Branded content means giving your audience more than what they bargained for...
Why it's cool?
Tongue-in-cheek sharply executed story and humor. We'd watch a series based on these guys.
Why we love it?
We love it because it dared to be more than just a commercial for an action figure. It took on a life of its own, but still managed to properly represent the brand and the product. This is the essence of 'Branded Content'. Next week, I'll post a blog entry all about branded content. But first...
What can you learn from it?
You can tell bigger stories than just 'this is our product and here's how it fixes your problem.' Especially if you have have an item aimed at disposable income. At the end of the day, you're still addressing your customer's problem (re: what do s/he do with their free time?). The point is, you're looking to gain credit in a potential customer's mind by giving them more value than a standard commercial. In this case, its five minutes of good entertainment that just happened to also sell a toy.
Branded content can be narrative or informational (in a documentary style). Either way, the point of branded content is to provide viewers a positive experience with your brand beyond just selling them something.