Poll: Branding Fleeces Buyers

Mar 28, 2005  •  Post A Comment

By Abbey Klaassen

Advertising Age

Amid a fierce and ongoing struggle between networks and producers over who should get the cash from branded entertainment deals comes the troubling news that marketers already feel they’re being fleeced.

Seventy-nine percent of major marketers polled in an Association of National Advertisers survey believe branded entertainment deals are overpriced.

The survey, presented last week at ANA’s annual Television Advertising Forum in New York, was designed to gauge ANA member companies’ attitudes and activities related to branded entertainment. The 118 respondents included representatives of United Airlines, Tyson Foods, Campbell Soup Co., Best Buy, Ford Motor Co., KB Home, MasterCard and Visa.

A sizeable 63 percent said they are already participating in branded entertainment projects, with another 11 percent saying they plan to do so in the next year or so.

But 71 percent of those that have gotten involved are spending less than 5 percent of their total marketing budgets (much of the money, it appears, is coming out of TV budgets, with 52 percent dipping into that pot for their branded entertainment efforts), and many (56 percent) felt branded entertainment was hard to measure and overpriced.

But how to measure whether a project is meeting objectives remains elusive. While 40 percent of the survey’s respondents thought there ought to be an industry standard measurement for branded entertainment deals, 80 percent of those who are involved in branded entertainment said they are forging ahead on their own and assessing the impact of their branded integration efforts themselves.

The most important measure marketers sought was who was reached by the entertainment, with 85 percent citing that as their primary concern. About 60 percent wanted to measure the quality of placement, with the rest questioning what programs their products were placed in and how much exposure it got them. Only a quarter cared about how memorable exposure was over time.

Survey results are being released as the industry preps for the upcoming TV upfront ad-buying period-an arena in which 60 percent of those surveyed negotiated their branded entertainment deals in the past.