations, learn
what they like so far
and would like to see
in the future.”
“The social media
reach of some of these
millennials has grown
so rapidly that they’ve
become social
influencers.”
Twitter and Snapchat, which helps co-branded
content travel quickly and far across these
different platforms. Audiences can be informed
via different channels that new episodes are
online and, thus, be reached on any given
social network they prefer.
If you work with social influencers, authenticity
is the overall paradigm. These people became
popular because of the way they are and the
content they create. Changing either of those
two factors with a branded content campaign
will very likely result in negative audience
feedback – remember, you want access to their
community. Therefore, we usually come up with
a creative concept that’s based on the brand’s
core values, but realised in a way that’s
oriented towards the influential creator’s style
of presentation.
In 2014, gaming publisher Ubisoft and their
agency Maxus Global wanted to promote the
new FarCry4 release, an open-world game
taking place in Kyrat, a fictional country based
on Nepal. They were looking for social
influencers to reach the gaming community as
well as more mainstream audiences. Together,
we came up with a branded content idea that
offered both: the biggest German gamers and
Let’s Players Gronkh and Sarazar also operate
a travel channel on YouTube called
‘DieSuperhomies’, showing them as they
explore fascinating countries and share their
spectacular experiences. This was the perfect
match. We sent the two top-tier social
influencers to Nepal with our camera crew to
explore the country and compare the real-world
locations to the fictional game sets.
In four 20-minute, FarCry4-branded
episodes, the Superhomies discovered ancient
Kathmandu, rafted through the powerful
current of Trishuli River, paraglided across
stunning Lake Pokhara and took a helicopter
flight to the heady heights of Mount Everest –
all enabled by and related to FarCry4, but very
subtly and only on occasions that editorially
justified the cross-promotion. Community
feedback was overwhelming: over 1.2 million
video views in the first couple of weeks, over
5,000 comments, more than 60,000 likes on
YouTube alone – and yes, 337 dislikes.
This example demonstrates perfectly the nature
of branded content on YouTube: even though
the four videos were labeled as advertising for
reasons of legally sound transparency, the
audience didn’t mind at all – on the contrary,
the community even celebrated the candid
announcement at the beginning of the first
video, showing Ubisoft as the enabler of such
great content as part of the FarCry4 campaign.
Releasing branded content in top-tier creator
channels is of course the supreme discipline if
you are focusing on short-term campaigns.
Many brands aiming for longer-term
relationships with their customers ask us to
create and push their own brand channels.
There’s a difference between owning an online
video channel and having a proper content
strategy for this channel. To be successful,
most channels need a programming schedule
of one or two videos per week to make their
audience come back regularly. While the usual
recommendation in terms of video length is six
to eight minutes, content can be shorter or
28
“If you work with
social influencers,
authenticity is the
overall paradigm.”
longer as long as viewers keep watching for
more than half of the episode’s running time. On
YouTube, for example, most brands monitor
subscribers and video views, but the real KPI is
watch time, at least when it comes to search
optimisation. The longer your audience watches,
the more relevant your content seems to be and
the higher your videos are ranked by the
algorithm for video recommendations that
pushes traffic into your channel.
One of the most successful German brand
channels on YouTube, especially among
millennial teenagers, is CokeTV.
After the first season of CokeTV, Coca-Cola
Germany and their lead agency Ogilvy & Mather
came to us to push the channel even further.
“The community even
celebrated the candid
announcement at the
beginning of the first
video, showing Ubisoft
as the enabler of such
great content.”
29
“Keep your audience
entertained
and you will grow.”
Source: www.studio71.com
Source: Coca-Cola Deutschland Press Release, 13 July 2015
Together, we tried something new and built a
format that rocketed the brand’s YouTube
channel to over 200,000 subscribers and more
than 13 million video views just 17 months after
its creation, with an average watch time of over
50%. Popular German YouTuber Dner hosts the
weekly CokeTVMoments episodes during
which CokeTV enables community members
and fellow YouTubers to enjoy unique
experiences together with Dner for the very first
time.
The audience engages deeply with the weekly
content by posting their own CokeTVMoment
wishes, hoping to be picked for one of the next
episodes.
CokeTVMoments have included swimming with
sea lions, building igloos almost 3,000 metres
above sea level and learning how to free run.
The six- to 10-minute format perfectly reflects
the brand’s drivers of happiness – things like
being active, being together, giving to others,
trying new things and living in the moment.
However, the way the format is produced is far
from a corporate commercial. Every aspect of
production is influenced by the way video
bloggers create content, while at the same time
making sure the production values follow
Coca-Cola’s high quality standards.
The question remains: “How do you produce
great integrated web content that will lead to
increased awareness for your brand?”
30
“Every aspect of
production is
influenced by the way
video bloggers create
content, while at the
same time making sure
the production values
follow Coca-Cola’s high
quality standards.”
Well, the answer still is: “It depends on who
you ask.”
But if you ask us as a global, multi-channel
network, our experiences with creators and all
kinds of social influencers, with brands and
branded content production show that there
seem to be five key aspects to bear in mind:
31
Storytelling
# Interview with
Preethi Mariappan,
Executive Creative Director,
Razorfish Germany
by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
BOBCM Germany (BG): What brand objectives can be solved by branded content?
Preethi Mariappan (PM): Content can be used to drive brand reputation and
thought leadership. It can be used to connect to a new audience that you need to
open up and engage. Ultimately though, content has to serve a business objective
and drive results. I think we’re all trying to find ways to deliver a seamless content-
to-commerce journey.
These are all viable objectives when we consider branded content. However, I don’t
think we should be fencing in branded content to an exclusive set of objectives. It’s a
fairly new phenomenon and we’ll probably see many different approaches for
different brands.
Branded content aligns to brand purpose for the long term. I think the big question
we need to be asking here is: “What is the value I deliver as a brand with my content,
how will it help me engage my customers or form a community, and how does it
serve my brand mission?”
BG: What are the key factors to consider for content creation and distribution?
PM: Creativity in content hinges on understanding the zeitgeist and the cultural
context of your audience.
Co-creating with your own customers, fans and influencers is obviously
key for acceptance and sharing. You need to assess where people are
already engaged with your brand topics, or identify a need for it. If you
want to belong to a group, you have to hear what the group is talking
about – and have something relevant to say – in order to participate.
If we look at our client IKEA, we see that interior and home decor is a
huge topic on the web and within their community. With IKEA Hej, we co-
create content actively with the community and influencers whose voices
matter. The brand experience is democratised and shared, driving an
uptake in leads.
Also, a distributed content approach means you need to think about
creating content that feels native to the platform and to how people
consume and share. Think Pinterest versus LinkedIn. Or YouTube versus
Vine. For instance, we launched IKEA’s street art poster collection with a
live event streamed to Instagram where there is a natural affinity for this
type of content.
Sometimes I see a good piece of content, but then companies end up
sharing the same thing on Facebook, YouTube, et cetera. I think ‘spray
and pray’ as a tactic simply doesn’t work.
BG: Any specifications on the type of content to use?
PM: Content specifications are very specific to the brand and its
objectives. A content mix is a healthy approach, from fan-based or user-
created content, to influencer- or brand-created. The same applies to the
format mix from video and visual to editorial. Or choosing when or how to
mix snackable, mobile-first content pieces with long-form content,
whether video or editorial. A sound strategy and editorial calendar needs
to underpin great creative content.
33
Also, people don’t care for one awesome piece of content if you’re hoping
for engagement beyond simple views. You need to consider an ‘always
on’ content approach.
I think the influencer piece is the newest formula within branded content –
for instance, working with YouTubers or Instagrammers relevant for the
brand. These are the ‘new celebrities’; producing content together with
them is the ‘new TV’.
This also changed how we think about creative content crafting. Today,
content needs to be real, not sugar-coated. What the content influencers
create is not very crafted by marketing standards, but it’s authentic.
BG: Do you have any key statistics on brand investment in content versus
media?
PM: Brands in Germany often invest 20% in content and 80% in media. I
think the ratio clearly needs to change to 60% in content and 40% in
media at least, if we’re to create purposeful sticky content and start relying
less on a media push-type approach.
But actually it needs to be about content and distribution, not content and
media! We need to stop thinking of content, media and distribution in silos
to be truly effective.
I think we’re still learning how to do this within both agencies and client
organisations, since this calls for new structures, processes and ways of
working together between multiple partners.
34
#
What’s the secret of successful and outstanding brands? What do Apple, Coca-Cola,
BMW and the like have in common? Sure, they all provide good technological, tasty, or
stylish products, but there is an emotional dimension about them as well. These brands
have ‘fans’ – the ‘fans of the brands’ who love to engage with them.
Engagement is the buzzword and seems to be one of the key factors to success in
branded content. But how can you trigger engagement? Branded content can support
the connection of fans to a brand and can help to increase the fanbase in certain ways,
for example by working with celebrities, sharing social and real events.
And there’s another factor to branded content that seems to be highly effective: music.
Music provides unique user experiences. It’s all about creating inspiring moments to link
consumers to a brand. So music can be this ‘connective element’ to create relevant
actions for the core business of the brand.
This is best explained by using a prominent example, the MINI car brand. For the
launch of the MINI John Cooper Works model, the British band ‘The Vaccines’ was
chosen as a partner. The band appeared in the TV commercial, in person and with their
hit single ‘Handsome’. Subsequently, the campaign was extended into the area of social
By Lars Bendix Düysen,
Vice President
Brand Partnership
Germany, Switzerland, Austria,
Sony Music Entertainment
Germany
media and branded entertainment. Fans could
apply to win a ‘money-can’t-buy moment’ and
to meet the band who played a secret concert.
The band met with a super-fan to hand over
concert tickets and even a birthday cake.
Afterwards, the fan had the chance to play a
song with the band at the show. That was all
filmed and captured as a ‘MINI Moment’.
To show how this works, let’s take a closer look
at the overarching idea ‘MINI meets Music'
with the ‘MINI Blockbuster' modules and
‘MINI Moments’ branded content.
The objective is to integrate the MINI car brand
with the digital lifestyle of the band. MINI
should become a native part of this world. To
this end, a 12-month marketing plan was
developed. The aim of the cooperation
between MINI and Sony Music was always to
strengthen MINI’s core business, hence the
launch dates of new MINI models were taken
into consideration while developing the
marketing plan.
Sony Music Brand Partnership & Music
Licensing aligned closely with agencies
working for MINI. During a joint set-up meeting
for MINI meets Music, Sony Music’s marketing
managers presented artists that fit the MINI
brand challenges and needs.
1. MINI Blockbuster
The agency Mediaplus, Serviceplan Group
conceived the basic media concept MINI
Blockbuster. This focused on traditional media
in the ‘Blockbuster TV time slot’ on ProSieben.
Via a TV spot, viewers were asked to send in to
Instagram photos of urban places a MINI car
should drive past, to help create a new spot for
the MINI John Cooper Works.
To make this call for content ‘sexy’, Sony asked
The Vaccines to participate in it. To activate
even more User Generated Content (UGC), the
band encouraged the audience to send in their
photos. Great feedback on Instagram and cool
photos were received to create the MINI TV
spot that included The Vaccines again.
36
37
2. MINI Moments
The story continues. Being advised by Sony
Music, The Vaccines informed fans, via social
media and Berlin Radio FluxFM, about a secret
gig for just 70 people taking place in a trendy
location, the Monkey Bar at the Twentyfive
Hours Hotel in Berlin.
Now it gets even more interesting, because this
activity generated the highest level of customer
engagement with the MINI brand from a
branded content campaign. Fans of The
Vaccines could apply to attend the gig by
sending a video message on YouTube, telling
the community why they “desperately need to
be there”, and they could name a friend to go
with them.
One of the fans, Theo, was having his 18th
birthday on the day of the gig and was
“dying to see the band”. First of all, he
received a refusal. But secretly Sony contacted
his friend to play a trick on super-fan Theo.
Theo’s friends arrived at his home in a MINI
John Cooper Works that had hidden cameras
in it. As they drove along, one of the stars of
The Vaccines announced on radio FluxFM that
Theo was in fact a VIP guest for the gig that
evening. Later, Theo got to play the guitar with
the band.
To drive awareness for the MINI Moments
branded content, Sony Music provided MINI
with access to Sony digital platforms with wide
reach, such as Spotify and Sony’s Music’s own
digital brand Filtr Germany that generates
millions of views every month. In addition, a
Spotify Playlist for every MINI model was
created.
3. The constant noise
On top of those special initiatives, MINI uses
music and content as a tool to generate
constant ‘noise’ throughout the year. Sony also
provides gig tickets and merchandise on MINI’s
brand channels in order to foster ongoing
communication with their customers.
The MINI example illustrates several possible
tools and activation routes to consider when
using music as a highly effective connective
factor in branded content. Music and branded
entertainment are emotional triggers for
engagement. Music fans can become fans of
an associated brand if you give them the
opportunity to love and engage with the brand.
That’s the total opposite of using pushy, price-
based communication.
38
# By Oliver Dietrich,
Director Creative & Conception,
SevenOne AdFactory GmbH,
who implemented MINI
Blockbuster on TV
39
1. What was special about MINI Blockbuster on ProSieben?
What was unique about the concept was that we managed to combine social media
and TV, and therefore implemented the first transmedia TV spot in Germany. This was
done with a particular look and sound that strengthened the qualities of the MINI John
Cooper Works. It was a creative idea for a creative brand, which worked well on all
relevant platforms, as it was new and connecting different media. An additional effect
was that we inspired a target group of young people who are usually far away from TV
to watch TV.
