Brand Entertainment & TV series

Brand Entertainment & TV series

In the current scene of attention economy, brand entertainment places its objective as that of capturing the attention of consumers and stabilizing a bond with them, through the spreading of content.

The power of storytelling

At the base of this content? Without a doubt, stories. Si parla quindi di storytelling, We speak therefore about storytelling, a very ancient art which is capable of being applied in the sphere of marketing. Stories, which were spoken aloud before, are now found a little bit everywhere and travel through different mediums (transmedia storytelling).

This process makes it so that traditional fictional elements of narratives become dispersed, with the scope of creating a unique and coordinated entertainment experience.

But why is the application of storytelling in the world of communication so efficient?

First of all, it seems that the human memory is “story-based”, as Roger Schank affirms: “The human memory is a collection of thousands of stories that each of us remembers through experiences”.

Stories, thanks to the capacity to resuscitate emotions, do not stop only at the mind, but reach the heart of those who listen (not surprisingly, the word “to remember” is formed from the word cordis, literally “from the heart” in Latin).

Therefore, to associate a brand with a determined story, is an efficient technique to imprint specific content on the consumer’s memory and to increase what is defined as brand awareness. Here is a fitting example : ‘Happy Socks’ +Pedro Pascal. Does it remind you perhaps of a Netflix series?

Empathy and big data

When talking about stories, the empathy felt by people plays a key role. This is the case also in communication, where the challenge is that of extracting an insight which is inside people and allowing it to ‘speak’ through the voice of the brand.

In order to meet people in this era of data revolution, it is necessary to know how to interpret so-called big data. Linking big data to the role of empathy, it is possible to create stories modelled for a specific target audience; stories which people can empathize with and fully understand, in this way amplifying the effect of entertainment.



A clear example resides in Netflix, which has succeeded in utilizing data to create new processes in the world of entertainment. Netflixs’ secret weapon is made up of a process that does not exist in any other broadcasting agency: knowing exactly who the fans of TV series are and building content from this information, based on the fans’ personal interests.

Speaking of Netflix, in recent years, TV series have been the absolute protagonists of our device screens.

What’s the deal with this success?

First of all, it is necessary to specify that in TV series, a so-called serial narrative is present, whose roots originated in the mid-nineteenth century with Dickens and his episode novels, characterized by a type of ongoing narrative, suited on the basis of reader preferences.

Today there are a variety of theories on the ‘grip’ of TV series: according to Umberto Eco, success is given by the fact that spectators believe they enjoy a story for its novelty, when in reality, they enjoy it for the appeal of a constant narrative scheme, and are satisfied whenever they can recognise a character.

The factor of time works in success’ favour: content conveyed in an extended period of time permits a presentation of complex characters who are in constant transformation. These, deviating from stereotyped characters, arrive at breaking a ‘fictional barrier’ in the mind of spectators.


House of Cards by Netflix


Brand entertainment: The role of videos

Surely, the most powerful medium to convey stories and content is videos.

This is because, firstly, videos are capable of successfully touching the cognitive and emotional sphere of a person. Research shows that while watching a video, 3 phases emerge: the cognitive phase, or the rationalization of the story, the emotional phase, which is tightly connected to empathy, and the relational phase: people make the stories they watch their own.

In this sense, videos become a very potent instrument to allow viewers to truly live experiences and create a bond with the brand.

Not surprisingly, today, videos are the most utilized instrument: according to Cisco, by 2019, 80% of all Internet traffic will be represented by the fruition of videos.


Web Series: The IBM case

In the wake of the success of TV series, companies emerge that apply the concept of TV series to brand entertainment.

A clear example of this is the birth of web series, utilized by a brand to project its values and story to their stakeholders.

An example is the series produced by IBM with LucasFilm: “Science and Star Wars”, which investigates the relationship between science and technology in the fantastic universe of the most famous saga of all time. The same researchers and scientists of IBM tell about and explain certain particular events which occurred in Star Wars; a genius idea to arrive at the company target, while at the same time having fun and acquiring the loyalty of viewers.

What does the future hold for us?

If the spheres of communication and cinematographic entertainment have always touched, we can think, for example, about TV commercials. In the imminent future, these 2 spheres could even overlap. Thus, we should expect brands to produce TV series themselves, which, by making use of information extracted from big data, will be created on the spot for consumers.

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