Until very recently, an annual marketing year required producing a handful of creative that was then distributed between some combination of radio, print, and TV. Marketing plans were deliberate, scheduled, and uni-directional. Speaking at consumers through carefully crafted creative throughout the year was sufficient.
Today, according to eMarketer, 60% of brands produce and distribute a piece of content every… single… day. 70% of marketers are actively investing more into content budgets with 78% of companies employing one-to-three fulltime content specialists (Hubspot Marketing Stats).
Further disrupting traditional practices are a dizzying array of new social platforms, all requiring their own formats, styles, and intricacies. The platforms also permit dialogues between brand and customer, requiring brands to produce more content in response to a constant barrage of consumer questions, complaints, and statements.
The sheer demand for consumer attention today has forced marketers to rethink antiquated strategies and embrace content marketing. Keeping content production interesting, agile, and cost-effective are the new normals of the marketing world. Ironically, an old tactic has re-emerged as a crucial tool for the modern marketer: licensing. Creative use of footage, photos, music, quotes, characters, and IP has proven invaluable for the new demands on brands.
Responding to rapid world developments
The global pandemic flipped the world upside down overnight. Beyond disrupting business, the virus shut down the production community, forcing workers to socially distance while shuttering on location shoots. The crisis required rapid messaging with limited production resources.
Brands such as Barilla swiftly responded using stock footage from Italy, effective voice over from the Italian actress Sophia Loren, and licensed music. The result is an ad that conveys the brand’s commitment to supporting the Italian community.
Similarly, Budweiser produced their ad One Team using stock footage from around the U.S.A., coupled with a licensed song and their trademarked voice over actor. Both ads were produced in mere days instead of the traditional weeks of production it takes for live shoots. How? All elements of the ad were readily available, licensed entertainment content.
Saving costs while producing more
Not only is existing assets licensing immediately available, but it remains a cost-effective alternative to new production. Licensing clips, celebrity VO, entertainment IP, and other ad components can lower production costs for brands who need to distribute content regularly.
In a recent ad from Lavazza, the brand couples together beautiful shots of humanity, combined with the music and a famous speech from Charlie Chaplin’s The Dictator. No locations, actors, SAG contracts or onsite costs. Advertising quality need not suffer given the quality and quantity of available licensable content.
With more time and foresight, brands can plan an entire campaign around the use of properly licensed IP while saving on costs. To celebrate its 100 year anniversary, Tesco tapped into beloved UK characters to demonstrate its long heritage of serving Britain. Greenlight cleared a suite of iconic characters used throughout a slew of content, from TV, billboard, to a custom Instagram filter. The licenses provided ample content on a variety of platforms, all while minimizing production costs for the brand.
The content landscape remains vast with high consumer demands. However, modern marketers are revisiting proven methods to produce novel results for this content hungry era of marketing. Whether leveraging beloved 3rd party IP, rapidly responding to crisis, or implementing cost saving measures, licensing remains an effective tool for advertising.
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