2. What was your part in developing the concept?
The starting position was the insight that a typical TV commercial is not sufficient for
an exceptional car. We had to do something new, something played across all
platforms and something trendy.
So we connected the advantages and the competence of Instagram with the
advantages of TV commercials and with the large reach of TV. It was about bringing
together great, individual and authentic pictorial worlds and emotional video
storytelling, to share it and to show it.
Combined with great music and a band that was new, innovative and hip, we brought
together the different components as a whole, as an authentic MINI Blockbuster. The
result was real innovation.
3. How did you encourage the target group to participate using
photos on Instagram?
The MINI John Cooper Works is a legend - fans didn’t have to be tempted to show
their loyalty and love. But they had to know where to participate and how to become
part of the MINI campaign, which was achieved by our multimedia call for content.
This was made possible by targeting the call via the whole network of relevant
platforms and channels at ProSiebenSAT.1 Media Group. This variety of media enabled
tailored cross-linkage, especially during the important period of the call for pictures.
#
If you’re reading this article, you’ve made a big step towards successful
content marketing: you’re thinking about distribution. Far too often the
‘marketing’ aspect of content marketing is left behind or completely
forgotten. Producing valuable and relevant content is only half the story.
Without a strategic plan for the distribution and investment in audience
reach, content will remain unseen and without impact.
Currently, content marketing is one of the most popular topics in
marketing. However companies often really struggle to define adequate
KPIs for content measurement, or they just overestimate what they can
actually achieve. Fragmentation of media consumption, rejection of
advertising and the use of ad blockers, low visibility of display ads –
whatever the problem, content is supposed to be the cure, providing
brands with highly involved target groups – and, of course, free reach
on top!
Sorry to say, folks, this is not quite the case.
By Thorsten Peters,
Managing Director Creation,
pilot Hamburg
and Frauke Driedger,
Head of Consulting Creation,
pilot Hamburg
What's the ‘right’ content for my
target group? 
As more advertisers produce content, more
and more of it will compete for consumers’
attention. Hence, to ensure visibility, brands
need to develop a distribution strategy.
This strategy needs to be developed at an early
stage, incorporating the question “What
specific content is relevant for the chosen
target groups?” Brands tend to decide this
using their current knowledge of their target
groups, however sound research is highly
advisable. Often, the content is produced first
and only later in the process questions
regarding its distribution arise. This misses out
on the huge potential of the interface between
media and creative. If distribution and content
creation are strategically developed together
and closely interlinked, the content can be
optimised for the defined channels, their
requirements and usage.


The best content distribution
strategy? Work on it! 
An ideal distribution strategy needs to be
developed individually for each brand and
concept. The starting point should be the
brand’s content marketing goals and the target
group. What media channels and devices do
they use? In which situations and what for?
Only after these questions are answered can
distribution channels and efficient measures be
defined. 


Owned, paid and earned media -
deal with it! 
An ideal distribution strategy always consists of
owned, paid and earned media, each used to a
different extent depending on the brand’s
goals. 
Owned media is the starting point of every
content distribution process. The brand’s
website, social media channels, a newsletter,
offline touchpoints such as point of sale – every
additional touchpoint with the target group
increases the content’s visibility and scalability.
However, not every channel is suitable for every
piece of content. Questions that need to be
answered include: What brand channels
already exist? Are they appropriate? Are new
channels needed and if so which ones? Then,
interaction between the different channels
should be clearly defined. Content hubs can
help further to aggregate the content and
connect the various channels.
However, owned media by itself cannot yet
guarantee high visibility. Investment in paid
media is vital to secure the content’s reach and
guarantees a good balance between
production costs and reach. Especially during a
campaign’s launch, paid media should be used
to leverage the reach of both owned and
earned media. The budget for paid media
should be determined with regard to the goals,
the target group and the size of existing owned
communities.
In terms of measurement, all standard online
marketing metrics are generally suitable to use
for branded content. However, it’s crucial that
the content is in the spotlight, not the brand.
41
Long-term collaboration with partners is also
very important. Multipliers and media partners
who embed and share your branded content
online will strengthen the content’s acceptance
and credibility with consumers.
For smaller budgets and target groups, it’s best
to increase the content’s visibility on owned
media channels (e.g. using social media
advertising) that establish long-term customer
relationships. To broaden the reach further,
digital advertising should be used – for
example, live streaming inside display ads, as
used for the distribution of ‘Webers großes
Grillfest’.


A bit of fine-tuning
While owned and paid media can be planned,
earned media – whereby consumers feel
compelled to share your content peer to peer –
is not really calculable.
However, brands can ensure maximum
dissemination by making content easily
shareable online and across mobile devices,
and by establishing good relationships with
relevant multipliers, such as bloggers and
aggregators. By individually addressing their
needs and interests, brands can build up high
engagement and increase the amount of
earned media. For example, consider using
multipliers to distribute personalised content as
part of the content production process.
As individual as content distribution may be,
the most important aspect is to actually
consider content distribution full stop, and to
consider it at an early stage in your plans for
branded content marketing. This is the only
way to ensure that relevant content gets the
attention it deserves – and finally does the job! 
42
In 2014, Deutsche Telekom merged all its
mobile, broadband, phone and home
entertainment services into one new product
called 'MagentaEINS'.
This move was driven on one hand by the
desire to increase convenience for customers
and, on the other, by the fact that customers
perceive those services more and more as a
single unit, representing the day-to-day usage
of individuals and families, rather than separate
products.
Telekom asked DDB Hamburg to create a
marketing campaign to promote this new
offering.
44
DDB came up with a branded content idea: to
develop a movie series about a family who
would experience all the Deutsche Telekom
products within their daily life – like so many
other families in Germany do. 'Familie Heins'
was born.
Together with production company UFA,
scriptwriter Johannes Boss and well-known
movie director Simon Verhoeven, DDB
developed a story with episodes, each
featuring a particular MagentaEINS benefit or
product.
45
Each month, an episode of the Familie Heins story aired as a TV
commercial, accompanied by long versions and side stories on the
Familie Heins YouTube channel. (All media planning and buying was
done by MediaCom.)
To extend the campaign reach, the story expanded in many more day-
to-day moments, creating a distinctive blur of advertising fiction and
reality. For example:
• One episode showed the experiences of daughter Clara Heins and
her boyfriend, YouTube star Sami Slimani, at one of Telekom’s
‘Street Gig’ music events.
• Two episodes showed the adventures of the Familie Heins men at
the Cologne carnival – recorded that morning and broadcast as a
TV commercial only a few hours later that very same day, marking
a milestone in real-time advertising.
• An episode made during the Queen of England’s visit to Berlin
involved Clara Heins posting footage only minutes after she filmed
the Queen passing by.
• Another episode showed Clara Heins becoming a real cast
member in the sequel to the successful German movie 'Fack Ju
Göhte', together with lead actor Elyas M’Barek.
46
"Our plan was to create a family
that’s different from other ad
families. The special thing about
Familie Heins is that we’ve
invented genuine characters, as
used in fiction storytelling. Each
of the family members has a
special backstory with likes,
needs, historical events, etc. This
gives us endless possibilities for
our storytelling.”
Karsten Ruddigkeit,
Executive Creative Director,
DDB Hamburg
47
"With the changed behaviour in
media usage as one strong driver,
the importance of content-based
communication has increased
massively. With our campaign
'MagentaEINS' featuring our cast
'Familie Heins', we are
consistently following this
direction by managing the
distribution of our own video
content in various channels – for
example, social media platforms,
digital adverts, TV commercials,
as well as our own web platforms
and social media channels. For
us, the close conjunction of paid
and earned media has become
one of the key success factors.”
Philipp Friedel,
Senior Vice President
Market Communication,
Deutsche Telekom
Each main episode of the Familie Heins
story underwent Telekom’s standard
advertising material test. The results
regarding power of attention, acceptance,
product understanding, interest in
information, interest in usage, purchase
intention and brand fit shattered all
benchmarks. In addition, positive effects
on Telekom’s overall brand monitor were
achieved.
Fiat Germany was looking for an original and
authentic TV content partnership to promote
the Fiat 500 and the new Fiat 500 CULT in
2014. The campaign needed to embody the
Italian spirit at heart, but without using any
clichés, and include a strategy to target both
female and male audiences successfully.
49
Fiat Germany and its agency partner
SevenOne AdFactory worked together to
develop a modern, fun-to-watch, magazine-
style branded TV programme – ‘Fiat Urban
Stories’.
The idea involved well-known TV host
Annemarie Carpendale meeting fascinating real
people, such as artists, magicians and athletes,
who were living their dream in the big city. She
would invite them into her iconic Fiat 500 –
Germany’s smallest and most intimate TV
studio – to talk about their passions, creating
relevant, genuine stories of our time that
organically involved the car.
Using the ProSiebenSat.1 network’s resources
and synergies, the weekly episodes were
produced by in-house TV production company
RedSeven, resulting in a credible editorial look
and feel, and greater relevance for TV viewers.
50
The distribution activity had a special twist. In order to address the
female and male target groups in the most effective way, a two-channel
strategy was chosen: eight episodes of six minutes each were
broadcast on sixx, Germany’s number one TV channel for women, and
another eight episodes aired on men's channel ProSiebenMAXX.
For sixx, the host met the likes of models, designers and
photographers, while on ProSiebenMAXX she interviewed racing
drivers, comedians, musicians and similar.
The branded entertainment show was advertised on German
mainstream TV channel ProSieben via 20-second teaser ad spots. In
addition, online ads on the network’s platforms complemented the
campaign.
During the on-air phase, viewers were encouraged to get involved in
sweepstakes (to win an appearance in an episode), social media
activities and test drive opportunities on the campaign’s website. The
TV episodes were also made available to watch on the site.
51
52
“The ‘Fiat Urban Stories’
initiative is a great example of
how to leverage the power of
free TV and entertaining
storytelling perfectly for our
partner brands in a smart and
targeted way, putting branded
content at the heart of an
integrated communication
campaign.”
Petra Kroop,
Director Brand Integration,
SevenOne AdFactory
The unique, true-life
storytelling in this branded
entertainment campaign was
the optimal solution for the
iconic Fiat 500, in order to set
up a new and effective
communication strategy with
the brand’s potential
customers.
Dell is very well known as a manufacturer of great value laptops and desktop
computers. 
However, half its business revenue comes from providing IT infrastructure products,
such as servers and related expertise, to corporate IT departments.
In summer 2014, Dell Germany challenged its agency partner MediaCom Germany
to get Dell’s corporate IT solutions on the consideration lists of the country’s IT
Decision Makers (ITDMs). The overriding objective was to generate 12,000 leads
within this hard-to-convince B2B audience.
The first problem was that B2B marketing to ITDMs is very different to B2C marketing
to your typical consumer. Not only are B2B purchases based more on logic than
emotion, but also – particularly when it comes to critical infrastructure such as IT –
businesses tend to have a set-in-stone, preferred supplier purchasing process to
streamline time and costs. New suppliers have a long furrow to plough, working extra
hard to earn ITDMs’ trust just to get on the consideration list, let alone make a sale.
The bottom line is that the key budget holder is highly risk averse, brand loyal and
reluctant to change.
This led to the second problem: MediaCom’s research revealed that Dell wasn’t seen
as a relevant or trusted brand, particularly among Germany’s important medium-sized
businesses. The brand wasn’t even on the consideration list for the vast majority of
ITDMs, lagging behind HP and IBM. Consideration levels for Dell were stuck at 27%,
just above half the level of its main competitors who both scored 52%.
And the final problem was that Dell hadn’t ever spoken to this ITDM audience. The
lack of dialogue had allowed prejudice to grow, and Dell was widely seen as an
American company that didn’t understand the German market.
54
To help develop a campaign strategy,
MediaCom spent hours talking and listening to
ITDMs. This led to the earth-shattering
discovery that ITDMs weren’t even the key
target market!
Most ITDMs don’t actually know that much
about IT – IT equipment is just one more thing
to buy, alongside company cars and managing
the facilities. ITDMs rely on an informal network
of IT colleagues to advise them, with
administrators being the critical link in the
chain.  
IT administrators are the savvy people who
maintain IT infrastructure every day. They deal
with error messages, tricky software updates,
and – most challenging of all – the frustration of
being surrounded by computer illiterates.
MediaCom realised that showing IT
administrators that Dell understood their pain
was crucial to building a better relationship and
starting to get Dell more involved in the
purchase decision-making journey. 
From this insight came the inspiration to
develop a branded content marketing
campaign that would make Dell part of the IT
administrators’ daily world in an engaging and
entertaining way.
Dell would become the heartbeat of a new
community where IT administrators could tell
each other how they felt about the rest of the
office, enabling them to let off steam.
MediaCom Beyond Advertising and their
production partner Hogarth created a 16-
webisode sitcom, telling the day-to-day stories
and struggles that only IT administrators could
truly understand. The campaign message was
“Life is Tough Enough, Take IT easy”.
55
The sitcom was promoted through ads on
Germany’s most popular IT websites, as well as
tightly targeted Facebook video ads and
blogger outreach.
These promotions connected people to a new
Dell ‘Tough Enough’ Tumblr page created for
the campaign, where IT administrators could
create memes, contribute their stories of the
‘Dumbest Assumable User’ (DAU) in their
companies, and use the bespoke DAU
generator to turn their stories into gif images
that could be shared. 
Integrated with Facebook and Twitter, the
highly visual campaign site was a magnet for
the funniest stories that IT administrators could
provide, ranging from users who couldn’t type
in their passwords to those who didn’t know
that home Wi-Fi wouldn’t work outside the
home… 
In addition, free merchandise, such as mugs
and buzzers featuring the worst DAU stories,
was offered to IT administrators who provided
their contact details in return – fulfilling the aim
of generating meaningful leads.
