Six Blind Men and The Branded Content Elephant

Six Blind Men and The Branded Content Elephant

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Planning this year’s Best of Branded Content Marketing (BOBCM) ebook – volume three of the annual 150-page journal that showcases the best branded content and entertainment ideas and output from around the world – includes gathering the latest insights from industry experts. Here’s a sneak preview that the BCMA’s Global Advisory Board member and BOBCM curator Justin Kirby  put together as an article for the new content-focused print and digital mag being produced by Smart Digital Publishing Solution provider Edition Digital. It identifies key and emerging themes that are changing the face of marketing, which follow on from his The Jury’s In: the challenges of evaluating your branded content article in The Drum and his earlier WTF is branded Content? It’s complicated one for Contagious.


In a preview of his new ebook, justin kirby explains howcontent marketing is moving beyond definitions to find a shared lexicon:

For the second year in a row since its inception in 2012, the Branded Content & Entertainment jury at Cannes Lions did not award a Grand Prix.

Debates in the jury room still revolve around what is and what isn’t branded content, and how it’s different from advertising. This is a reflection of the challenges faced by the industry generally as it responds to the disruption caused by the changing media landscape, and it explains why attempting to define this rapidly evolving approach is like nailing jelly to a table.

I’m reminded of the parable where six blind men bump into an elephant and each think they’ve encountered something different: the one that touches the trunk thinks it’s a snake, the one that touches a tusk thinks it’s a spear, and so on.


Illustration by renowned Slovenian artist Marusa Kozelj

You can read the full article as part of the Best of Branded Content Marketing (BOBCM) series curated by Justin Kirby