Integrating entertainment into brand marketing

Social media has been making waves in the marketing world. Marketers believe it is a valuable tool in the box, and they have been relying heavily on it. People are using various social media platforms to entertain themselves, from watching videos to knowing the latest trends in areas they are interested in, meaning there are massive opportunities ahead for marketers to channel their marketing ideas.

However, viewers will shun sheer advertisements because they see no point spending time on explicit advertising content they might not be interested in, hence, marketers need to come up with smart ways to attract their attention.

According to the “Hong Kong Video Content Viewing Landscape report WAVE III” conducted by Omnicom Media Group, people are spending more time on Instagram to consume video content compared with the second phase of the study in 2016, while the most popular type of content is fashion and trends.

This finding reminds marketers to come up with social media marketing strategies to grab people’s attention. Meanwhile, the study also revealed 23% of Hong Kong people had watched videos on fashion and trends in the past seven days of being interviewed. The potential of social media video content has reached new heights.

Direct marketing may not be the best strategy anymore. People now go for diversified and quality content across social media, and they will share what they like on their personal social media accounts. And organic content is something that should delight marketers. When the message is circulating among customers, marketers don’t need to continuously make an effort to promote their products or brands.

A humanised approach may be appealing to audiences – they like content that is heart­warming or they have experienced. This Master Report, in collaboration with Sunny Idea, will dig into how to combine brand marketing with entertainment.

The evolution of partnerships between brand marketing and entertainment
Marketing has become increasingly complicated thanks to the digital revolution. With a multitude of media platforms available and an abundance of ways to consume information, the audience we talk to today has the option to tune in and out at their own pace, and more often than not, they choose to switch off when it comes to advertisements.

This increase in autonomy is naturally a source of frustration for any advertiser, but it has also paved a clear path for storytellers to helm the industry’s future. To satisfy our audience’s appetite, we have to create experiences that our target will genuinely enjoy instead of just tolerate, and we have to deliver them in a way that people will willingly seek out rather than interrupting the desired flow of information. With this in mind, we set the world of brand marketing and entertainment on a collision course to look for fresh and innovative ways to collaborate and conceive concepts.

Beyond sponsorships and endorsements
The entertainment industry has, of course, played a big part in marketing for many years, but executions have rarely ventured outside the box. Brand endorsers, ad jingles, product placements, sponsored social posts; we’ve seen countless examples of the above, but the truth is, such models have only scratched the surface of what could be a beautiful marriage between entertainment and marketing, and there is a limitless supply of untapped potential underneath. Looking at cases such as The Lego Movie or Chipotle’s A Love Story, it gives us the confidence to continue exploring how to bring the two industries together in a mutually beneficial way and develop the next evolution of advertising.

A Brand New World
Just like the literal collision of worlds, the union of entertainment and brand marketing means the birth of a new ecosystem that requires adjustments in roles and the working dynamic from all parties – media, creatives, public relations, talent, producers, brands, and others. The possibilities are there, but so are the challenges. When all sides of the equation are invested in a campaign the same way, only then will we be able to deliver a successful partnership where every component is in sync.

Changing Lives with Chow Sang Sang – One Song at a Time – A Case Study on Music as a Collaborative Medium
Leveraging music as a powerful medium, which can profoundly impact people’s lives, Sunny Idea and Chow Sang Sang collaborated with Sony Music, artist Jason Chan (陳柏宇) and music creators to produce “認真如初” Celebrate Love, a romantic and emotional ballad that acts as the backbone of an integrated campaign, detailing the lifelong and unwavering commitment that couples make to each other when they fall in love.

“When we first started the project, we asked ourselves – what’s the best way to deliver a compelling love lesson that has resonance with our audience? We needed a universal form of emotional expression and music immediately came to mind,” said Adrian Li, head of account management at Sunny Idea.

“It is an inherent component of romance and relationships. From serenading a high school sweetheart to the ring of wedding bells, different songs make us nostalgic of various moments in time. This served as the basis of our idea.”

Added Chung Leung, head of creative at Sunny Idea: “As both creative agency and entertainment company, we had the access and knowledge when it came to the music industry that few others do, allowing us to deliver an idea in the most relevant language and lock down this partnership opportunity early on.”

The song is more than just a catchy tune. In fact, every line of the lyrics captures an element that sustains a happy relationship.

“We worked closely with our consultant and lyricist Chan Wing Him to pick the right song demo, then talked to couples from all walks of life in an attempt to deliver inspiring and authentic lyrics that resonated with the locals,” said Vincent Tse, head of creative at Sunny Idea.

The singer of such a heartfelt song had to be carefully selected. Chan (陳柏宇), a loving husband and incredible vocal talent, was the perfect candidate.

After launching the song on radio and all digital streaming platforms, a branded music video featuring real­life couples brought the imagery to life.

The song reached number one on several local billboards of different digital platforms, including KKBOX, iTunes, JOOX & MOOV, within a short period of time. And the music video recorded more than 1.5 million views across social media platforms.

There were also other engaging touch­points both online and offline to touch audiences’ hearts.

The song achieved impressive numbers, but more importantly it left a lasting impression and played a part during the most memorable moments of real romances in our city.

People began to use the song for their engagement speeches and wedding anthems, and there is no better way for the campaign to come full circle then to witness it touch the hearts and minds of our audience in such a prominent way.

“This was a great partnership example where brands and musicians come together to create an authentic experience for consumers,” said Chan Wing Him, the lyricist and consultant at Sunny Idea.

“We may have produced a song, but its significance goes much deeper than the three minute runtime. Thanks to the collaborative effort and open­mindedness from all teams involved, we delivered something truly meaningful, and none of us alone could have pulled it off.”

About Sunny Idea
Sunny Idea is an independent marketing solutions company. At Sunny Idea, we designed our business model by building a unique ecosystem around consumers based on three key pillars: advertising, entertainment and content production.