£1billion worth of digital entertainment content was downloaded in the UK in 2012 according to Mindshare.  So it’s no surprise that branded content is high on the marketing agenda.

We like to ignite conversations around big ticket marketing issues – so what better, we thought, than to interrogate some of the brightest minds in the business?

We did just that. Our recent Oystercatchers Club event brought together a set of visionary practitioners, all grappling with change in the fast-paced world of branded content.

Mindshare UK’s CEO Mark Creighton; Jack Fryer, Head of Insight at Parlophone Music/Warner Music Group founder of Gravity Road, Mark Boyd and Land Rover’s Global Marketing and Communications Director Patrick Jubb shared views and news, provoking lively audience reaction.

What did we learn?

Peter Cowie revealed recent (unnamed) client discussions to repurpose their marketing departments as editorial departments. To illustrate change, he spot-lighted Barclays LifeSkills ITN partnership, a week- long ITV campaign to promote its education programme. The ads took the form of a documentary following two youngsters as they embark on work experience.  All this conceived, led and managed by the marketing department.


More insights….

Mark Creighton looked at how audiences are involved at every stage of today’s content journey: in creating, funding, distributing and sharing. They’re no longer just end consumers. The Huffington Post and The Guardian champion crowdsourcing journalism; Kickstarter invites audiences to get involved in funding films, music, theatre and video games; Spotify has changed forever our relationship with music…

It’s context not content that matters. It’s the conversations, the connections, the stories where brands are getting value. Music industry thought leader Jack Fryer illustrated the seismic shift in artists’ and fans’ attitudes to brand partnerships – it’s now cool to be commercial. Result? In many instances, the brand makes the artist not vice versa. Think Nike…

Don’t underestimate the challenge of content warned Mark Boyd– success lies in creating editorial ideas about things people want to spend time with.  And it has to be informative or entertainment. Headlines count. Consider BuzzFeed – a hot social site where Pepsi Next is latest big brand sponsor. Said Pepsi Next, “We want to bring people unbelievable experiences in terms of how they engage with and share content.”  BuzzFeed’s founder believes that in an era of RSS, Twitter, Facebook and consumption tools like FlipBoard – titles make a difference.

Patrick Jubb shared the perspective from that great British iconic brand, Land Rover. It is simple: integrity is everything “Our branded content must share the values of Land Rover and live the value of the propositions it stands for everytime.” Land Rover’s automotive journey confirms that customers start by consuming content in third party and peer group communities.

It was another engaging Club evening – a big thank you to our speakers and our guests.