Brand Integration – Is It Right for Your Client?

In today’s marketing environment, there are so many channels to choose from to reach your target audience. From broadcast to cable to OTT to digital to search and more, it can be a challenge to determine what mediums to use that will most effectively and efficiently capture your audience for awareness, sales and ultimately brand preference. 

One such medium is brand integration, which can be an excellent messaging vehicle if your budget and product aligns with the content. There are several options to consider, i.e., movies, television shows, talk shows, streaming series, and more. Keep in mind, though, brand integration is different than product placement. Brand integration is a unique type of placement where the brand is woven into the program’s plot and where its function and features are showcased throughout. Think E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial and Reese’s Pieces, or the Chevy Camaro and Transformers movies. Product placement is when the advertiser’s product has clear visibility but is not a central focus, similar to a prop – it’s meant to blend into the scene and have either a visual, verbal or signage placement. I’m showing my age here but come on – who could resist not owning a pair of Ray-Ban’s after watching Top Gun for the tenth time? 

Is the traditionally high investment of brand integration worth it? Well, it depends upon many factors, most importantly your budget. If it’s somewhat limited, especially in the national arena, traditional advertising may be the best option. However, for those fortunate enough to enjoy a somewhat healthy media spend and the integration makes sense, this arena could prove to be invaluable for your client’s brand. On the other hand, you may be working with a company on the verge of being irrelevant but hits the jackpot on an incredibly rare hand-shake deal with no money being exchanged to be featured in major film release. Check out how Wonder Bread revived themselves here:

At Ron Foth Advertising, we’ve negotiated and implemented numerous successful brand integrations for our clients and we understand what it takes to make them work hard to promote both the brand and its product(s). It’s not just about naming rights, i.e., ‘this program is brought to you by’ while showcasing a logo – you might as well buy a :10 ad unit prior to the show. It’s about complete integration from start to finish.

For example, we negotiated a year-long integration with an Emmy-award winning and weekly nationally-syndicated TV show. It included in-program product endorsement & usage seamlessly woven into the story-line, promotional ads & vignettes for broadcast, social and digital media featuring the show’s host using the products, in-program branded bumpers, website content, a corresponding microsite, photography and more. The results were even better than we could have predicted. Our client enjoyed a substantial lift in awareness, brand preference and sales – so much so they requested to extend the integration for an additional three-years.

Whether your goal is to reach a mass audience or specifically target a niche segment, brand integrations can accomplish both, especially if the product featured is authentic and a real part of the storyline in the eyes of the savvy consumer. 

Allow Ron Foth Advertising to help with your next Integration campaign-contact [email protected] for further information.