Branded Entertainment is seldom understood outside the marketing industry, yet it could pave the way to greater collaboration in the creation and financing of original Canadian screen content. The second white paper in a three-part study, released today by the Canadian Media Production Association  (CMPA) as a prelude to discussions at their annual conference Prime Time in Ottawa  next week, explores the issues faced by Canadian content creators when it comes to working with brands as this trend increases towards integrated, cross-platform campaigns. The report is also available in a French version  provided by the Canada Media Fund .
The second white paper, “The Canadian Experience ,” in the series “Branded Entertainment: A New Production Financing Paradigm ,” prepared by Duopoly’s Catherine Tait, explores the Canadian market in its nascent stage through several examples of outstanding branded entertainment properties, as well as the challenges and opportunities that arise for brand marketing, producing, and the regulatory environment.
“Branded entertainment or ‘content marketing’ is the ‘next big thing’ and if we can bridge the knowledge gap between brands and producers in Canada, it will continue to grow as a new source of production financing,” says Ms. Tait. “As branded entertainment isn’t a new source of financing for traditional programming, it’s a new source of financing for a new kind of programming, which seeks to engage viewers in the values of brands and to create a longer term relationship between brands and consumers.”
The study highlights the fine line between entertainment and advertising, how this line is increasingly blurred, and what that means for all players involved. It also explores the need for media companies to align goals around both great ratings and increased brand sales. As companies become more integrated in their approach, branded entertainment progressively finds its home online and on social media.
The third study, to be released in April, will engage leaders in the branded entertainment industry in discussing possible futures, as approaches, trends and opportunities rapidly evolve. Funding for this research was provided by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund.