Caressa Douglas on brand integration in entertainment

Caressa Douglas knows that we live in a world of branding, and that writers and producers recognize that as well. Brands help authenticate real life stories and are therefore needed when telling stories through entertainment.

As senior vice president, content and branded integration at Branded Entertainment Network (BEN), Douglas – who will go more in-depth about her personal and professional story in an upcoming episode of Exceptional Women of the World – is keenly aware of the importance of product placement and brand marketing strategies. She says that brands and the entertainment industry need to be collaborative to be authentic and tell meaningful stories.

While Douglas sees great work happening all the time, she does have a top three of the best product integrations she has worked on. They include a Zombieland and Twinkie pairing, Entourage with Xbox Kinect, and Wonderbread and Talladega Nights. All involved a suspension of reality and a risk, but all paid off for the stories and the brands.

She says that a key for brands is to let the filmmaker tell the story rather than the brand, since there’s a fine line between entertainment and being commercial that needs to be led by the storyteller. Her dream is to be able to feature future technologies from the aerospace industry in film, which she says hasn’t been done effectively yet – take note, Top Gun 2.

See Douglas's view on storytelling in our What's the Story? series.

What's the Story? is sponsored by Branded Entertainment Network (BEN), the first global network for branded product integration in the entertainment industry, across all media, including the influencer space.

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Doug Zanger

Doug Zanger is the Americas editor for The Drum. He leads the Americas editorial team’s content activity in the growing region. Based in Portland, Oregon, he is committed to sharing the most meaningful stories that benefit the global industry and its people. A Minnesota native, Zanger has covered a wide range of brands, issues and personalities, including Aloe Blacc, Seu Jorge, Wendy Clark, Susan Credle, Dan Wieden, Jeff Goodby and more. Fiercely dedicated to diversity, equality and talent, he has interviewed several women in leadership roles through his Exceptional Women of the World podcast.

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