Finally, the Tumblr site was linked to Dell’s
business website that ran interviews with IT
administrators talking about the challenges
they faced in their daily lives.
ITDMs weren’t completely forgotten: carefully
targeted print and outdoor ads designed to
reach them on business trips invited them to
peek behind the IT door; and QR codes
encouraged them to connect with the
campaign content.
56
57
In only four months, the Dell
‘Tough Enough’ campaign
resulted in:
58
“The Dell ‘Tough Enough’
campaign was so successful
because, rather than talking to
the target audience about
servers or back-end
infrastructure, we created
branded content that
entertained them while still
enabling them to relate to the
brand. We made them laugh
and, most importantly, we also
made it easy for them to share
their own stories.”
Norman Wagner,
Managing Partner, MediaCom
Beyond Advertising, Germany
The innovative Dell ‘Tough Enough’ campaign won a bevy of
awards in 2015, including two gold awards at the Global Festival
of Media Awards (for Best Targeted Campaign and Best
Community Development), and a silver Cannes Media Lion. As
we go to publication, it’s also the most shortlisted campaign
overall at the M&M Global Awards.
It produced a whole host of positive benefits for the brand, even
more laudable given the B2B category and the brand’s low
starting point for consideration by IT administrators.
The first episode of the sitcom was the most successful
Facebook IT category post ever. In one week, it generated more
than 120,000 organic views, 3,000 shares and more than 1,000
comments. 
The campaign merchandise became a must-have for IT
administrators. It generated over 15,000 qualified business
leads, saving Dell more than 50% on the normal cost per lead
and beating the campaign target by 25%. 
Within a very short space of time, thanks to this campaign, Dell
has joined the IT conversation in Germany and is now a genuine
contender the next time its target audience considers a new
hardware purchase.
Dell and MediaCom are the throes of extending the campaign
with a follow-up that’s due to go live as we go to publication in
September 2015, making use of the same sitcom characters and
involving the 213,000-strong IT community with a new sales
twist.
For their 2015 promotional Easter campaign,
Germany’s leading consumer electronics retailer,
Media Markt, was looking for a new and
innovative approach.
Media Markt’s aim was to increase awareness
during the Easter period and tempt customers
into their stores. In order to cut through the clutter
and differentiate from the numerous other Easter
promotions, the campaign had to be smart, bold
and entertaining.
60
Together with Ogilvy and Endemol Beyond,
Media Markt developed a unique live sports
event: the Media Markt ‘Rabbit Race’ (Das
große Osterhasen-Rasen).
The idea: 10 rabbits, wearing the starting
numbers 0 to 9, would compete in a sprint race
series hosted by the popular sports
commentator Frank Buschmann.
To encourage Media Markt customers to get
behind the Rabbit Race, every Media Markt
shopping receipt doubled as an official betting
slip. For example, if you had a receipt number
ending in a ‘4’, you backed rabbit number four.
There were three two-minute-long race
broadcasts on 1, 2 and 4 April 2015, and it paid
off to cheer for your rabbit each time –
customers whose receipt numbers matched
the winning bunny’s number received 50
percent cashback on their purchase in the form
of a Media Markt voucher.
The rabbits were presented as celebrity
characters with fun names to help trigger
conversation and support among the general
public. From aging superstar Turboflausch, to
bad boy athlete Der Zermöhrer and adrenalin
junkie mountaineer Puschel to the Limit, the
rabbits took on popular personas and fans
were able to find out details of their special
dietary habits, career profiles, music
preferences and more. Of course, the rabbits
also had a (real life) professional trainer caring
for them.
61
In a media first, the Rabbit Race series was
broadcast live during prime time ad breaks on
the nine leading German free-to-air TV stations
(SAT.1, ProSieben, kabel eins, RTL, SUPER
RTL, RTL NITRO, VOX, n-tv and the Disney
Channel) simultaneously, as well as online on
YouTube’s homepage, the Media Markt website
and Germany’s most popular news site Bild.de.
In addition to the Race series itself, there was
an integrated communication campaign using
traditional advertising, PR and social media. In
the weeks before the live event, the Rabbit
Race was heavily promoted with
complementary branded content – such as
profiles of each rabbit, collectors’ cards,
training insight, celebrity interviews and press
conferences with the rabbits, behind-the-
scenes reports, and other interactive, engaging
elements – which was shared across social
media by fans. Media Markt also responded to
social media comments during and after the
event, including posting personal greeting
cards online for supporters.
62
#
63
“The Rabbit Race is yet
more proof of Media
Markt’s creative
innovation: Germany’s
biggest supplier of
consumer electronics is
itself becoming an
entertainer and turning a
promotional campaign
into a sporting event for
the whole family.”
Felix Fenz,
Executive Creative Director,
Ogilvy & Mather
64
“The courage to create and implement an
outstandingly unique idea, and most
especially the perfect synchronisation of
all the service providers involved, were the
two factors of major importance for the
success of our Rabbit Race campaign.
Our creative agency Ogilvy developed the
spectacular design of the idea, which
immediately thrilled us. Also, we decided
to simulcast the Rabbit Race live on
Germany’s major private TV channels –
something that has never been done in
this way before. The implementation of
the live race was carried out smoothly in
collaboration with Endemol Beyond. I’m
convinced that the professionalism of all
our partners, as well as the collective
enthusiasm for the Rabbit Race, drove its
exceptional success.”
Thomas Hesse,
Head of Marketing,
Media Markt Germany,
redblue Marketing GmbH
The Rabbit Race concept combined branded content
marketing with real-time advertising, resulting in
much more than a traditional advertising campaign
alone would have delivered – this became a national
sports entertainment event and a media first.
From this innovative initiative, Media Markt generated
strong awareness during the busy Easter period, a
significant sales impact, and an enhanced reputation
as a forward-thinking brand that understands how to
entertain and connect with its market.
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl
Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl

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Best of Branded Content Marketing 2015: Germany, Austria and Switzerland - Edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl

  • 1.
  • 2.
  • 3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Preface: Branded Content Made in Germany, Austria and Switzerland Introduction: The Rising Importance of Branded Content in Germany, Austria and Switzerland Market Report: Germany, Austria and Switzerland Introduction to Working with Branded Content in German- Speaking Countries Legal Aspects of Branded Content Under German Law Storytelling: “You need to grab awareness in the first second to make people watch” 7 8 9 10 11 12 Producing Content for TV: Connecting the DNA of a TV Show with a Brand Producing Content for the Web: The Millennial Influencer The Purpose of Branded Content Engagement: How to Build a Brand Fanbase with Music Content Marketing: It’s all about Distribution Case Study: Deutsche Telekom Familie Heins 13 14 15 16 17 18 Case Study: Fiat Urban Stories Case Study: Dell Tough Enough Case Study: Media Markt Rabbit Race Case Study: Techniker Krankenkasse #wireinander Case Study: Webers großes Grillfest Case Study: Hasbro NERF Toy Blaster 19 20 21 22 23 24 Case Study: ŠKODA Austria Die Große Simply- Clever-Show Research Findings in Branded Content Marketing The Three Biggest Myths About Social Video Advertising – Busted! Expert Insight Report Thanks About P2 P3 P8 P14 P16 P21 P23 P26 P32 P35 P40 P43 P48 P53 P59 P65 P69 P73 P77 P84 P92 P96 P109 P111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111 111111
  • 4. # By Sandra Freisinger-Heinl, joint editor and co-author of BOBCM 2015 DACH book; Managing Director, MA Media Branded content is a big pool of wonderful ideas and opportunities for businesses. It’s so much more than just another marketing technique – in fact, it’s on its way to becoming a core activity for companies and their brands. This is the first edition of the Best of Branded Content Marketing (BOBCM) international ebook series exclusively for, from and about the German, Austrian and Swiss (DACH) region. I’m proud to be the local editor. I’m also thrilled that we now have a guide that sets some standards in this area and serves as a kind of ‘DIY tool’. The book focuses mainly on branded content made with moving images, as the use of this format continues to rise and offers a variety of ways to connect emotionally with viewers. All of our contributors shed blood, sweat and tears to develop branded content marketing within the DACH region! So this book is not just a technical guideline. As we provide insights from our daily work with brands and showcase the best examples of our projects, we hope that you will be inspired. Whenever we present and recommend ways of using branded content in this book, we take a close look at the specifics of the German-speaking market, including legal and research aspects. There’s still a long way to go. Our intention is to build up a community of experts in this field, to consult with and encourage brands and agencies to use this very effective marketing instrument we call branded content. You can connect with us on LinkedIn – please join the 650+ strong international BOBCM Group moderated by Justin Kirby. Some Germanic traits – such as organising production well and relying on technologies – will encourage the development of branded content marketing in our region. Some might inhibit it. For example, the desire to have evidence of value or success at any given time might kill off some excellent ideas, and make some brands and agencies cling to the use of traditional media only. We all have to be courageous to use branded content to its full potential in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I personally want to thank the book’s main partner SevenOne AdFactory, an innovative company of broadcaster ProSieben SAT1 Media SE – particularly Petra Kroop who has a detailed knowledge of branded content trends and who supported this book in many ways. Thanks also to Margret Knitter from SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte for looking at the difficult legal areas of branded content marketing in order to increase our understanding. And I am very grateful to all the other dedicated contributors to this book. Equipped with all the ideas, experience and insights from this book, you can prepare to test the waters. You can dive into the ocean of branded content and use the power of the branded content wave to enrich your business and engage better with your customers. We all love good content – let’s go for it now!
