In an era of sensory overload, where consumers are faced with a barrage of content at every waking moment, standing out is becoming an increasingly difficult task for brands. But there is a solution to capturing the attention of the distracted generation. Back in my TV production days in Paris, about 15 years ago, we were already exploring the concept of ‘advertainment’. We pitched innovative mini-series ideas to brands like McDonald’s and Club Med.
While the vision was clear and ahead of its time, the concepts failed to see fruition. The evolving priorities and dynamic goals of marketing departments at the time made it difficult to sell the concept of long-term promotions.
But now, with consumer scepticism on the rise, we’re seeing a backlash against traditional advertising. Today’s marketers are crying out for new ways to capture hearts, minds, and most importantly — attention.
As the lines between content and commercials blur, the brands riding this wave are rewriting the rules of engagement.
Welcome to the future of brand communications.
What is ‘advertainment’?
‘Advertainment’, a portmanteau of advertising and entertainment, is a creative strategy that seamlessly weaves marketing messages into pure entertainment content.
Modern ‘advertainment’ subtly incorporates promotional messages into forms of content, including video, games, podcasts, virtual reality experiences, and interactive web series.
Rather than interrupting the flow of the content with an ad, the brand becomes the storyteller, engaging viewers with content that feels organic, authentic, and relevant. The content is the ad.
In a landscape where consumers are quick to skip, mute, or block ads, ‘advertainment’ offers an enticing promise: an audience willingly engaged, emotionally invested, and, ultimately, more receptive to the brand’s message.
One of the first notable examples of ‘advertainment’ was the 8-minute short film for Pirelli, Mission Zero, starring Uma Thurman back in