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Let me entertain you

Entertainment marketing, when done right, has the potential to market brands in innovative, attention-grabbing ways. Jeremy Bouwer, head of The Story Lab SSA, explains why this form of marketing is exploding.

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. And THAT is what entertainment marketing does for a brand. When done right, it makes the brand feel organic to the content, which means it becomes easier to relate to (and buy into) with the very tuned-in and engaged viewers watching.”
– Tim Fishburne


With the proliferation of platforms and technology, getting the attention and engaging with audiences is becoming increasingly more challenging.

We’re now seeing a move from interrupting an audience to attracting audiences through entertainment-marketing pieces that tap into values and passion points.

Entertainment marketing is varied and includes immersive film, television, music and gaming experiences. We entertain audiences first, and then we subtly weave in our clients’ brands and messages.

The Story Lab process

At The Story Lab, we make it our mission to push the boundaries of storytelling.

Usually, the first step in the process is to look at data to see what the trends and audience needs are. This happens before a show or movie script is even written.

From here, we start working with the best creators in the respective fields on concepts that would entertain and market our brands in innovative ways.

We constantly remind ourselves that we’re dealing with a ruthless audience. If we don’t entertain and capture their attention, they’re spoilt for choice in terms of what’s out there to watch and spend their free time on.

Game of Thrones? No, Game of Clones

One recent example from The Story Lab portfolio is Game of Clones, a dating series that launched in the UK in February 2019.

In the series, singletons use the latest technology to create an avatar of their ideal partner; then eight individuals who resemble the avatar (the clones) are found on the streets. While the target audience is watching, the singleton lives with the clones for a week, trying to identify which one of the personalities would be their ideal match.

The Story Lab has worldwide distribution rights for the incredibly popular series, which won Best Competition Reality Format at Cannes in April 2018.

Six techniques The Story Lab uses
  1. Product placement (e.g. Corona in The Fast and the Furious)

  2. Brand integration (think Aviation Gin with Blake Lively in A Simple Favor or the Buick that Reese Witherspoon drives in Big Little Lies)

  3. Bespoke content (e.g. branded podcasts or short films, such as the iconic short film by Cadillac and Entourage before the release of the Entourage film)

  4. Experiences – the biggest trend here is immersive theatre, where audiences interact with the actors on stage or in an event space to create a mind-blowing personal experience (check out House of Yes and the Museum of Ice Cream)

  5. Retail (Disney and Lego do this really well with limited-edition products linked to a show or film)

  6. Talent and celebrities (e.g. David Beckham and Haig Club whisky ads)
Ready to put entertainment marketing to the test? Then The Story Lab is the perfect partner.

Dentsu Aegis Network's press office

Dentsu Aegis Network
Dentsu Aegis Network helps clients build consumer relationships by communicating their products and brands effectively. Our distinctive and innovative range of products and services include marketing and communications strategies through digital creative execution, media planning and buying, mobile applications, SEO, content creation, brand tracking and marketing analytics.
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