  • 5. # By Sabine Eckhardt, Managing Director, SevenOne Media & SevenOne AdFactory According to creative talent Amir Kassaei, marketing should generate one thing above all: magic! The Chief Creative Officer of the DDB agency network is convinced that “companies that live and breathe marketing and make all their decisions from the standpoint of marketing are more successful than those that manage their business on the basis of sales alone.” That’s because only the former type of company gives sufficient thought to people and their needs, and truly recognises the importance of relevance. However, says Kassaei, such companies are in the minority in our data-fixated, real- time world driven by sales performance alone. What a shame! Magic lives off imagination, generating stories that inspire us, enchant us, captivate our attention. As always, a high quality idea is the most important ingredient, rather than the type of content or how it's delivered. In the last few years, however, consumers have come to expect much more from storytellers than they used to. In this era of information overload and bewildering topical diversity, it has become difficult to get through to individual people. Every individual is networked with the outside world through computers, smartphones, tablets, even wearables, for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • 6. Possible ways of receiving content have multiplied within the shortest timeframe, and this development is not expected to slow down. To the same extent, advertisers are under growing pressure to deliver the kind of content to their target groups that motivates them to actively consider their brands. Therefore, content marketing and branded content are no longer just buzzwords, but essential communication techniques that every advertiser (regardless of budget) should employ intensively. Many are already doing this: according to a recent survey by the Swiss digital agency Namics, 77 percent of companies surveyed already have a content strategy or plan to develop one in the short to medium term.* The worst sin in content marketing: to be boring The key to breaking through the media overkill barrier is relevance. The messages aimed at consumers must whet the interest and even the fascination of individuals. They must offer something that stands out from the constant barrage of sensory inputs. Trivia, banalities and substitutable offerings immediately fall through the perception grate, and are punished with merciless disregard. Moreover, the required degree of relevance rises as the sheer number of offerings expands. But what are the chief characteristics of relevant content? The answer may sound simple compared to the difficulty of implementation: content should fascinate, inspire, inform, even provoke us. Content should captivate our attention and foment discussion. Above all, it should never bore us! The more we’re engaged and involved, the greater impact the content will have on us. If we can be motivated to take a thorough look at the content, we’ll also share it with our friends, comment on it, like it, et cetera, and that will set in motion a dynamic, self-sustaining process of widening dissemination, like falling dominoes. Brands are under constant real-time observation These days, content can be created in any number of ways, whether pushed, random, initiated, or even completely unwanted. Therefore, advertisers and brand vendors need to constantly see, read and hear what is being written, posted, or tweeted about their brand. Consumers and even non-consumers are constantly expressing unsolicited opinions, sharing their experiences, and calling upon or even challenging brand vendors to clarify, mediate, or give still more. Brands are under constant, real-time observation, a thousand times over. While this phenomenon poses risks, it also presents opportunities. Brands that generate attractive conversation material and moderate the dialogue actively with consumers will be rewarded with greater opportunities. 4* Source: Content Marketing Study 2014/2015, Namics, Zurich
  • 7. This isn’t always easy, because – in addition to having heightened expectations for content and entertainment value – consumers are increasingly turned off by in-your-face advertising. In their stressful ‘always-on’ mode, consumers have developed a pronounced aversion to being interrupted or disturbed by advertising and marketing messages. Obtrusiveness is punished immediately and can even unleash an avalanche of negative reactions, possibly necessitating an arduous campaign of costly communication measures to smooth the ruffled feathers. Once defriended or unliked, the brand falls to last place in the attention ranking of the ex-fan. Rigorous content marketing is required in this case as well. Paid, owned, or earned? The combination of sound and image delivered by video ads has long proved to be the most important and most effective type of content. Therefore, videos are the new, all-purpose weapon in the battle for grabbing the attention of consumers, because they satisfy a number of communication objectives simultaneously. They convey detailed knowledge and product information, lure potential employees to a company, or provoke emotions and stimulate desire to purchase the advertised products. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that more and more companies are using videos to get their messages out. They employ entertainment formats to tell stories that fit their brands and involve the viewer permanently. The question of paid versus owned versus earned media nearly always arises in this context. Certainly, owned media (such as a company’s own website or YouTube channel) can play an important role in all stages of the purchasing process, as a reliable and appreciated guide on the customer‘s journey. On the other hand, paid media is unrivalled when it comes to reaching large audiences. Broad target groups can be reached in the shortest time. If a company wants its brand or new product to become known very quickly, wide-reach media is an indispensable element of the communication strategy. And this will not change in the future. However, the question of paid versus owned versus earned media should not be absolute. Instead, the different channels should be combined as effectively as possible, in such a way that they complement and inspire each other. This is something of an art. From reach marketer to content marketing provider Content marketing and branded content always involve storytelling. Consequently, not only the advertiser but also the media provider must make the evolutionary leap to becoming a brand storyteller. But how exactly does a company evolve from a conventional reach marketer into a creative content marketing provider? For this very purpose, ProSiebenSat.1 formed a specialised creative company for innovative communication solutions, SevenOne AdFactory, back in 2009. As a member of the ProSiebenSat.1 family, this company uses direct channels either to link advertising campaigns closely with broadcaster and format brands, or to develop consistent storytelling tailored to the specific requirements of the given brand, which can be played on nearly all platforms. This approach is summed up by the slogan “content near advertising.” In essence, the goal is always to showcase the brand in the best possible way. This can be done by networking across all media, or by means of a specifically developed advertising product. 5
  • 8. The thrill isn’t even close to gone Finally, more and more customers are looking for tailored communication solutions. Producing wonderful stories is not enough; the environment or context in which the content is embedded and distributed is just as important. Just imagine that you want to advertise your travel platform, but find it presented alongside a news picture of the sinking Costa Concordia. Such scenarios are the stuff of nightmares for marketing executives. Not only the platform, but also the direct contexts in which your campaign is conducted are critically important. A prime example of a good branded entertainment campaign is the current web series ‘Der Lack ist ab’ (‘The Thrill is Gone’) on MyVideo, featuring the well-known protagonists Kai Wiesinger and Bettina Zimmermann. Their marriage has become a tad stale, the children are almost old enough to leave home, and each spouse’s flaws are becoming all the more obvious to the other spouse. In short, the husband and wife are getting on each other’s nerves. But as always, there’s simply not enough time for a fresh start. This web series of 10-minute episodes exposes the turbulent life of a mid-40s couple and their stressful teenage children. Furthermore, it shows how modern marketing should function today: witty, imaginative, unobtrusive. SevenOne AdFactory recruited Vodafone and Opel as premium sponsors. This sponsorship expanded the brands’ web presence to traditional television under the unifying effect of consistent storytelling, as well as integrating the two celebrity actors into their regular campaigns. Branded entertainment: the advertising product of the future? Successful initiatives like ‘Der Lack ist ab’ are created in close cooperation with the client brand as well as their agency, in most cases. The intensive consultation between them often breeds formats that are both innovative and efficient, and can be deployed on media such as Facebook or Instagram in addition to ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s own platforms. With this kind of project, it’s vital for a media company to advise and support the client brand, and offer tailor-made communication solutions on brand-relevant platforms. This advisory service – consisting of the creative idea, platform and environment recommendations, and implementation – is an important factor contributing to the success of a branded entertainment campaign. Branded entertainment is the advertising product of the future, if it’s designed to be entertaining or if it provides valued information to the consumer. The previously mentioned Namics content marketing study found that most of the companies surveyed in Switzerland and Germany have been active in content marketing for at least four years. “Nonetheless, a majority of the surveyed companies consider themselves to have attained little maturity in their work with content marketing,” the study found. Content has become an important driver of the economy. In this age of real-time communication, brand vendors can choose from numerous ways of directly influencing customer relationships with their content. As part of a consistent marketing strategy, therefore, the production of proprietary content can be an effective and important complement to conventional communication measures. 6
  • 9. Stories that remain in the memory forever Due to the trend of digitisation, the entire industry is caught up in an extremely dynamic transformation; channels and platforms are constantly changing, new players and formats are emerging overnight. Many advertisers (and especially those that need to reach young target groups) are finding it more and more difficult to maintain the necessary perspective. No matter what the recipients’ age, however, the trick is to send the right message to the right person at the right time. In this digital era, in which opinions are formed or changed in a matter of minutes, brands amount to the sum of impressions that people have taken from a large number of channels. While those impressions may change at a faster pace than ever, a good story can remain in the consumer’s memory forever. 7
  • 10. # By Sandra Freisinger-Heinl, joint editor and co-author of BOBCM 2015 DACH book; Managing Director, MA Media The use of branded content is increasing and becoming more and more important in Germany. Austria and Switzerland are hot on Germany’s heels. But what is branded content exactly? Germany’s Digital Association, Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e.V., provides a definition for branded entertainment: “Entertainment on behalf of a brand or product. This brand-specific content for the web delivers the brand’s or product’s messages in entertaining formats (videos, games, etc.).” BVDW also supports a focus group on ‘moving image’ where video content is discussed, and a roundtable on content marketing. I would define branded content as a “marketing activity where content is produced and distributed on behalf of a brand or product.” But it’s even more than that, as it influences marketing strategies, PR, sales, personnel and so on. A German example that illustrates this point well is Deutsche Telekom ‘Familie Heins’. It features a family facing all the challenges of modern communication, presenting its daily life in multiple videos on the web and appearing in different locations in real life – including an Ed Sheeran concert and a casting call for the movie ‘Fack ju Göhte 2’. Telekom’s related commercials became a coherent
  • 11. extension of this idea, including detailed product information. The campaign shows what happens when a brand places the idea of branded content at the core of a product strategy. In the DACH market, branded content activities can originate from marketing, media, or company management. Ideally, all departments and all agencies are involved, forget their silo mentality, and work together to generate relevant content for the brand and to engage with its consumers. Branded content in different lengths and formats There’s an amazing variety of successful branded content projects in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Categorising projects by length and media platforms used – (a simplification, as all good projects are multi- channel) – identifies five main groups: 1. Long formats and TV shows Branded content can stand alone or be part of a TV show, even a prime-time show. A Nissan car was elevated in more than one way on Germany’s famous Saturday Night TV show ‘Mein bester Feind’, presented by popular hosts Joko and Klass. Broadcaster ProSieben created a car bungee jumping game featuring Nissan for the show, wowing the participants and the show’s viewers. An entire TV show can be built around one product: ŠKODA Austria’s ‘Die Große Simply- Clever-Show’ was developed with Austrian TV channel ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 to accompany the launch of the ŠKODA Fabia car. An interesting Swiss public TV series is ‘Mission Surprise’ for Swiss International Air Lines. This series of highly emotional surprise visits to Swiss people living in foreign countries was part of a larger campaign to strengthen the airline’s image. TV shows for brands can also be made in shorter formats, like the six-minute episodes of ‘Fiat Urban Stories’. This magazine-style TV 9
  • 12. series was broadcast on sixx to reach females and on ProSiebenMAXX to reach males. It involved famous TV presenter Annemarie Carpendale interviewing designers, extreme athletes and musicians from a Fiat 500 dubbed “the smallest TV studio ever”. 2. Short videos on TV and the web The majority of branded content is in shorter formats: advertorials and paid-for advertising space on TV, or videos that are seeded on the web. The hit last year was a simple idea, Edeka ‘Supergeil (feat. Friedrich Liechtenstein)’, which has clocked up more than 14 million views so far – just by saying combinations of the word super, like “super-sweet” and “super- products at Edeka food supermarkets”. Relating video content on TV to a popular programme makes sense. A classic example is ‘Maybelline Make-up School’ for L’Oréal, developed in connection with ‘Germany’s next Topmodel’. The Maybelline advertorials give advice on using make-up and feature make-up artist Boris Entrup creating special looks on models from the cast of the show. Videos can also have the high production values of film. Following its mission statement #MeetTheModernTrailblazers, luxury brand Montblanc filmed a high quality new storytelling campaign about bloggers, artists, designers and Montblanc craftspeople on a virtual trip. The video Telekom ‘Wi-Fi Dogs’ had a high quality requirement as well: to produce a credible campaign with the right cast. The result was ‘Jose’ promoting Telekom’s European Wi-Fi product with ‘dogs that are trained to search for Wi-Fi in holiday areas’. The first time you see it, you think, “Is that real?” That’s what they wanted and it was worth a Cannes Lion. The Swiss video ‘Kleenex Kiss of Life’ engages viewers just by connecting simple paper tissues to highly emotional moments in life. Piggybacking on a topical news story can also be engaging. The entertaining video 'Letter is better!’, created by Austrian Post, assumes that the NSA knows everything about our digital communications but can’t get inside real paper letters. Other videos show that branded content even works in the B2B sector, at least as part of an integrated campaign. This was recently proven by Dell ‘Tough Enough’, a sitcom shot in an office and aimed at IT administrators. 3. Branded content connected with concerts and events Sometimes you don’t believe that finance or insurance brands can tell good stories, but they can. Well-established German building society Schwäbisch Hall created ‘Band sucht Bleibe’ (‘Band looking for a place to stay’), in which singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko appeared on music TV channel VIVA and online asking viewers if they could put him up for a night in their homes as he travelled Germany on a concert tour. Car brand MINI worked with the band ‘The Vaccines’ as an integral part of the MINI John Cooper Works launch. To create a TV commercial, they used Instagram as the platform to receive user-submitted photos of places people wanted the new MINI to drive through. 10
  • 13. Swiss drinks brand Rivella also used concerts and events to create emotive branded content. It developed its own event tour, #Pool Hero, in which funny challenges in swimming pools were staged. It was supported by famous Swiss YouTuber Bendrit Barja. 4. Social media influencers, hashtags, user- generated content, etc. This leads us to the next phenomenon: YouTube stars as influencers with high reach are becoming more and more important in the German-speaking branded content world. Brands are also creating their own concepts and starting their own branded YouTube channels. Coca Cola has popular CokeTV, a collaboration with young YouTubers presenting videos from events and taking part in new experiences. Entire concepts can be based around YouTubers, as illustrated by #wireinander from Techniker Krankenkasse. Although it’s difficult for a health insurance company to reach young people, this campaign succeeded by telling stories about YouTubers who had to change their lives after accidents or illness. Other young people then shared their own stories via #wireinander. The campaign involved YouTuber LeFloid who recently interviewed Angela Merkel, which shows his reputation in Germany. An international campaign in which user- generated content (UGC) played the main role is #lovemyfridge by Robert Bosch AG. It inspired users in 12 countries to post online declarations of love to their fridges. Food bloggers supported this initiative with their own love messages and cooked their favourite leftover recipes. Humorous and charming UGC was created. 5. Live branded content The latest trend we’re seeing in branded content is one that’s been recognised internationally as well. It’s the trend to go live and it works on TV and online. However, the use of live-streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat is still rare. An outstanding campaign with an important live TV feature is Media Markt’s ‘Rabbit Race’ (Das große Osterhasen-Rasen). A series of races involving real rabbits that had been given humorous names and back stories was broadcast live on nine major German TV channels in prime time slots and live-streamed on three websites simultaneously. Sports presenter Frank Buschmann commentated and viewers could win reductions on their Easter shopping at Media Markt. Another live TV event, running annually for more than 10 years in Germany, is ‘WOK-WM’, in which stars go down an iced toboggan run in a wok (yes, an Asian cooking pot). Competing teams are named after brands like Dr. Oetker Pizzaburger, Rewe.de and handyflash. This year, a worldwide team of YouTubers from Studio71 – including Sarazar, 11
