Networks Winning at the Brand Integration Game

At a time when many advertisers are not satisfied with 30-second commercials, television networks are getting the bulk of spending on brand integration, according to a report by Advertiser Perceptions.

According to the research company’s 2017 Content Marketing Study, 76% of brand integration spending goes to TV networks, with 45% going to TV network linear content and 32% going to TV network digital content.

Digital pure plays get just 24% of spending on brand integrations.

The numbers are significant because total spending on digital advertising is eclipsing spending on TV.

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“Television really has the great scope and the larger audiences for advertisers to reach,” says Andy Sippel, senior VP at Advertiser Perceptions. TV is also the home of most of the best content available.

Sippel notes that a lot of the spending going to digital is in direct response and performance marketing. Those dollars are mainly coming out of white pages, yellow pages and newspaper advertising.

“For brand advertisers TV is hugely important if you’re looking to fill that top of the funnel and get your message out,” he says.

The Advertiser Perception study found four reasons why marketers like integrated marketing in TV campaigns.

The statement that integrated marketing efforts break through the cluttered ad breaks was agreed to by 74% of those surveyed, while 72% concurred that “even with the volume of content marketing across media touchpoints, integrated marketing opportunities on TV are still memorable for the consumer.”

Among those studied, 62% agreed that integrated marketing efforts are more effective than traditional TV ads and 60% said integrated marketing on TV enhances the viewer experience.

“There’s always been this fear of ad avoidance,” Sippel says. “And brand integrations are a great way to make sure your story is being told.”

To take advantage of the demand for branded content, most TV networks have set up in-house units that create content with brand messages integrated into them.

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Sometimes, the brand message in integrated directly into programs, other times original content is created to compliment network programming.

“That’s a hard job. They’re threading the needle between what does the marketer want, helping them tell their story in an organic way that doesn’t feel forced and is good for the viewer, and working with their production teams because they have to make sure those people on that side of the house are happy as well,” Sippel says.

“Everyone seems to be chasing after this business and it seems to be growing,” he adds.

Some content from TV networks runs on their linear channels, but it can also run on a network’s digital platforms. Networks also created branded content specifically for digital and social distribution as part of a brand’s campaign.

“You look at these networks, they’re taking those stories, those branded integrations and they’re pushing them across all of their avenues,” Sippel says.

Running the content on digital platforms adds frequency for some campaigns, and reach for others.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.