Brand Marketing Is All About Entertainment, Baby!

Marketoonist, Tom Fishburne, stated:  “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”

Indeed, an article in Forbes indicates that consumers don’t want to be marketed to. “They want to be entertained. They gobble up content as quickly as it gets made, and more than half of them use ad-blocking technology so they can enjoy their programming uninterrupted.”

Smart brands who want to connect with their consumers recognize that they need to be the entertainment, not just sponsor the 15 marketing message that comes before it. According to Forbes, 60 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, plus there are 250 million tweets and 800 million Facebook status updates every day. Based on these staggering numbers, brand marketers would do well to add entertainment value to their messages when engaging with customers on the social networks they like to use.

The Entertainment Mindset is Catching On

The entertainment mindset is showing up across all industries. For example, airlines are using safety videos (once just a terribly mundane piece of media) as an essential entertainment and engagement device. A good example of this is evidenced in Air New Zealand’s Lord of the Rings-themed safety video, involving some of the movie’s actors, along with costumes and a humorous storyline.

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Blended Content is Real and Relatable

These days, savvy brands are even taking advantage of platforms such as SnapChat to promote products and other branded content. While It might seem a little foolish for a company to create content that will be gone after 24 hours, according to Bob Wolfley, head of social media at the underwear company MeUndies, the short-lived nature of the videos prompts users to be more engaged with them.

MeUndies uses Snapchat for product promotions (including exclusive items that can only be had through links posted to Snapchat) as another way to keep its audience interested in its branded content. Dan King, head of marketing at MeUndies, likened Snapchat to “modern TV” because it gives them an outlet to create their own network of programming.

The brand captures audiences with addicting, episodic programming, offering fresh sketch comedy, along with ‘inside access’ to activities such as pumpkin carving contests between their VP of Marketing and their models. In addition to being entertaining, this blend of content is real, relatable, and—most importantly—it doesn’t feel like traditional marketing.

Clever Packaging Increases Engagement

Image Source: Mashable

Fast food restaurants are also making their mark on entertainment marketing. According to Forbes, in India KFC released a chicken sandwich container that doubled as a game controller, connected via Bluetooth. Similarly, McDonald’s created a limited edition McFlurry cup holder that doubles as a boom box for phone speakers.

Clever packaging draws customers in, making them part of the entertainment, not just the promotion. This strategy explodes engagement and prompts an avalanche of sharing on social media.


Good entertainment opens the doors to sharing on social. In fact, Pulitzer Prize nominated author, Erik Qualman, stated:

“Successful companies in social media function more like entertainment companies, publishers, or party planners than as traditional advertisers.”

Going forward from here, start thinking of your marketing as internet marketer, Kim Roach, would: “A magical combination of information and entertainment.

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.