  • 14. LeFloid and Dner – took part, adding a new twist: enormous reach on social media driving young viewers to watch TV. Live branded content is also taking off on the web. Charity poker event ‘Let’s Play Poker pokerstars.de Show’ regularly brings together a group of card players and YouTubers in locations from the Caribbean to Berlin, and broadcasts live on MyVideo and YouTube. In ‘Webers großes Grillfest’, live web banner ads asked viewers to click and watch famous chef Johannes Lafer showing them how to cook a four-course meal on a BBQ in a live TV event. Viewers could join in by sending ingredient suggestions and questions via #WeberGrillFest. A glance at brands becoming media, and platforms being used by brands Brands engage the services of famous actors, artists, presenters and YouTubers to drive attention to their content. They invest significant effort in storytelling, whether emotional, comic, or functional. Many key players are involved, as you need a lot of factors to work well together in order to create great content. This has changed the agency world in DACH and found its expression in content and media hubs, too. Austria’s Red Bull Media House is well known for its advanced content strategy. It produces great content about action sports and even extreme basejumping (culminating in the ‘Stratos’ project with Felix Baumgartner in space). The brand has effectively ‘become’ a media house. Originally the job of TV ad producers and ad agencies, now all media agency networks, like MediaCom with Beyond Advertising and Omnicom with Fuse, have large departments supporting the creation and production of content for their clients. L’Oréal has gone one step further and invested in a German-wide sustainable strategy for its brands. In April last year, L’Oréal’s Content Factory was founded under the roof of WPP and a new agency model that reacts quickly to client interests was born. Roles change and the traditional lines of the client–agency–media triangle have become blurred, wrote W&V.* They explained that a lot of agencies are rebuilding and investing in digital as the advertising market changes. In general, the borders between media, creation, production and distribution are becoming less defined. C3 Creative Code and Content evolved from corporate publishing to cover all types of 12 * W&V 26-2015, W&V-Redaktion, ‘Alles kommt zusammen’, p.13 ff
  • 15. storytelling for brands and is now one of the leading German content marketing agencies. Private TV broadcasters have also joined the content business, as they recognise the necessity and have the resources available in their different departments. Large private TV channels can create branded content and arm it with image and reach. Meanwhile, TV media houses are becoming interested in the younger target group, as many of the traditional media players sign up prominent YouTubers via subsidiary companies or collaborations. New media players are also getting on board as the importance of non-linear TV is about to grow. For example, Vice Media, with its innovative channels for millennials, has increased its presence in Germany. Germany’s AGF Arbeitsgemeinschaft Fernsehforschung is working on a measurement project, ‘Moving Image Currency’,** which will provide cross-media data on streaming ads. Google agreed to join the project, making it highly relevant for mobile video research. According to a Nielsen study cited in W&V, YouTube reaches an amazing 21.4 million unique viewers each month.** Web pay-tv broadcaster Netflix has only 0.2 million, but is not really relevant for branded content here yet, although this is predicted to change. German video platforms, like MyVideo with 3.5 million or T-Online with 2.2 million, also reach large audiences. Platforms like Vevo that focus on the music business can also be relevant partners for brands, as used for example in the Seat branded content campaign ‘On Tour’ (Auf Achse).*** Google’s YouTube provides tips on building a content plan and engaging with the community in the YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands. Social media are compulsory to distribute branded content and to engage with users by asking for comments or soliciting UGC. Since the Facebook video player was relaunched in 2014, the number of videos on the platform has risen rapidly. According to a Facebook source, Facebook usage intensity in the DACH region is higher than global usage intensity, and more rich media formats are shared. This is due to our good infrastructure with a 3G+ network, which make videos available more easily than in other parts of the world. 34 million people are active Facebook users in DACH, 27 million in Germany alone, which offers massive potential to integrate branded content into the Facebook stream and be discovered by the right people. Instagram is used for sharing emotive content such as photos and very short-form 15-second videos. The importance of mobile is growing rapidly in DACH. As a lot of branded content is watched on mobiles, some experts advise that videos should work without sound and be very short- form. Regardless, the decisive factor will be the user experience. In conclusion, the German-speaking market is increasing and perfecting the use of branded content and media platforms. In one episode of Telekom’s ‘Familie Heins’, Grandma Charlotte orders a rocket device to jazz up her grandson’s school presentation. She clearly knows how to grab attention, present a complex topic and engage a large number of viewers. That’s exactly what branded content in Germany, Austria and Switzerland does – it inspires. 13** W&V 27-2015, Thomas Nötting ‘Die Grenzen Verschwimmen’, p.23-25 (Nielsen 2014) *** www.horizont.net, Tim Theobald, Branded Content: Warum Seat und Vevo gemeinsam ‘Auf Achse’ gehen
  • 16. By Sandra Freisinger-Heinl, joint editor and co-author of BOBCM 2015 DACH book; Managing Director, MA Media Branded content is very important to convey a brand’s story to its audience. But content is available in many variations and can be distributed on many media platforms. So how should businesses approach branded content and what should marketers bear in mind? If content is king (and distribution queen), context might be god,* because it’s necessary to consider the project environment as a whole. Content always has to serve a purpose. A narrative brand Every brand has its targets and slogans to substantiate its brand positioning. Let’s look briefly at the Red Bull brand and its marketing slogan ‘Gives you wings’. Former Red Bull Manager Wolfgang Puetz stated: “The brand message has to be distributed via all manner of storytelling and multiplied. Storytelling is the most valid way to emotionalise company and brand messages, and content distribution to spread them. Ideally not the product itself will be advertised, but a story around the product will be told, which is emotionalised. (…) It’s becoming increasingly essential * Michael Buergi, Adweek USA, stated: “If content is king, context is god!” in MIPTV Forum presentation ‘Video is the new black’, 14 April 2015
  • 17. to talk with your customers and, best case, to make them want to tell your story to others.”** It’s basically all about content creation, engagement and distribution. Brands should also look at which teams and agencies they partner with to achieve the best results, as branded content falls within many areas of expertise. The necessary change or collaboration can be challenging if, for example, the media agency is used to being in charge of commercials and allocating the advertising budget. In practice To develop a branded content project for a brand, you have to plot several points along the customer journey. The questions WHAT, WITH WHOM and WHERE TO DELIVER have to be answered, in order to finally MEASURE your relevant KPIs. Content has to be different if it’s made for TV – which is of great importance and prestige in German-speaking countries – and if it’s made for the web, which is definitely essential to all campaigns. You also have to comply with LEGALITIES at all times – an aspect that’s not exclusive to the DACH region, however it’s crucial here. No matter what your project, different content should be used for different platforms. To keep your customers happy, they have to be able to discover interesting pieces of content regularly. How you set your branded content project priorities is a tough choice, but many roads lead to Rome. You can read about working with every kind of option in the following feature articles by DACH branded content experts. 15** Werben & Verkaufen, So erklärt ein früherer Red-bull-Manager Brand Storytelling, 26 February 2015 Source: BOBCM Strategic Considerations of Branded Content
  • 18. Storytelling # By Hanna Bickel, LL.M. (New York University), Rechtsanwältin (Legal Attorney registered at the German bar), SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte and Margret Knitter, LL.M. (University of Edinburgh), Rechtsanwältin (Legal Attorney registered at the German bar), SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte Introduction The general idea of branded content is to reach an audience in order to promote a brand without annoying the consumer. The goal is to produce content so informative, amusing, or engaging that the consumer actively chooses to read, watch, or listen to the content out of his or her own interest. Ideally, branded content shouldn’t feel like advertising. It should be entertaining and tell a story in order to communicate a certain brand image, thereby establishing a stronger relationship between the customer and the brand. To reach this goal of providing genuinely interesting content, the lines between entertainment, editorial and advertising are deliberately blurred. As such, the consumer may not always be aware of the commercial character of the content. Yet this lack of consumer awareness of commercial communication is exactly the vulnerable aspect of branded content addressed by German legal standards prohibiting concealed advertising. According to German unfair competition law, it constitutes an act of unfair competition to promote the commercial activity of a company by concealing the advertising character of a communication with the consumer. In addition, the German Interstate Broadcasting Treaty (Rundfunkstaatsvertrag), the German
  • 19. Telemedia Act (Telemediengesetz) and the Federal States’ Press Acts (Landespressegesetze) provide that advertising or commercial content must be clearly identifiable as such and therefore clearly separated from editorial content. These regulations guarantee unbiased opinion- making through two aspects. The consumer must be able to react to advertising content by: 1. critically judging and questioning it, and 2. rejecting it. The consumer may be especially limited in his or her own judgment if content seems to be objective and neutral when it’s actually produced or supported in some way by a company for the purpose of promoting its own products, services and image. For example, when advertorials are placed in the media in a neutral and objective setting, the consumer expects the content to be objectively and neutrally researched and, therefore, tends to question the truth of the content to a lesser extent. In contrast, a consumer is inclined to scrutinise advertising more critically when it’s more blatant in its commercial orientation and content. These regulations don’t forbid branded content per se, but rather delineate the conditions under which advertising content must be designated as such in order to avoid misleading the consumer. In the following sections, we’ll provide guidance on the handling of different forms of branded content under these regulations by way of examples from recent court decisions. Of course, there are other legal aspects that can always become contentious, such as rights clearance issues, data protection issues, the publication of unlawful misleading advertising statements, et cetera. These topics are not the subject of this chapter, because they apply to all advertising activities and are not specifically related to branded content. Advertorials: Principle of separation between advertising and editorial content; clear identification as commercial content Branded content may be unlawful under the previously mentioned legal principles if it conveys the impression to the well-informed consumer of being editorial content created and published by a neutral and objective source. Advertorials are a mix between advertising and editorial content and, therefore, specifically aimed at blurring the lines between the two. The placement of an advertorial in the neutral setting of a third-party medium with editorial content – for example, on an editorial website, blog, or video blog – further adds to the impression of objectivity of such content that has in fact been created by an advertising company. For these reasons, advertorials placed in a medium providing at least partially editorial content are especially vulnerable, according to the principle of separation. Placement of advertorials with payment of a fee Whenever a paid-for advertorial promoting a company’s products or services is placed in editorial media, it’s unlawful if it’s not clearly identifiable as advertising. 17 Advertising or commercial content must be clearly identifiable as such and … clearly separated from editorial content.
  • 20. In these cases, the content itself doesn’t necessarily need to include passages that positively portray a certain product to be deemed unlawful; it’s sufficient if the article or video simply names a company or product, or includes product placement. The fact that the naming of a company in an editorial setting is paid for makes the content misleading per se, unless it’s clearly identifiable as advertising. If advertorial content is not clearly identifiable as advertising, it must be accompanied by the word ‘Advertisement’ (‘Anzeige’) or ‘Commercial’ (‘Werbesendung’) in a position, colour and type style that are clearly visible in order to avoid misleading the consumer. The following court decision provides an example of content that was held to be clearly identifiable as advertising even though it wasn’t designated as an advertisement. The website in dispute was a preview page that included banner advertising and several teasers linking to both editorial and commercial articles on other websites. The teasers each consisted of a photograph next to two or three lines of text. The teaser in question included the following wording: Vita 34. Pregnant? Get prepared now! Opt for cord blood before birth more This teaser was held to be clearly identifiable as advertising as the name of the company ‘Vita 34’ was clearly understood as a brand name responsible for the content the teaser linked to, even to people not familiar with the brand. Placement of advertorials without payment of a fee When an advertorial placed in editorial media isn’t paid for – even if it’s created, for example, by a blogger to promote his or her own blog – it may still need to be designated as advertising if it excessively promotes a company or its products and services. This applies to any advertorial content – for example, videos or articles placed on YouTube or another website, including blogs and video blogs. Admissible editorial content not considered to be concealed advertising must have a journalistic cause – that is, it must cover a topic of interest to the audience of the medium involved. For example, an article about a specific diet programme presented by the German celebrity Verona Pooth on a magazine’s website was regarded to have a good journalistic cause, as dieting is a topic of general interest to the readers of the magazine. Beyond that, the content must be reasonably objective and the positive portrayal of the product or company must not go beyond what’s necessary to provide an analysis of the subject. While it’s not generally unlawful to present only one product or company, an article can be unlawful if it promotes that product excessively. This is the case if the product is portrayed very positively using soliciting language, and without actually discussing and analysing the product features. In the aforementioned case, the Court regarded the article about the diet programme as excessively promotional since the programme was presented using general attributes such as “wholesome”, “valuable”, “delicious”, but the article failed to discuss the programme and its concepts in detail. The accompanying sports programme, for example, was merely 18 When an advertorial placed in editorial media isn’t paid for … it may still need to be designated as advertising.
  • 21. described as including specifically tailored exercises without specifying them in further detail. The article could therefore only be published if it was clearly designated as advertising. The same would apply to a product test in a video blog, such as on YouTube, in which the product is praised without any critical approach or material discussion of the product features in detail. Advertorials placed in company’s own medium Even if advertorial content isn’t placed in a third-party medium, it may be regarded as concealed advertising if its commercial character is not clearly identifiable by the consumer at first sight and without further analysis. Obviously, consumers will expect advertising content on a company’s official website or social network profile and not be misled. The situation is different if the content is placed on a blog or website run by a company itself for the promotion of its own products or services, or especially created for a campaign, when the site doesn’t disclose clearly that the company is the author. The DACIA case is a good example of this. In 2013, the automobile manufacturer DACIA had promoted its “reasonably priced” SUV in a blog satirically addressing the pathological status symbol-driven consumer behaviour in the automotive market. The Court ruled that consumers linking to the blog via the URL www.status-symptome.de from other advertising material by DACIA, such as their official webpage, certainly expected advertising upon entering the webpage, even though the page was designed like a blog. However, the Court assumed that many consumers would link to the blog on the recommendations of friends on Facebook who had liked and shared the blog. In such a private setting, these users wouldn’t be aware of the blog’s advertising content, because the generic link www.status- symptome.de doesn’t refer to a company or otherwise make clear that the content is advertising. As the consumer is supposed to have the opportunity to reject advertising before consumption of the content, the Court found it not sufficient that only after reading and analysing the blog was it identifiable as advertising content. However, if the content had been clearly designated as an ‘Advertisement’ (‘Anzeige’), it would not have been deemed unlawful concealed advertising. The placement of the advertisement label ‘Anzeige’ should remain visible even when scrolling down. The same situation may apply to, for example, video clips placed on YouTube that aren’t clearly branded and thus not clearly attributed to a certain company. Obvious commercial content must be identifiable before consumption In cases in which branded content is clearly identifiable as advertising, the content itself doesn’t need to be labeled as advertising. However, the consumer is still protected under German law from exposing him/herself to 19 Even if advertorial content isn’t placed in a third-party medium, it may be regarded as concealed advertising.
