For the brands that can afford it, a partnership with an ultra premium entertainment franchise stands to be a smart move in 2012. Despite the hefty premiums, a multi-platform integration with the likes of a "Glee" (TV Show), The Oscars (Event) or even a "Call of Duty" (Video Game) will be an efficient use of media dollars. Here's why:
1) Fish Where the Fish Are - Media consumption occurs across a dizzying array of platforms and devices. As the media ecosystem became more varied over the last 5 years, the pressure to have a “360” presence forced brands to invest in Mobile WAP pages, YouTube Channels, Facebook pages and Apps. Many of these branded destinations languished because - let’s face it, most brands just aren't very interesting. But, by hanging on to the coattails of a “Glee”, suddenly your brand has a mobile, tablet, online and social presence that consumers are flocking to.
2) Be Part of the Conversation – Every time a new episode of The Voice comes out, millions of viewers plug into their social networks and cheer, gasp and OMG using Twitter. They’re sharing the show experience with their friends but they’re also following the contestants, the hosts and the show itself. Because of this "social TV" phenomenon, TV shows are increasingly incorporating the Twitter dialogue within the broadcast. Soon, a portion of the show experience will actually unfold in social media. You'll have to "follow" the show to be in the know. In this scenario, a well timed tweet from @NBCTheVoice directed toward a sponsor's Twitter account could set the brand up to deliver highly coveted content, making it an essential part of that experience.
3) The Netflix Effect – Netflix’s 24 million subscribers are constantly streaming back catalog episodes from premium shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights. So much so that Netflix constitutes an astonishing 32% of all online bandwidth! Even more astonishing, Netflix doesn’t sell ad space within the streams. That gaping hole in sponsorship opportunities is forcing big brands to rethink how to align themselves with ultra premium content. One solution is brand integration. If a brand’s messaging is safely embedded within the programming, it doesn’t matter how consumers view it.