Can We Please Stop Using Branded Content?

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I’m going to be honest with you. I loathe the term “branded content.”

Branded content gives content marketing a bad name. It’s a word created by the world of paid media … by advertisers, agencies, and media planners.

First off, let’s look at the Wikipedia definition:

Branded content is a form of advertising medium that blurs conventional distinctions between what constitutes advertising and what constitutes editorial content.

Sounds disturbing doesn’t it?

But Madison Avenue loves branded content, especially in our new-found world of native advertising. Branded content gives agencies permission to keep talking about themselves, adding a bit of storytelling to product pitches.

At this year’s Cannes International Festival of Creativity, there were 1,394 total entries in the “branded content and entertainment” category. The judges awarded NO grand prize winner (same as 2014), citing no single piece of category-defining work.

I took a non-scientific stroll through some of the entries. In general, here is what I found…

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