  • 22. advertising content without being informed of its advertising nature beforehand. This is extremely relevant for viral campaigns. In a viral campaign, the commercial may be entertaining in some way and, therefore, shared on Facebook and the like for its entertaining quality, even though it’s clearly branded and identified as advertising. However, in these cases the links shared must still make clear that the following content is commercial in a way that enables the consumer to reject it. The following example – which hasn’t yet been decided by the Courts – further demonstrates this principle. In a recent viral campaign, the rental car company SIXT, known for amusing and somewhat edgy commercials, has had the advertising agency Jung von Matt produce two music videos starring the singers Matthias Reim and Roberto Blanco. It was recently reported in the press that these two singers are broke. In the videos, they present songs conveying the message that, whether broke or not, they’re still impressing the girls with a rental car from SIXT. The entire commercial contained SIXT branding in its visual and audio elements. If – hypothetically speaking – the link to these videos was presented only making reference to the artists and not to SIXT, the presentation of the link would probably be deemed unlawful, even though the video itself is clearly commercial. Consumers might follow the link in search of a new song by the singer and not expect advertising. Any link mentioning the well-known brand SIXT and thereby making clear that the video contains commercial and advertising content would, however, probably not raise any legal issues. When planning viral marketing campaigns, bear in mind that content on blogs is further disseminated by private individuals sharing links to it. In this way, the content is presented in a non-commercial environment in which the addressee doesn’t necessarily expect advertising. To cover this situation, the name of the link should make clear that the link leads to advertising content. In cases in which a brand name is very generic and not clearly identifiable as a brand, it may even be necessary to describe the material linked to as commercial or advertising content. The same applies to links presented in an editorial environment. For example, the presentation of a link to the SIXT ad next to an article discussing the rental car market would be unlawful, if it didn’t clearly disclose that the link will direct viewers to a website containing advertising content. Conclusion To make a long story short, the dissemination of branded content doesn’t raise legal issues, as long as the content’s advertising character is not concealed from the consumer and the content is clearly separated from editorial content. However, since the concept of branded content is to provide content so interesting that it’s actively consumed by potential customers, it shouldn’t lose its impact by openly communicating a commercial purpose. 20
  • 23. Storytelling # Interview with Palle Finderup Diederichsen, Head of MediaCom Beyond Advertising, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl BOBCM Germany (BG): Let’s start with your view on branded content in Europe. What’s Germany’s position in this field? Palle Finderup Diederichsen (PFD): The use of branded content is gathering pace quickly everywhere. In Europe, the UK is still leading, followed by France. Both started early with branded content. Germany, Italy and Scandinavia are catching up, but for different reasons in each region: Scandinavia has mobile as ‘the tool’; Italy is traditionally good in design and fashion, and produces stylish branded content; Germany is good at conducting studies and using relevant data – several key market research projects are done there; Austria and Switzerland are latecomers, but they’re starting to do experiential outdoor executions, mainly through our German office. BG: What is ‘good video content’ and where do you distribute it? PFD: From the early days of video, we’ve been involved in what good content looks like. In the past year alone, we can see how much the structure of video has changed. Today’s audience will watch your video most probably on a social platform like Facebook. So this means it’s in a very busy environment, it’s autoplaying and silent. Therefore, a good video today has to capture the interest of your audience without using sound, in a very cluttered environment. That’s very different to the heyday of
  • 24. TV; it’s about being loud in a different way and it influences everything from the actual execution to how it will be distributed. Where do you put your video to make it a success? If it’s good, you can promote it using just a press release, or believe in viral engagement. If it’s not very good, you have to put it up on places such as YouTube in a ‘must- see format’ like a pre-roll, which you can’t skip. Non-skippable is the solution of choice when the content is poor. BG: How does storytelling work best nowadays? PFD: It’s a very interesting area, because again this depends on what’s seen as ‘good content’ and the impact it has on how you tell stories. The traditional storytelling curve of a Hollywood movie, which has been adopted by many other stories, means that you build tension that peaks about 70% of the way in and then develops the resolution for the rest of the story. It’s the classic storytelling curve. In videos today, in social on the smart phone, you have to engage people from the very first second. And we also know from all our research, if you want people to engage with your content and to share it with their network, you have to be on a high at the end as well. So that’s a transformation of the storytelling curve. BG: How do you predict or measure which content really works? PFD: We use emotional recognition tools and technology, such as Unruly ShareRank and Realeyes, to help us predict shareability. We then use this data in combination with our own data to inform our approach to content distribution. Emotional recognition through webcams shows us how people react: are they happy, are they sad, are they curious, or what are they? We track that and then we use it to inform our creative composition and also to inform our distribution. This measurement method has a bigger impact on distribution. 22 New way of storytelling ‘Hollywood’ storytelling curve Storytelling curve for branded content Source: Palle Finderup Diederichsen
  • 25. Storytelling # Interview with Jobst Benthues, Managing Director, RedSeven Entertainment GmbH by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl Many brands would like to tap into the high reach of TV with their own successful show using a branded content format. Jobst Benthues, Managing Director of RedSeven Entertainment GmbH, explains how this works and tells us the winning factors to bear in mind when creating branded entertainment for TV. BOBCM Germany (BG): How do you develop successful branded entertainment for TV? Jobst Benthues (JB): It’s all about good content – always. Every successful TV programme is also a suitable vehicle to carry a branded promotional story. So it makes sense to bring the experience of a TV production company into the mix when developing your branded content initiative. Previously, ideas often came from advertising agencies. Now, branded content formats are being developed and produced by the professionals who already specialise in making TV shows – we call it media created by media experts. Most importantly, this process needs to focus on content, and that requires an insider
  • 26. approach so that the TV programme is produced in the right way for the relevant brand. This is essential for success. Ideally, a show with a branded content format should also work without a brand. Just like a normal TV show, the branded content has to excite the viewers. A good example of this is ‘Maybelline Make-Up School’ for L’Oréal, which airs every year alongside the show ‘Germany’s next Topmodel’. For more than 10 years now, this branded content programme has been more or less as successful as the model casting show itself. Why? In Maybelline Make-Up School, celebrity make-up artist Boris Entrup gives beauty advice by presenting the latest looks from Germany’s next Topmodel on models from the cast. This entertains and reaches L’Oréal’s precise target group. However, Maybelline Make-Up School would also be interesting to young girls if it didn’t have the branded element – that’s what makes it so successful. BG: What are the key factors to bear in mind during the format development process? JB: You need to start with a strong programme idea. TV broadcasters decide on new formats by establishing the specific challenges of certain time slots. TV production companies work out the best kind of format to use in each slot. Then the brand comes into play. What appeal does the brand contribute? Which key messages should be communicated? And – most importantly – would a viewer also watch the show if it’s a broadcast without a brand association, in a normal TV format? The format of a branded content show has to be appropriate for the broadcaster and the brand, and it has to work on multiple levels. It has to be created in a way that enables the show (and therefore the brand) to achieve maximum reach and that you can extend across social media and second screen. BG: How do you make TV viewers enthusiastic about a branded content format and a brand? JB: With branded content, you can create the same incentive to view as with normal TV shows. The viewer of an advertorial-style show can feel entertained and informed in the same way as they do when watching any TV show. One example of this is ‘Fiat Urban Stories’, a lifestyle TV show featuring the iconic Fiat 500 car. In the show, popular German TV presenter Annemarie Carpendale interviews various interesting people – artists, comedians, musicians, athletes – in various cities, inside a roving Fiat 500 car. This show married interesting content with the right celebrity 24
  • 27. presenter and a twist on distribution – different episodes were broadcast on women’s TV channel sixx and on men’s channel ProSieben MAXX. (You can read a case study about this branded content marketing campaign here.) Ultimately, you shouldn’t differentiate between branded entertainment and other entertainment on TV. You must approach the development of branded content with the same rigour as producing Germany’s next Topmodel, The Taste, or other TV shows. Only then will you reach a large audience and the right kind of viewers for a specific brand. 25
  • 28. # It seems like the online video content business is finally coming of age. YouTube has been the global incumbent for a decade, and now Facebook and Twitter are about to kick off their crusade into the online video territory. The same goes for live streaming platforms: Twitch.TV has offered streaming services to up-and-coming game casters since the early 2000s. But it was not until 2014 that ecommerce giant Amazon bought the platform for roughly US$1billion, shortly before complementary streaming services like YouNow, Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope were about to become popular. In this age of online video, marketers usually have one big question: “How do we produce great integrated web content that will lead to increased awareness for our brand?” Well, the answer is: “It depends on who you ask.” By Ronald Horstman, Managing Director, Studio71 & Board Member of Collective Studio71 and Marco Knies, Head of Production & Branded Entertainment, Studio71
  • 29. At Studio71, we usually recommend asking your prospective audience – and by asking we mean watch, listen and learn. In our experience, the first step to creating great web content is to define a specific target group, go where they are and watch what they watch, listen to their conversations and learn what they like so far and would like to see in the future. To most marketers looking deeper into branded online video content, the target audiences are generation Y or the so-called millennials. Born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, this demographic cohort grew up as digital natives who use computers, smart phones and online tools like social media platforms almost intuitively. Millennial teenagers born in the late 1990s and early 2000s are especially interesting to brands, since they’re used to all kinds of online communication tools, they like to interact with each other and like-minded peers online, and they express themselves through their social media profiles. By doing so, they have tremendous influence on their peer group, but also on the rest of the (older) online communities. The social media reach of some of these millennials has grown so rapidly that they’ve become social influencers. Nicknames such as ‘Pewdiepie’, ‘Rhett&Link’, ‘dFashion’, ‘Sarazar’, ‘MissesVlog’ or ‘Dner’ might not be familiar to you, but to your kids these influencers are more important than well-known bands or movie actors, which makes them extremely valuable to brands that want to reach the young millennial target group. So if you ask your teenage audience what or who makes great web content, there’s a fair chance that the answer will be “Kelly aka MissesVlog” – well, at least if you live in Germany. As a brand creating content for the web, this means you should think about collaborating with influential creators that match your brand values and have a high reach in your preferred target group. Usually, these creators have huge social media followings on YouTube and complementary platforms such as Facebook, 27 “Define a target group, go where they are, watch what they watch, listen to their conversations, learn what they like so far and would like to see in the future.” “The social media reach of some of these millennials has grown so rapidly that they’ve become social influencers.”
  • 30. Twitter and Snapchat, which helps co-branded content travel quickly and far across these different platforms. Audiences can be informed via different channels that new episodes are online and, thus, be reached on any given social network they prefer. If you work with social influencers, authenticity is the overall paradigm. These people became popular because of the way they are and the content they create. Changing either of those two factors with a branded content campaign will very likely result in negative audience feedback – remember, you want access to their community. Therefore, we usually come up with a creative concept that’s based on the brand’s core values, but realised in a way that’s oriented towards the influential creator’s style of presentation. In 2014, gaming publisher Ubisoft and their agency Maxus Global wanted to promote the new FarCry4 release, an open-world game taking place in Kyrat, a fictional country based on Nepal. They were looking for social influencers to reach the gaming community as well as more mainstream audiences. Together, we came up with a branded content idea that offered both: the biggest German gamers and Let’s Players Gronkh and Sarazar also operate a travel channel on YouTube called ‘DieSuperhomies’, showing them as they explore fascinating countries and share their spectacular experiences. This was the perfect match. We sent the two top-tier social influencers to Nepal with our camera crew to explore the country and compare the real-world locations to the fictional game sets. In four 20-minute, FarCry4-branded episodes, the Superhomies discovered ancient Kathmandu, rafted through the powerful current of Trishuli River, paraglided across stunning Lake Pokhara and took a helicopter flight to the heady heights of Mount Everest – all enabled by and related to FarCry4, but very subtly and only on occasions that editorially justified the cross-promotion. Community feedback was overwhelming: over 1.2 million video views in the first couple of weeks, over 5,000 comments, more than 60,000 likes on YouTube alone – and yes, 337 dislikes. This example demonstrates perfectly the nature of branded content on YouTube: even though the four videos were labeled as advertising for reasons of legally sound transparency, the audience didn’t mind at all – on the contrary, the community even celebrated the candid announcement at the beginning of the first video, showing Ubisoft as the enabler of such great content as part of the FarCry4 campaign. Releasing branded content in top-tier creator channels is of course the supreme discipline if you are focusing on short-term campaigns. Many brands aiming for longer-term relationships with their customers ask us to create and push their own brand channels. There’s a difference between owning an online video channel and having a proper content strategy for this channel. To be successful, most channels need a programming schedule of one or two videos per week to make their audience come back regularly. While the usual recommendation in terms of video length is six to eight minutes, content can be shorter or 28 “If you work with social influencers, authenticity is the overall paradigm.”
  • 31. longer as long as viewers keep watching for more than half of the episode’s running time. On YouTube, for example, most brands monitor subscribers and video views, but the real KPI is watch time, at least when it comes to search optimisation. The longer your audience watches, the more relevant your content seems to be and the higher your videos are ranked by the algorithm for video recommendations that pushes traffic into your channel. One of the most successful German brand channels on YouTube, especially among millennial teenagers, is CokeTV. After the first season of CokeTV, Coca-Cola Germany and their lead agency Ogilvy & Mather came to us to push the channel even further. “The community even celebrated the candid announcement at the beginning of the first video, showing Ubisoft as the enabler of such great content.” 29 “Keep your audience entertained and you will grow.” Source: www.studio71.com
  • 32. Source: Coca-Cola Deutschland Press Release, 13 July 2015 Together, we tried something new and built a format that rocketed the brand’s YouTube channel to over 200,000 subscribers and more than 13 million video views just 17 months after its creation, with an average watch time of over 50%. Popular German YouTuber Dner hosts the weekly CokeTVMoments episodes during which CokeTV enables community members and fellow YouTubers to enjoy unique experiences together with Dner for the very first time. The audience engages deeply with the weekly content by posting their own CokeTVMoment wishes, hoping to be picked for one of the next episodes. CokeTVMoments have included swimming with sea lions, building igloos almost 3,000 metres above sea level and learning how to free run. The six- to 10-minute format perfectly reflects the brand’s drivers of happiness – things like being active, being together, giving to others, trying new things and living in the moment. However, the way the format is produced is far from a corporate commercial. Every aspect of production is influenced by the way video bloggers create content, while at the same time making sure the production values follow Coca-Cola’s high quality standards. The question remains: “How do you produce great integrated web content that will lead to increased awareness for your brand?” 30 “Every aspect of production is influenced by the way video bloggers create content, while at the same time making sure the production values follow Coca-Cola’s high quality standards.”
