Branded entertainment: a critical review

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The contemporary audiovisual media environment resides within a continuously changing, complex, and dynamic world. Shifting trends such as technological advancements and fragmented media consumption have forced audiovisual producers to embrace novel thinking and techniques to reach audiences. As budgets decrease, and production funding is becoming more difficult to obtain, creative producers increasingly collaborate with brands. This collaboration has also been long valued by brands as entertainment media provide themselves as useful instruments to integrate products and brands. This chapter provides an overview of the relatively new promotional modality, branded entertainment. In doing so, we focus on the context of film and television shows. By applying a sociocultural approach to branding, through the concept of the film marketing brandscape, we elaborate on how this can act as a springboard for other brands to be presented in films and television. In order to understand developments in branded entertainment, we draw on the evolution of and differences between product and brand placements as promotional tools for reaching consumers through different placement modalities. We discuss the return on investment of placements, which often rely on explicit and implicit memory measurements. Moreover, we elaborate on the differences between product placement and branded entertainment to then provide examples of audiovisual branded entertainment and the potential benefits these have for brands and organizations. However, we also consider the challenging implications of the branded entertainment funding model, which are often criticized on aesthetic and public policy grounds, and further outline differences in regulations across the globe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Media Industries
EditorsPaul McDonald
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780429275340
ISBN (Print)9780367225261, 9781032065342
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Media and Cultural Studies Companions


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