Viewers of Bravo might be seeing more advertising on the network than usual. But the channel isn’t lengthening its commercial breaks; instead, it is incorporating the marketing campaigns of sponsors into its programming. Anderson Davis, an actor/model hired by Kraft, appeared in character as Kraft marketing personality “the Zesty Guy” on a recent episode of Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live.” This is just the beginning of the network’s plan for the development of branded entertainment. Its strategy involves adding 126 marketers to its growing list of cable advertisers while increasing the amount of original programming by 15 percent for the 2013-14 season. This means that you’re sure to see plenty more examples of branded entertainment on the 17 new Bravo series planned for this season.
The incorporation of marketing campaigns into TV programs is an innovative way for networks to increase their advertising revenue without annoying their viewers with longer commercial breaks. A significant challenge for Bravo will be creating branded entertainment that manages to stay entertaining. The network’s show writers will have to integrate advertising in a way that avoids making the show feel as though it is simply an infomercial.
What are your thoughts on Bravo’s branded entertainment strategy? Is this a sound strategy for increasing revenue or will viewers be driven away?