Content marketing guidelines, and Marriott films – Content24

Marriott's Two Bellmen series Marriott's Two Bellmen series

Welcome to Content24. Why is it different? Because it’s a digest of the stories that have made an impact over the past 24 hours, and not just a platform for recycled content marketing. Today we’re looking at PR advice, a new Marriott film and content marketing regulations

Marriott takes film series to Middle East

Marriott is extending its ‘Two Bellmen’ slapstick series with a new short film to be shot in Dubai. Hollywood actors/stuntmen William Spencer (Spider-Man; Spider-Man 2) and Caine Sinclaire (NBC’s Grimm; How I Met Your Mother) race through the city to rescue a presentation for the beautiful businesswoman played by Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire).

The debut Two Bellmen film has had more than 5.1 million views to date.

Since its premiere, the studio has also unveiled French Kiss, which has been viewed over 6.1 million times. It is currently in production on its third film, entitled Business Unusual.

Dave Beebe, Marriott vice president for content marketing, said: “Our short films are creating raving brand fans and driving commerce for our hotels, and I’m excited to expand the franchise even further, particularly in a world filled with so many screens and marketing messages.

“By becoming producers of content, our brands are on a mission to stop interrupting consumers, and instead use storytelling to reach them where they are already.”

Content marketing advice from Weber Shandwick

There is perhaps another view on Marriott’s strategy. Chris Perry, global chief digital officer at PR agency Weber Shandwick, says it is difficult for brands to be entertaining in their content marketing, and it would be better for them to concentrate on being useful instead.

“Ultimately, brands have got to give people what they want,” he said. “But it’s hard for [them] to compete on entertainment values in any sustainable way.

Brands can offer value, perspective and information around areas that are credible to the brand, and the company behind the brand.” Obviously, he also adds that PR agencies are best placed to handle content marketing.

IAB offers content marketing guidance

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), together with other groups including the Association of Online Publishers and advertising body the ISBA, have produced guidance for “content and native disclosure”. Native advertising, in other words.

Essentially it aims to regulate marketing that falls outside of the advertising CAP code, to which the ad industry must adhere.

The three main points for brands are to:

  1. Provide consumers with prominent visual cues to enable them to understand, immediately, that they are engaging with marketing content.
  2. Ensure that the content has a reasonably visible label. The label should be upfront so that it is obvious as soon as the consumer engages with the content.The language of the label must demonstrate that a commercial arrangement is in place and make clear that the content is marketing.
  3. Ensure that the marketing communication adheres to CPRs [consumer protection regulations], the CAP Code and any other relevant legislation, regulatory codes or industry codes.

Obviously, this should not affect content on a brand site.

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