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August 2010

Entertainment Marketing and Brand Storytelling: Part of the Pepsi Generation

I was feeling nostalgic and started looking at some old ads on YouTube. One of the ads that caught my attention was an old Pepsi commercial from the 1980's featuring Michael Jackson. Being a music fan and storyteller at heart, I started to wonder what it was about the commercial that caught my attention. Once "in", I was drawn into the story just as I would be while watching a cherished classic movie.

The worlds of entertainment marketing and brand storytelling are a natural fit for each other. While the concept of entertainment marketing is nothing new and has been used in TV and radio shows as early as the 1950's, its use is very effective in sending out a brand message that is able to connect with consumers.

Pepsi is (and has been) a major player in this space and is able to capitalize on its benefits. Here's why this ad still represents the best attributes behind entertainment marketing and brand storytelling:

1) The use of story lets me connect with the product - I feel the same emotions the kid is feeling. It's as if I'm transported back to my childhood.

2) The presence of Michael Jackson and his music draws me into the story. Immediately, my memory goes back to that time and I draw a connection between the product and how I felt at that time in my life. Nostalgia moves people.

3) Again, EMOTION EMOTION EMOTION...great brands are able to affect our emotions and I'm more likely to buy a product if I connect with it and feel something for it.

4) Product placement is all over the place - the Pepsi brand becomes engrained in your memory.

5) The story of the kid - his look, emotions and reactions - tell the story. He's in the presence of a great celebrity and noone can take that moment away from him. It's truly a Pepsi moment and, if you "get it", you're part of the Pepsi generation and therefore quite cool.

The world's greatest brands use elements of entertainment marketing and brand storytelling in their ads. Can you think of recent examples for ad campaigns that were able to draw you in to the brand message?