As adverts fight to occupy territory in the viewer's headspace, more and more consumers are turning to self-defense, to protect themselves against what they see as an encroachment of their downtime.
Reports have confirmed that while watching online video content, 90% of consumers will hover their finger impatiently over the ‘Skip Ad’ button as it counts down, to reduce advert viewing to a minimum term. And, in more extreme cases, it is projected that 30% of US internet users will defend themselves by using ad-blocker, to ensure nothing disrupts their viewing experience.
Other than skipping and blocking, there has been a radical change in the way viewers consume content, with unprecedented numbers of people moving away from ad-supported TV to streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer. This content and audience explosion amounts to $15 billion projected investment in streaming original content, with 70% of people today admitting to typically binge-watching Netflix.
What does this movement away from ad-supported TV, and growing indifference towards adverts mean for marketers? If only there was a way to reach consumers in an authentic and meaningful way – something unskippable, unstoppable and unblockable?
The answer lies in positioning. If 71% of US internet users feel that ads have become more intrusive today than they were 3 years ago, advertisers should not focus around the content, but within it.
Brand integration involves slotting ads into the narrative of everyone’s favourite show; a seamless integration, which allows brands to reach their desired audience by creatively and authentically integrating their brand into the content.
Brand integration isn’t new and has been a tactic long used by companies. Ever wondered how many Tiffany necklaces got sold because of Holly Golighty’s notorious breakfast on the pavement of the New York flagship store? As Holly peers cravingly in at the glinting window display, viewers across the globe have joined her in a mutual want of owning a Tiffany's, an effect that continues to occur time and time again since the 1961 release date.
And it was Slam Dunk for Nike when Air Jordan trainer’s aided Michael Jordan in Space Jam on his road to victory against the Nerdlucks.
Although it isn’t new, it is certainly making a come-back and is now on more marketer’s radars than ever before. Kellogg's snatched a prime advertising spot when Stranger Things' telekinetic Eleven lumbers herself with a stolen stack of Kellogg’s Eggo Waffles, which quickly becomes her favourite form of sustenance. As Stranger Things is one of the top streaming shows of 2017, with an estimated audience of 18.5 million viewers, this was a fantastic way for Kellogg's to reach out to the ad-free world.
In 2017 it was recorded that 92% of the top 25 streaming shows featured brand integrations, demonstrating how it is a compelling arrow in a marketer’s quiver. With ad-blocking continually raising the specter of a brand disappearing into the ether, and the rise of streaming, brand integration holds the key to engaging with audiences in a meaningful way.
To learn more about brand integration, please download your free copy of 'The Definitive Guide to Brand Integration,' and you can discover what makes integration effective, how measurement continues to evolve, the influencer space and more.