The rush toward ads in sheep’s clothing continues apace, as this report from MediaPost’s Center for Media Research indicates:

 

Aggressive Marketing Spending on Branded Content

According to a new survey, “The Spending Study: A Look at How Corporate America Invests in Branded Content for 2012,” by the Custom Content Council and ContentWise, brand content is getting a bigger slice of the marketing pie: a 13% increase, or $1,640,107 in [annual] spending [per brand] for the last two years.

79% of marketers are now reporting that their companies are shifting into branded content either at a moderate or aggressive pace. 52% of companies reported that they outsourced some portion of at least one type of branded content creation in 2012.

Lori Rosen, Executive Director, Custom Content Council, reports that “… stability of brand content spend… proves the staying power and efficacy of content marketing… motivating brands to outsource at record levels…”

 

Translation: You can fool a whole lot of people a whole lot of the time.

So a whole lot of marketers are. Branded content is having a growth spurt because it addresses fundamental marketing goals: educating consumers, building brand loyalty, up-selling, and retaining customers. And it provides an endless array of possibilities, as witnessed here by the contents page of Content magazine (published by the Custom Content Council):

 

 

Coca-Cola says “Content is it”? Maybe. But it’s certainly not the Real Thing.

 


John Carroll, who also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town, is a media analyst and mass communication professor at Boston University.
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