Marketing uses entertainment as a tool. Mixing communication and entertainment is one of the new trends in marketing. New technologies give us access to more information. All the products need differentiation to be heard among the crowd. Talking about features and benefits is not enough. Now it is necessary to convey feelings and emotions, and entertainment is an excellent way to do that.
Television, newspapers, websites, networks
We found examples in all media: television, newspapers, magazines, websites, and social networks.
We often see TV commercials that seem like they are short Hollywood films. In some cases, there are famous actors and directors. Sometimes the story begins on television, and later they develop it on the web. Other times, the advertising agency tie different ads to explain a story. There are humor sketches that could be part of a TV program or a theater monolog. Some spots reproduce action scenes that can compete with films. They have car crashes, fights, and special effects. In those cases, the ad sets the general tone, the brand image, and the target audience.
In magazines, some ads hardly explain the product. For instance, there are fashion brands that only portray a model and the logo. They do not even try to inform, just suggest. It is an elegant and indirect way to build a brand.
Some websites have information but only if you search for it. For the most part, they are a big show of technology, movements, sound, and creativity.
There are some catalogs where content is not relevant. The text has limited space, and photos are big and spectacular.
Multinationals and small entrepreneurs generate promotions in old and new media. Often, the information about the product or service is not predominant. They just want to be present in the press and have an impact on social media.
Features makes no difference. It bores the consumer.
Why does it happen? Why is entertainment becoming more important than information in business communication?
Firms can figure out and copy any technology from a competitor. That is easy and fast. That makes physical features not always relevant. They rarely are the decision-maker for the majority of consumers.
Consumers are bored of hearing product characteristics repeated on and on in ads. What is important is what it means for them, and how they feel about that. Many times, the difference between brands is small and irrelevant. Users know they can look for the components, price and other details on the internet. Then compare all that information between brands.
Feelings and sensations make the product different. The brand gives form, helps to identify that. Entertainment communicates that.
Unlike the physical characteristics, the emotional aspects are personal, unique. No one can copy them.
Entertainment first, information later
Companies want to change the way they communicate with the consumer. Information is not enough; now they need seduction.
I do not mean that they do not have to inform. Companies must provide complete and accurate information, but they can use different tools. The consumer should be able to find any detail but only when they search for it. Data can be there too, but it does not need to be in the front face.
Putting the information in a section of the website can be a solution. It is cheap for the business, and it is easy to see for the user.
Also small business
Everything we said applies to big companies and small entrepreneurs.
Multinationals can dedicate resources to spectacular television spots or detailed pictures. Creating entertainment is harder; it requires more money and effort. The advertising needs to be elaborate. First, they should know what is essential, what values matter. Then, get the message across in different media and formats.
Small business or entrepreneurs can talk about the most personal aspects of the firm. They can pick up some elements of the founder. The initial steps, the people and their relations, the illusions, and future dreams. That kind of direct communication requires fewer resources and is more direct, authentic. It creates a real connection with the user. They can use this strategy with conventional media. With new technologies and social networks, it is even easier.
Entertain, share sensations
The word “entertain” comes from Latin "inter + tenere." That is, to share, look what we have in common with a group of people. That's meaninfull, it summarizes what I have tried to explain in this text.
Often the first contact should be through feeling and emotions. Seducing, and looking for the human aspect helps to convey the core values of the product. That also allows a more direct and immediate connection. It differentiates, gives personality and makes each product unique.
TV spot, press ad, catalogs, and main pages of the website can focus on entertainment. Those elements, condense the essential values. A coordinate strategy helps to build a brand.
Technical data, features, and numbers may be in a section of the website. If someone has interest, they can access it with the phone in their pocket. It is not necessary to provide those details at the beginning of the communication. It would be a waste of time, money and energy. in those cases, there are too much information and too many repetitions.
They should release us from those ads that haunt us when we surf the web. The TV and radio repeat the advertising too many times. They should concentrate the energy in entertainment. It is better to suggest and let the user look for the details only when they want.
To have less advertising and elaborate it more would create a better experience for the users. Entertainment can create a more stable, long-term relation with the consumer. It conveys feelings and builds the brand.
I have several posts related to emotional marketing:
- Communication strategy pla. Identify the heart of the brand
- Love a brand. What can we do to make people love our brand
- Your brand communicates what you feel. Love a brand, part 2
- Communication and entertainment. Emotions first, data later
- Brand experience. Brand sensations.
- Brand does not matter. What is important is how consumers feel