  • 33. Well, the answer still is: “It depends on who you ask.” But if you ask us as a global, multi-channel network, our experiences with creators and all kinds of social influencers, with brands and branded content production show that there seem to be five key aspects to bear in mind: 31
  • 34. Storytelling # Interview with Preethi Mariappan, Executive Creative Director, Razorfish Germany by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl BOBCM Germany (BG): What brand objectives can be solved by branded content? Preethi Mariappan (PM): Content can be used to drive brand reputation and thought leadership. It can be used to connect to a new audience that you need to open up and engage. Ultimately though, content has to serve a business objective and drive results. I think we’re all trying to find ways to deliver a seamless content- to-commerce journey. These are all viable objectives when we consider branded content. However, I don’t think we should be fencing in branded content to an exclusive set of objectives. It’s a fairly new phenomenon and we’ll probably see many different approaches for different brands. Branded content aligns to brand purpose for the long term. I think the big question we need to be asking here is: “What is the value I deliver as a brand with my content, how will it help me engage my customers or form a community, and how does it serve my brand mission?” BG: What are the key factors to consider for content creation and distribution? PM: Creativity in content hinges on understanding the zeitgeist and the cultural context of your audience.
  • 35. Co-creating with your own customers, fans and influencers is obviously key for acceptance and sharing. You need to assess where people are already engaged with your brand topics, or identify a need for it. If you want to belong to a group, you have to hear what the group is talking about – and have something relevant to say – in order to participate. If we look at our client IKEA, we see that interior and home decor is a huge topic on the web and within their community. With IKEA Hej, we co- create content actively with the community and influencers whose voices matter. The brand experience is democratised and shared, driving an uptake in leads. Also, a distributed content approach means you need to think about creating content that feels native to the platform and to how people consume and share. Think Pinterest versus LinkedIn. Or YouTube versus Vine. For instance, we launched IKEA’s street art poster collection with a live event streamed to Instagram where there is a natural affinity for this type of content. Sometimes I see a good piece of content, but then companies end up sharing the same thing on Facebook, YouTube, et cetera. I think ‘spray and pray’ as a tactic simply doesn’t work. BG: Any specifications on the type of content to use? PM: Content specifications are very specific to the brand and its objectives. A content mix is a healthy approach, from fan-based or user- created content, to influencer- or brand-created. The same applies to the format mix from video and visual to editorial. Or choosing when or how to mix snackable, mobile-first content pieces with long-form content, whether video or editorial. A sound strategy and editorial calendar needs to underpin great creative content. 33
  • 36. Also, people don’t care for one awesome piece of content if you’re hoping for engagement beyond simple views. You need to consider an ‘always on’ content approach. I think the influencer piece is the newest formula within branded content – for instance, working with YouTubers or Instagrammers relevant for the brand. These are the ‘new celebrities’; producing content together with them is the ‘new TV’. This also changed how we think about creative content crafting. Today, content needs to be real, not sugar-coated. What the content influencers create is not very crafted by marketing standards, but it’s authentic. BG: Do you have any key statistics on brand investment in content versus media? PM: Brands in Germany often invest 20% in content and 80% in media. I think the ratio clearly needs to change to 60% in content and 40% in media at least, if we’re to create purposeful sticky content and start relying less on a media push-type approach. But actually it needs to be about content and distribution, not content and media! We need to stop thinking of content, media and distribution in silos to be truly effective. I think we’re still learning how to do this within both agencies and client organisations, since this calls for new structures, processes and ways of working together between multiple partners. 34
  • 37. # What’s the secret of successful and outstanding brands? What do Apple, Coca-Cola, BMW and the like have in common? Sure, they all provide good technological, tasty, or stylish products, but there is an emotional dimension about them as well. These brands have ‘fans’ – the ‘fans of the brands’ who love to engage with them. Engagement is the buzzword and seems to be one of the key factors to success in branded content. But how can you trigger engagement? Branded content can support the connection of fans to a brand and can help to increase the fanbase in certain ways, for example by working with celebrities, sharing social and real events. And there’s another factor to branded content that seems to be highly effective: music. Music provides unique user experiences. It’s all about creating inspiring moments to link consumers to a brand. So music can be this ‘connective element’ to create relevant actions for the core business of the brand. This is best explained by using a prominent example, the MINI car brand. For the launch of the MINI John Cooper Works model, the British band ‘The Vaccines’ was chosen as a partner. The band appeared in the TV commercial, in person and with their hit single ‘Handsome’. Subsequently, the campaign was extended into the area of social By Lars Bendix Düysen, Vice President Brand Partnership Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sony Music Entertainment Germany
  • 38. media and branded entertainment. Fans could apply to win a ‘money-can’t-buy moment’ and to meet the band who played a secret concert. The band met with a super-fan to hand over concert tickets and even a birthday cake. Afterwards, the fan had the chance to play a song with the band at the show. That was all filmed and captured as a ‘MINI Moment’. To show how this works, let’s take a closer look at the overarching idea ‘MINI meets Music' with the ‘MINI Blockbuster' modules and ‘MINI Moments’ branded content. The objective is to integrate the MINI car brand with the digital lifestyle of the band. MINI should become a native part of this world. To this end, a 12-month marketing plan was developed. The aim of the cooperation between MINI and Sony Music was always to strengthen MINI’s core business, hence the launch dates of new MINI models were taken into consideration while developing the marketing plan. Sony Music Brand Partnership & Music Licensing aligned closely with agencies working for MINI. During a joint set-up meeting for MINI meets Music, Sony Music’s marketing managers presented artists that fit the MINI brand challenges and needs. 1. MINI Blockbuster The agency Mediaplus, Serviceplan Group conceived the basic media concept MINI Blockbuster. This focused on traditional media in the ‘Blockbuster TV time slot’ on ProSieben. Via a TV spot, viewers were asked to send in to Instagram photos of urban places a MINI car should drive past, to help create a new spot for the MINI John Cooper Works. To make this call for content ‘sexy’, Sony asked The Vaccines to participate in it. To activate even more User Generated Content (UGC), the band encouraged the audience to send in their photos. Great feedback on Instagram and cool photos were received to create the MINI TV spot that included The Vaccines again. 36
  • 39. 37
  • 40. 2. MINI Moments The story continues. Being advised by Sony Music, The Vaccines informed fans, via social media and Berlin Radio FluxFM, about a secret gig for just 70 people taking place in a trendy location, the Monkey Bar at the Twentyfive Hours Hotel in Berlin. Now it gets even more interesting, because this activity generated the highest level of customer engagement with the MINI brand from a branded content campaign. Fans of The Vaccines could apply to attend the gig by sending a video message on YouTube, telling the community why they “desperately need to be there”, and they could name a friend to go with them. One of the fans, Theo, was having his 18th birthday on the day of the gig and was “dying to see the band”. First of all, he received a refusal. But secretly Sony contacted his friend to play a trick on super-fan Theo. Theo’s friends arrived at his home in a MINI John Cooper Works that had hidden cameras in it. As they drove along, one of the stars of The Vaccines announced on radio FluxFM that Theo was in fact a VIP guest for the gig that evening. Later, Theo got to play the guitar with the band. To drive awareness for the MINI Moments branded content, Sony Music provided MINI with access to Sony digital platforms with wide reach, such as Spotify and Sony’s Music’s own digital brand Filtr Germany that generates millions of views every month. In addition, a Spotify Playlist for every MINI model was created. 3. The constant noise On top of those special initiatives, MINI uses music and content as a tool to generate constant ‘noise’ throughout the year. Sony also provides gig tickets and merchandise on MINI’s brand channels in order to foster ongoing communication with their customers. The MINI example illustrates several possible tools and activation routes to consider when using music as a highly effective connective factor in branded content. Music and branded entertainment are emotional triggers for engagement. Music fans can become fans of an associated brand if you give them the opportunity to love and engage with the brand. That’s the total opposite of using pushy, price- based communication. 38
  • 41. # By Oliver Dietrich, Director Creative & Conception, SevenOne AdFactory GmbH, who implemented MINI Blockbuster on TV 39 1. What was special about MINI Blockbuster on ProSieben? What was unique about the concept was that we managed to combine social media and TV, and therefore implemented the first transmedia TV spot in Germany. This was done with a particular look and sound that strengthened the qualities of the MINI John Cooper Works. It was a creative idea for a creative brand, which worked well on all relevant platforms, as it was new and connecting different media. An additional effect was that we inspired a target group of young people who are usually far away from TV to watch TV. 2. What was your part in developing the concept? The starting position was the insight that a typical TV commercial is not sufficient for an exceptional car. We had to do something new, something played across all platforms and something trendy. So we connected the advantages and the competence of Instagram with the advantages of TV commercials and with the large reach of TV. It was about bringing together great, individual and authentic pictorial worlds and emotional video storytelling, to share it and to show it. Combined with great music and a band that was new, innovative and hip, we brought together the different components as a whole, as an authentic MINI Blockbuster. The result was real innovation. 3. How did you encourage the target group to participate using photos on Instagram? The MINI John Cooper Works is a legend - fans didn’t have to be tempted to show their loyalty and love. But they had to know where to participate and how to become part of the MINI campaign, which was achieved by our multimedia call for content. This was made possible by targeting the call via the whole network of relevant platforms and channels at ProSiebenSAT.1 Media Group. This variety of media enabled tailored cross-linkage, especially during the important period of the call for pictures.
  • 42. # If you’re reading this article, you’ve made a big step towards successful content marketing: you’re thinking about distribution. Far too often the ‘marketing’ aspect of content marketing is left behind or completely forgotten. Producing valuable and relevant content is only half the story. Without a strategic plan for the distribution and investment in audience reach, content will remain unseen and without impact. Currently, content marketing is one of the most popular topics in marketing. However companies often really struggle to define adequate KPIs for content measurement, or they just overestimate what they can actually achieve. Fragmentation of media consumption, rejection of advertising and the use of ad blockers, low visibility of display ads – whatever the problem, content is supposed to be the cure, providing brands with highly involved target groups – and, of course, free reach on top! Sorry to say, folks, this is not quite the case. By Thorsten Peters, Managing Director Creation, pilot Hamburg and Frauke Driedger, Head of Consulting Creation, pilot Hamburg
  • 43. What's the ‘right’ content for my target group?  As more advertisers produce content, more and more of it will compete for consumers’ attention. Hence, to ensure visibility, brands need to develop a distribution strategy. This strategy needs to be developed at an early stage, incorporating the question “What specific content is relevant for the chosen target groups?” Brands tend to decide this using their current knowledge of their target groups, however sound research is highly advisable. Often, the content is produced first and only later in the process questions regarding its distribution arise. This misses out on the huge potential of the interface between media and creative. If distribution and content creation are strategically developed together and closely interlinked, the content can be optimised for the defined channels, their requirements and usage. 
 The best content distribution strategy? Work on it!  An ideal distribution strategy needs to be developed individually for each brand and concept. The starting point should be the brand’s content marketing goals and the target group. What media channels and devices do they use? In which situations and what for? Only after these questions are answered can distribution channels and efficient measures be defined.  
 Owned, paid and earned media - deal with it!  An ideal distribution strategy always consists of owned, paid and earned media, each used to a different extent depending on the brand’s goals.  Owned media is the starting point of every content distribution process. The brand’s website, social media channels, a newsletter, offline touchpoints such as point of sale – every additional touchpoint with the target group increases the content’s visibility and scalability. However, not every channel is suitable for every piece of content. Questions that need to be answered include: What brand channels already exist? Are they appropriate? Are new channels needed and if so which ones? Then, interaction between the different channels should be clearly defined. Content hubs can help further to aggregate the content and connect the various channels. However, owned media by itself cannot yet guarantee high visibility. Investment in paid media is vital to secure the content’s reach and guarantees a good balance between production costs and reach. Especially during a campaign’s launch, paid media should be used to leverage the reach of both owned and earned media. The budget for paid media should be determined with regard to the goals, the target group and the size of existing owned communities. In terms of measurement, all standard online marketing metrics are generally suitable to use for branded content. However, it’s crucial that the content is in the spotlight, not the brand. 41
  • 44. Long-term collaboration with partners is also very important. Multipliers and media partners who embed and share your branded content online will strengthen the content’s acceptance and credibility with consumers. For smaller budgets and target groups, it’s best to increase the content’s visibility on owned media channels (e.g. using social media advertising) that establish long-term customer relationships. To broaden the reach further, digital advertising should be used – for example, live streaming inside display ads, as used for the distribution of ‘Webers großes Grillfest’. 
 A bit of fine-tuning While owned and paid media can be planned, earned media – whereby consumers feel compelled to share your content peer to peer – is not really calculable. However, brands can ensure maximum dissemination by making content easily shareable online and across mobile devices, and by establishing good relationships with relevant multipliers, such as bloggers and aggregators. By individually addressing their needs and interests, brands can build up high engagement and increase the amount of earned media. For example, consider using multipliers to distribute personalised content as part of the content production process. As individual as content distribution may be, the most important aspect is to actually consider content distribution full stop, and to consider it at an early stage in your plans for branded content marketing. This is the only way to ensure that relevant content gets the attention it deserves – and finally does the job!  42
  • 45.
