Branded video content is here to stay!

The phrase ‘build it and they will come’ doesn’t cut it these days! Call it what you want – shorter attention spans or spoiled by excessive content – audiences want newer, creative content and have an insatiable appetite. Nothing is ever enough. Even if it’s a video – perhaps the most engaging medium for an audience. In this static of clutter of seemingly infinite content – be it video or writing, it has become difficult to reach your audience and stand out from the rest of content.

With the boom of platforms like Youtube, Netflix and Dailymotion, web-series have come like a breath of fresh air for many. Not only are they covering issues ignored by the mainstream, but marketers have realised their potential for being a tool of marketing and brand. And so the strategy of subtly integrating brands, services or products in scenes or plotlines came about. But now, a breed of web series is being seen on social media. In these, brands no longer shy away from directly advertising their businesses, products or services. These web series are called branded web series.

Even in India, brands are starting to look at the digital medium to make branded web series content. The web-series sometimes have detailed plots and story-lines, similar to television commercials except their duration is slightly longer than the average TV ad. Another type of branded web-series is when the brand develops a series of videos which provide information – these are called knowledge videos. Branded content is similar to a known concept of native advertisement and both these concepts follow some rules of the natural form of the viewer experience.

As an example, we can look at Dr. Batras web-series on medical health and homeopathy treatments which offered information on symptoms, causes and the possible homeopathy treatment. The web-series covered various medical issues such as skin and hair health, mental illnesses like depression and ADHD, pregnancy, hormonal imbalance, allergies and respiratory issues like asthma. Some episodes of the web series also contained tips to follow or maintain in order to prevent diseases or allergies or infections.

By doing so, the brand not only offered tips and information on homeopathy treatment to people, but it also made its presence felt in all of the videos prominently. This was an example the brand opted to develop web-series where its contribution could be seen properly. This was a way that Water Communications, an advertising agency based in Mumbai used to market the web-series on medical information and homeopathy treatment.

But there are brands who opt to collaborate with other video content creators and choose to showcase their brand in a slightly subtle way. This could be another route. Branded web series have indeed become an important tool of marketing today, because social media has made consumers have an insatiable appetite for fresher, newer content to grab and sustain attention. Be it whatever route a brand chooses to advertise via web-series, one thing is certain that that web-series and branded video content is here to stay.

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