In this guest post, Daniella Serhan (main photo), entertainment sales and partnerships director at Foxtel Media dives into the TV content trends advertisers should be keeping an eye out for next year.
Content has taken on new meaning thanks to new blended ways of work and lifestyle balance. Worldwide, TV watching, online streaming and digital screen time is surging.
Content is now a true facilitator of conversation, taking over the water cooler gossip, and Zoom small talk; with “what are you watching?” being one of the first things people ask.
This, coupled with multi-channel and digital technologies offering viewers more options and more innovation than ever before, means that the media industry faces a very exciting 2022.
For brands, there are multiple opportunities to connect with audiences in much more meaningful and effective ways.
Branded content is on the rise
Original advertiser content is a powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal. There’s a resurgence of quality branded content as a pathway to building brands and driving marketing outcomes.
We’ve seen some great examples last year. A Census campaign included a trio of tailor-made mini-documentaries on Foxtel, telling stories of how census data impacts us all. Analysis showed that people who saw both the branded content and the advertising were 20 per cent more likely to agree their census participation makes a difference.
The uplift was even greater for under 40s, with improved participation in the national survey.
Our latest initiative, Foxtest, also aims to help brands explore the next iteration of advertising intelligence. Foxtest will enable brands to run experiments across content, attention, and data to create the most engaging advertising experience.
Factual is in demand
Audiences are engaged and interested in the conservation and sustainability space. Research by PwC into COVID content consumption found that a key motivation for consuming content was to “learn something about myself, the news, trends or the world.”
As we’ve seen with news and reactions to the recent COP26 conference, concern and passion about these issues are real and consistent and brands need to be on board with this- a company’s ESG goals and activity can no longer be a page on company website that’s tucked under layers of other messaging.
Engaging with programming from trusted sources such as the BBC and the Discovery Group, and creating content that touches on these issues presents a real opportunity for brands.
Long-form and local content is back
Serialised content can help build strong audiences. US streaming giant, Hulu, conducted a study last year that highlighted how consumers seek out shows that have a lot of content to offer with many episodes and multiple series.
This is because they want to be entertained for longer periods of time and TV is a lot more “bingeable” than movies with people frequently watching an entire series in an evening.
This expectation can be seen in the success of big-budget local TV production in 2021 and is something that we can expect to see build next year.
Premium local Foxtel content such as The Twelve, Love Me and Upright, has proven to have huge appeal for Australian audiences.
There is a huge opportunity here for advertisers looking to tap into viewers who are consistently engaged with a series, with the added advantage of being able to work in uniquely Australian messaging and imagery.
Brand involvement with this kind of content can be further enhanced by massaging scheduling to create genre alignment, programming stunts and genre takeovers to bring the advertising viewing experience to a new level. Even at the time of writing, Foxtel Media is working on novel ways to innovate in and around shows.
Co-viewing is another content trend that developed during the pandemic and persists. Apple cottoned on to the trend and its new Facetime feature now allows friends and family to watch videos at the same time.
Even Netflix recently introduced gaming play on its platform as a means of interactivity and connection on its platform. As the PwC research identified, interactive gaming experienced a spike in consumption during the pandemic, “largely attributed to new audiences giving something new a go, influenced by children and other household members”.
Sports fans will typically follow their team across multiple platforms and channels, and KFC recently utilised this insight to weave an entertainment component to their sports proposition that enhances and complements their partnership assets on Friday nights- when consideration for food delivery is particularly high.
The range of assets and KFC’s playful branded content worked in harmony to capture audiences, no matter what program they were tuned into.
KFC Q breaks came to life as relatable motion content that showed text conversations between friends as they made plans for their Friday night watching Foxtel and eating KFC.
In addition to a raft of other integrated assets, these authentic and relevant depictions of interactivity have been a key driver of success for the campaign.
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