Cutting through the content clutter is an ongoing challenge for marketers across the entertainment industry. The good news is it means many networks and agencies are having to come up with increasingly creative strategies to make sure their brands are reaching the right audiences.
As we head into 2019, here are some of the marketing trends we expect to explode in the new year.
1. Taking a Social Stand
More and more, networks are standing up for a cause they believe in, bringing an element of social responsibility to their brand. Not only is this good for the initiative they’re supporting, when done right this sense of purpose can lead to a profit—not to mention creative marketing campaigns.
Take Freeform’s Save the Mermaids public service announcement that used its show Siren to raise awareness about threats to the ocean through an Earth Day partnership with Conversation International.
The campaign combined real-world statistics about ocean pollution and overfishing that’s causing many species to disappear … including mermaids.
In another example, Brazil’s Rede Globo is aware of its influence in Brazil, and aspires to evolve along with the audience it serves, says Sérgio Valente, communications director for social responsibility.
The network works with several associations such as UNESCO and UNICEF to build topics such as education, human rights, youth, sustainability, health and quality of life into the core of its brand through it’s “Good Mob” initativate.
“‘Good Mob’ has nothing to do with philanthropy,” says Valente. “It is a thought, an inner belief, to ask ourselves what the role of brands and companies is when it comes to contributing to the evolution of society. The more society evolves, the greater the possibilities for corporations.”
How to make this strategy work for you? Listen to Civic Chief Culture Officer Linda Ong and UPtv CMO Scot Safon talk about how companies can best integrate this important philosophy into their brands so it comes off to consumers as authentic and not pandering.
2. Branded Merchandise
A pink Starburst jacket? A KFC “Fried Chicken USA” sweatshirt? IHOPs Pumpkin Pancake Stout beer?
Swag is taking on a new meaning as we head into 2019. Companies have been putting their labels on everything, and the entertainment industry is no exception.
HBO is saying cheers to the final season of Games of Thrones with a customized cabernet sauvignon—among other varieties of red and white wines.
And Rockstar Games recently partnered with apparel company Barking Irons for a limited-edition collection of clothing and accessories inspired by the video game Red Dead Redemption 2.
Look for more branded merchandise like this as we settle into the new year.
3. Turning Viewers Into Creators
Fans have always been an important part of any entertainment entity; they are the reason unforgettable characters and stellar storylines exist.
Networks are often turning to this base, such as NBC encouraging fans to bust a move on social media platform musical.ly for a four-week dance challenge promoting season two of the show.
And BBC America created a spot featuring the stars of Killing Eve giving a shout out to the many viewers who contributed to the show’s growing audience.
RELATED: ‘Killing Eve’ Thanks Its Fans
With that in mind, some networks are also turning to their audience for content that gives viewers a creative role in their brand voice.
For instance, Syfy has been commissioning artists around the world to create idents for the network, like this one for Halloween:
READ MORE: Adweek