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Advertainment is entertainment content that promotes products, services, or a brand image. As a form of marketing, it can provide unique access to some demographics and markets. Users may engage with it without being consciously aware that it is advertising material, and in other cases they find the entertainment worth the advertising. In the process, they are exposed to numerous examples of products and services and start to build up associations with a given brand or company that may translate into future sales for the company.
Many media formats are suitable for advertainment. Companies can make games, films, short series, interactive websites, and a variety of other media for users. The content is usually free to encourage users to start interacting with it. The placement of brands is subtle, as the company does not want to distract from the entertainment with intrusive material because this may alienate consumers.
A car company, for example, might make a short web series where characters act out a thriller or spy plot. Along the way, they may engage in a few car chases in various vehicles manufactured by the company. Users will see different examples of the company's products in high performance situations and may start to associate the company with the style and tone of the series. For a young demographic with an interest in action movies and the projection of a hip or tough image, the advertainment would build up positive brand associations, and those consumers might seek out the company's products for future car purchases.
Creation of advertainment requires careful craft. If the advertising is too obvious, it can be a turnoff for viewers, who do not want to feel like they are watching an extended commercial. The company also needs to think about what kind of image it wants to send with the campaign and various tie-ins. A company with a reputation for family-friendly products and services, for instance, does not want to put out a raunchy ad campaign that might offend customers.
Advertising firms may offer advertainment among their services and can also contract with other firms to meet the needs of their clients. Some companies may use noted artists and creators in the process. They can hire famous actors or film crews known for a specific style if they want to make a web series to appeal to a specific demographic. Such campaigns may also use pop stars, famous designers, and other high-profile figures to draw in viewers and keep their attention.
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