The Future of Brand Experiences in the Entertainment Industry

Jonny Davis, EVP, Brand Experience , 07.11.23

07.11.23 Jonny Davis, EVP, Brand Experience

In an age of intensifying digital engagement, the value of meaningful brand experiences cannot be understated. Film and television studios are in a unique position to leverage their plethora of content to form deeper connections with audiences, transforming them into active participants rather than passive spectators. In an increasingly crowded entertainment market, these immersive, branded experiences are a beacon, allowing studios to differentiate their offerings, foster customer loyalty, and propagate organic word-of-mouth promotion.

Meeting ever-rising consumer expectations

The rise of digital technology has not only changed the way consumers engage with content but has also influenced their expectations of brands. Today's audiences are yearning for immersive, personalized, and interactive experiences. They no longer want to be mere observers but active contributors to the narrative. It is here that brand experiences step in, helping studios transcend the boundaries of traditional screen-based storytelling and enabling audiences to connect with their favourite shows or movies in novel ways.

At AGM, we developed The South Park 25th Anniversary Global Pop Up Experience for Paramount. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of South Park Allied delivered a series of global pop-up shops in markets including London, Berlin, Lucca, and Tokyo. These pop-up experiences were fully shoppable spaces that included exclusive merchandise, interactive elements like an iconic bus stop photo activation, a recreation of the Bijou Cinema where fans can watch classic episodes, original artifacts from the series, and plenty of South Park Easter eggs.

This example highlights the dual benefits of an interactive strategy. Interactive strategies provide studios with a platform to engage audiences in a more meaningful way, deepening their emotional connection with the content. This, in turn, drives brand loyalty, which is a key factor in customer retention. Secondly, the buzz generated by immersive experiences acts as a catalyst for earned media, amplifying word-of-mouth promotion and leading to an uptick in brand visibility.

Betting on hybrid experiences

Despite the current economic uncertainties, hybrid brand experiences have consistently proven their value, offering tangible returns on investment. A well-executed brand experience not only boosts immediate audience engagement but also has long-lasting effects, including increased brand recall and a potential uptick in subscription rates.

Even in the digital age, human connection is the lifeblood of any successful marketing strategy. By providing a platform for audiences to interact with their favourite content in unique, engaging ways, studios can turn casual viewers into brand ambassadors, driving word-of-mouth promotion, enhancing brand visibility, and ultimately increasing revenue.

By transporting audiences beyond the screen, studios can create a visceral connection with their content, bringing stories to life in a way that static images and text cannot. In doing so, they not only elevate their brand visibility but also reinforce their position in the hearts and minds of their audiences.

Memorability is key

While platforms and technologies may evolve, the core principle remains the same: creating memorable, engaging brand experiences that resonate with audiences on an emotional level. As we look towards the future, it is clear that brand experiences will continue to play a pivotal role in the entertainment industry, redefining the way studios connect with audiences and reimagining the boundaries of storytelling. Want to learn more about our approach to creating unique, engaging brand experiences? Get in touch.

A version of this post previously appeared in The Drum. To read the full article, click here.

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