How BBC is Taking Branded Content to the Next Level


Thanks to big data, content creators are able to measure results much more efficiently.

Although now we can get real-time data from the multiple digital platforms that we are publishing content on, this space has presented some challenges for marketers.

Each brand is trying to catch the attention of today's distracted consumer and to do so, digital marketers have to think outside the box.

It’s not easy to juggle multiple channels and keep up with an especially active audience, but some brands have come up with ways to connect and keep the viewer engaged.

BBC StoryWorks, the team behind BBC Global News' content marketing department, has published a study that proves that creating an emotional response in video drives better results for branded content.

To measure this, StoryWorks is recording eye-tracking and facial coding of viewers.

"StoryWorks tested six branded videos on over 2,000 respondents using facial coding, eye-tracking and measuring long-term memory in four markets: the U.S., Germany, Australia and Singapore. The brands were e-commerce platform DHL, Mini, Korean Air, Rocky Mountaineer, Dubai Tourism and Seychelles Tourism. Across all six films, StoryWorks found a 61 percent increase in brand consideration compared with the control group," writes "Digiday."

The goal is to get consumers to remember the content for an extended period of time by inspiring emotion.

“For a while, we have been understanding emotional engagement in branded films. The next step was looking at other aspects and how do we make things enduring,” said Hamish McPharlin, head of insight at BBC Global News to "Digiday." “It’s fine to say there’s an impact, but we need to look at, how long does the impact last? Traditionally researchers measured decay effect by calling people up a week after exposing them.”

BBC's study, the Science of Memory, found that branded content videos that contain over 10 emotional moments "score high in consideration and in how the brand ranks against competitors" and videos with the emotional moments "established in the first third of the film did better at triggering longer-term memory."

Another brand that has demonstrated the power of compelling content marketing is Chipotle. Although the chain may still be feeling the impact of its food safety crisis, its animated shorts filled with emotional storylines are arguably some of the best and most memorable content marketing out there.

Read more about how BBC is leveraging human emotion to increase the performance of branded content at "DigiDay."