First, watch Brawny’s execution at online branded entertainment at ‘The Brawny Academy’:

Now, it is easy to criticize others….so right off the bat, I would like to tip my hat to a brand willing to take a risk along with it’s agency. Efforts like this will get us there…eventually!

Not that I have said that…what were they thinking? Gratuitous branding within branded entertainment will kill any attempt at connecting on an authentic level with the consumer. You need to entertain & bring value first and let the branding almost come off as an afterthought.

Did the agency forget that the shows that are watched most on the tube are things like The Sopranos, Lost & The Apprentice? Did they forget that the consumer has evolved along with entertainment. Why does it look like we are watching a poorly written, badly staged, reality show from the 70’s? “You can call me Brawny Man!” Please!

Who knows what happened here? Perhaps the agency did present something edgy and the client just watered it down – or made the agency put in another logo, or perhaps this proves that agencies are not yet ready to create a provocative narrative. (Advertising is really VERY different from the entertainment business!). Whatever the case, attempts like these, while they may bring us closer, may eventually kill the immediate opportunity as brands get burned in the immediate future – and retreat until another, hopefully well planned idea, gets executed.

Because change is scary and we all sit on the fence, we need to stay there until we are ready to stand up and take a risk. We must present and execute bold ideas that are authentic to an audience. Stand up to our clients, and clients need to trust the people they have hired.

Make no mistake, our future depends on it.

An example of a well executed online piece of branded entertainment comes from Nike.
“The Longest Soccer Chain” is so simple it is brilliant. Nike invites users to upload a video of themselves kicking a soccer ball around and passing it to ‘someone’ else. This is accomplished by cutting one piece against the next. What we end up with is a world-wide community of soccer fans, all playing around with the ball – connecting with one another. A forum for the game’s collective creativity that takes advantage of social networking. I first wrote about this as part of ‘Brands…The New Executive Producers’. You can see the Nike site here:,us,0;jogatv,,0,0,0

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