  • 46. In 2014, Deutsche Telekom merged all its mobile, broadband, phone and home entertainment services into one new product called 'MagentaEINS'. This move was driven on one hand by the desire to increase convenience for customers and, on the other, by the fact that customers perceive those services more and more as a single unit, representing the day-to-day usage of individuals and families, rather than separate products. Telekom asked DDB Hamburg to create a marketing campaign to promote this new offering. 44
  • 47. DDB came up with a branded content idea: to develop a movie series about a family who would experience all the Deutsche Telekom products within their daily life – like so many other families in Germany do. 'Familie Heins' was born. Together with production company UFA, scriptwriter Johannes Boss and well-known movie director Simon Verhoeven, DDB developed a story with episodes, each featuring a particular MagentaEINS benefit or product. 45 Each month, an episode of the Familie Heins story aired as a TV commercial, accompanied by long versions and side stories on the Familie Heins YouTube channel. (All media planning and buying was done by MediaCom.) To extend the campaign reach, the story expanded in many more day- to-day moments, creating a distinctive blur of advertising fiction and reality. For example: • One episode showed the experiences of daughter Clara Heins and her boyfriend, YouTube star Sami Slimani, at one of Telekom’s ‘Street Gig’ music events. • Two episodes showed the adventures of the Familie Heins men at the Cologne carnival – recorded that morning and broadcast as a TV commercial only a few hours later that very same day, marking a milestone in real-time advertising. • An episode made during the Queen of England’s visit to Berlin involved Clara Heins posting footage only minutes after she filmed the Queen passing by. • Another episode showed Clara Heins becoming a real cast member in the sequel to the successful German movie 'Fack Ju Göhte', together with lead actor Elyas M’Barek.
  • 48. 46 "Our plan was to create a family that’s different from other ad families. The special thing about Familie Heins is that we’ve invented genuine characters, as used in fiction storytelling. Each of the family members has a special backstory with likes, needs, historical events, etc. This gives us endless possibilities for our storytelling.” Karsten Ruddigkeit, Executive Creative Director, DDB Hamburg
  • 49. 47 "With the changed behaviour in media usage as one strong driver, the importance of content-based communication has increased massively. With our campaign 'MagentaEINS' featuring our cast 'Familie Heins', we are consistently following this direction by managing the distribution of our own video content in various channels – for example, social media platforms, digital adverts, TV commercials, as well as our own web platforms and social media channels. For us, the close conjunction of paid and earned media has become one of the key success factors.” Philipp Friedel, Senior Vice President Market Communication, Deutsche Telekom Each main episode of the Familie Heins story underwent Telekom’s standard advertising material test. The results regarding power of attention, acceptance, product understanding, interest in information, interest in usage, purchase intention and brand fit shattered all benchmarks. In addition, positive effects on Telekom’s overall brand monitor were achieved.
  • 50.
  • 51. Fiat Germany was looking for an original and authentic TV content partnership to promote the Fiat 500 and the new Fiat 500 CULT in 2014. The campaign needed to embody the Italian spirit at heart, but without using any clichés, and include a strategy to target both female and male audiences successfully. 49
  • 52. Fiat Germany and its agency partner SevenOne AdFactory worked together to develop a modern, fun-to-watch, magazine- style branded TV programme – ‘Fiat Urban Stories’. The idea involved well-known TV host Annemarie Carpendale meeting fascinating real people, such as artists, magicians and athletes, who were living their dream in the big city. She would invite them into her iconic Fiat 500 – Germany’s smallest and most intimate TV studio – to talk about their passions, creating relevant, genuine stories of our time that organically involved the car. Using the ProSiebenSat.1 network’s resources and synergies, the weekly episodes were produced by in-house TV production company RedSeven, resulting in a credible editorial look and feel, and greater relevance for TV viewers. 50 The distribution activity had a special twist. In order to address the female and male target groups in the most effective way, a two-channel strategy was chosen: eight episodes of six minutes each were broadcast on sixx, Germany’s number one TV channel for women, and another eight episodes aired on men's channel ProSiebenMAXX. For sixx, the host met the likes of models, designers and photographers, while on ProSiebenMAXX she interviewed racing drivers, comedians, musicians and similar. The branded entertainment show was advertised on German mainstream TV channel ProSieben via 20-second teaser ad spots. In addition, online ads on the network’s platforms complemented the campaign. During the on-air phase, viewers were encouraged to get involved in sweepstakes (to win an appearance in an episode), social media activities and test drive opportunities on the campaign’s website. The TV episodes were also made available to watch on the site.
  • 53. 51
  • 54. 52 “The ‘Fiat Urban Stories’ initiative is a great example of how to leverage the power of free TV and entertaining storytelling perfectly for our partner brands in a smart and targeted way, putting branded content at the heart of an integrated communication campaign.” Petra Kroop, Director Brand Integration, SevenOne AdFactory The unique, true-life storytelling in this branded entertainment campaign was the optimal solution for the iconic Fiat 500, in order to set up a new and effective communication strategy with the brand’s potential customers.
  • 55.
  • 56. Dell is very well known as a manufacturer of great value laptops and desktop computers.  However, half its business revenue comes from providing IT infrastructure products, such as servers and related expertise, to corporate IT departments. In summer 2014, Dell Germany challenged its agency partner MediaCom Germany to get Dell’s corporate IT solutions on the consideration lists of the country’s IT Decision Makers (ITDMs). The overriding objective was to generate 12,000 leads within this hard-to-convince B2B audience. The first problem was that B2B marketing to ITDMs is very different to B2C marketing to your typical consumer. Not only are B2B purchases based more on logic than emotion, but also – particularly when it comes to critical infrastructure such as IT – businesses tend to have a set-in-stone, preferred supplier purchasing process to streamline time and costs. New suppliers have a long furrow to plough, working extra hard to earn ITDMs’ trust just to get on the consideration list, let alone make a sale. The bottom line is that the key budget holder is highly risk averse, brand loyal and reluctant to change. This led to the second problem: MediaCom’s research revealed that Dell wasn’t seen as a relevant or trusted brand, particularly among Germany’s important medium-sized businesses. The brand wasn’t even on the consideration list for the vast majority of ITDMs, lagging behind HP and IBM. Consideration levels for Dell were stuck at 27%, just above half the level of its main competitors who both scored 52%. And the final problem was that Dell hadn’t ever spoken to this ITDM audience. The lack of dialogue had allowed prejudice to grow, and Dell was widely seen as an American company that didn’t understand the German market. 54
  • 57. To help develop a campaign strategy, MediaCom spent hours talking and listening to ITDMs. This led to the earth-shattering discovery that ITDMs weren’t even the key target market! Most ITDMs don’t actually know that much about IT – IT equipment is just one more thing to buy, alongside company cars and managing the facilities. ITDMs rely on an informal network of IT colleagues to advise them, with administrators being the critical link in the chain.   IT administrators are the savvy people who maintain IT infrastructure every day. They deal with error messages, tricky software updates, and – most challenging of all – the frustration of being surrounded by computer illiterates. MediaCom realised that showing IT administrators that Dell understood their pain was crucial to building a better relationship and starting to get Dell more involved in the purchase decision-making journey.  From this insight came the inspiration to develop a branded content marketing campaign that would make Dell part of the IT administrators’ daily world in an engaging and entertaining way. Dell would become the heartbeat of a new community where IT administrators could tell each other how they felt about the rest of the office, enabling them to let off steam. MediaCom Beyond Advertising and their production partner Hogarth created a 16- webisode sitcom, telling the day-to-day stories and struggles that only IT administrators could truly understand. The campaign message was “Life is Tough Enough, Take IT easy”. 55
  • 58. The sitcom was promoted through ads on Germany’s most popular IT websites, as well as tightly targeted Facebook video ads and blogger outreach. These promotions connected people to a new Dell ‘Tough Enough’ Tumblr page created for the campaign, where IT administrators could create memes, contribute their stories of the ‘Dumbest Assumable User’ (DAU) in their companies, and use the bespoke DAU generator to turn their stories into gif images that could be shared.  Integrated with Facebook and Twitter, the highly visual campaign site was a magnet for the funniest stories that IT administrators could provide, ranging from users who couldn’t type in their passwords to those who didn’t know that home Wi-Fi wouldn’t work outside the home…  In addition, free merchandise, such as mugs and buzzers featuring the worst DAU stories, was offered to IT administrators who provided their contact details in return – fulfilling the aim of generating meaningful leads. Finally, the Tumblr site was linked to Dell’s business website that ran interviews with IT administrators talking about the challenges they faced in their daily lives. ITDMs weren’t completely forgotten: carefully targeted print and outdoor ads designed to reach them on business trips invited them to peek behind the IT door; and QR codes encouraged them to connect with the campaign content. 56
  • 59. 57 In only four months, the Dell ‘Tough Enough’ campaign resulted in:
  • 60. 58 “The Dell ‘Tough Enough’ campaign was so successful because, rather than talking to the target audience about servers or back-end infrastructure, we created branded content that entertained them while still enabling them to relate to the brand. We made them laugh and, most importantly, we also made it easy for them to share their own stories.” Norman Wagner, Managing Partner, MediaCom Beyond Advertising, Germany The innovative Dell ‘Tough Enough’ campaign won a bevy of awards in 2015, including two gold awards at the Global Festival of Media Awards (for Best Targeted Campaign and Best Community Development), and a silver Cannes Media Lion. As we go to publication, it’s also the most shortlisted campaign overall at the M&M Global Awards. It produced a whole host of positive benefits for the brand, even more laudable given the B2B category and the brand’s low starting point for consideration by IT administrators. The first episode of the sitcom was the most successful Facebook IT category post ever. In one week, it generated more than 120,000 organic views, 3,000 shares and more than 1,000 comments.  The campaign merchandise became a must-have for IT administrators. It generated over 15,000 qualified business leads, saving Dell more than 50% on the normal cost per lead and beating the campaign target by 25%.  Within a very short space of time, thanks to this campaign, Dell has joined the IT conversation in Germany and is now a genuine contender the next time its target audience considers a new hardware purchase. Dell and MediaCom are the throes of extending the campaign with a follow-up that’s due to go live as we go to publication in September 2015, making use of the same sitcom characters and involving the 213,000-strong IT community with a new sales twist.
  • 61.
  • 62. For their 2015 promotional Easter campaign, Germany’s leading consumer electronics retailer, Media Markt, was looking for a new and innovative approach. Media Markt’s aim was to increase awareness during the Easter period and tempt customers into their stores. In order to cut through the clutter and differentiate from the numerous other Easter promotions, the campaign had to be smart, bold and entertaining. 60
  • 63. Together with Ogilvy and Endemol Beyond, Media Markt developed a unique live sports event: the Media Markt ‘Rabbit Race’ (Das große Osterhasen-Rasen). The idea: 10 rabbits, wearing the starting numbers 0 to 9, would compete in a sprint race series hosted by the popular sports commentator Frank Buschmann. To encourage Media Markt customers to get behind the Rabbit Race, every Media Markt shopping receipt doubled as an official betting slip. For example, if you had a receipt number ending in a ‘4’, you backed rabbit number four. There were three two-minute-long race broadcasts on 1, 2 and 4 April 2015, and it paid off to cheer for your rabbit each time – customers whose receipt numbers matched the winning bunny’s number received 50 percent cashback on their purchase in the form of a Media Markt voucher. The rabbits were presented as celebrity characters with fun names to help trigger conversation and support among the general public. From aging superstar Turboflausch, to bad boy athlete Der Zermöhrer and adrenalin junkie mountaineer Puschel to the Limit, the rabbits took on popular personas and fans were able to find out details of their special dietary habits, career profiles, music preferences and more. Of course, the rabbits also had a (real life) professional trainer caring for them. 61
  • 64. In a media first, the Rabbit Race series was broadcast live during prime time ad breaks on the nine leading German free-to-air TV stations (SAT.1, ProSieben, kabel eins, RTL, SUPER RTL, RTL NITRO, VOX, n-tv and the Disney Channel) simultaneously, as well as online on YouTube’s homepage, the Media Markt website and Germany’s most popular news site Bild.de. In addition to the Race series itself, there was an integrated communication campaign using traditional advertising, PR and social media. In the weeks before the live event, the Rabbit Race was heavily promoted with complementary branded content – such as profiles of each rabbit, collectors’ cards, training insight, celebrity interviews and press conferences with the rabbits, behind-the- scenes reports, and other interactive, engaging elements – which was shared across social media by fans. Media Markt also responded to social media comments during and after the event, including posting personal greeting cards online for supporters. 62
  • 65. # 63 “The Rabbit Race is yet more proof of Media Markt’s creative innovation: Germany’s biggest supplier of consumer electronics is itself becoming an entertainer and turning a promotional campaign into a sporting event for the whole family.” Felix Fenz, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather
  • 66. 64 “The courage to create and implement an outstandingly unique idea, and most especially the perfect synchronisation of all the service providers involved, were the two factors of major importance for the success of our Rabbit Race campaign. Our creative agency Ogilvy developed the spectacular design of the idea, which immediately thrilled us. Also, we decided to simulcast the Rabbit Race live on Germany’s major private TV channels – something that has never been done in this way before. The implementation of the live race was carried out smoothly in collaboration with Endemol Beyond. I’m convinced that the professionalism of all our partners, as well as the collective enthusiasm for the Rabbit Race, drove its exceptional success.” Thomas Hesse, Head of Marketing, Media Markt Germany, redblue Marketing GmbH The Rabbit Race concept combined branded content marketing with real-time advertising, resulting in much more than a traditional advertising campaign alone would have delivered – this became a national sports entertainment event and a media first. From this innovative initiative, Media Markt generated strong awareness during the busy Easter period, a significant sales impact, and an enhanced reputation as a forward-thinking brand that understands how to entertain and connect with its market.