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Why long-form branded content is worth investing in

Oct 26, 2022

Long-form branded content is a larger investment when considering both hours and budget spend, but according to Lasse Nikari, Executive Producer at Sanoma Media, it’s well worth it.

And he knows what he’s talking about. Sanoma Media, together with the Finnish grocery chain K-Supermarket, created a branded entertainment show called The Super Merchants.

The aim of the show was to communicate the desired brand messages effectively by taking advantage of the strengths of long-form branded content.

“A long-form branded entertainment show is worth investing in because when you do quality content there is time to tell your brand stories,” Lasse Nikari tells the Native Advertising Institute. “There is time to tell more than one brand story. And when it becomes a show that people like to watch, you can make reruns and compound interest on your client’s investment.”


Expertise in long-form branded content production

The goal of K-Supermarket’s own branded entertainment programme was to give the audience a behind-the-scenes look at the chain’s retailers and a glimpse into what it takes to run a supermarket that is “better than the usual grocery store”.

It also wanted to highlight themes like domesticity and local food production.

Doing long-form branded content was new to K-Supermarket, but not to Sanoma Media. The media company has a lot of expertise in long-form branded programmes, which helped ensure a smooth and constructive process supported by weekly meetings that enabled fast reaction time in the production.

“Kesko [K-Supermarket’s parent company, ed.] is a wise enough brand to appreciate the fact that we’re doing something new, that they are challenging themselves and learning something new. And when they are doing that, they are in a better position in terms of future retailing,” Nikari explains.

Production requires larger investment

The fast-paced daily lives of the merchants were followed by video crews for six months. The idea was to show viewers the passionate lifestyle of the merchants, in which work, family life and leisure time all merge together.

Production at that scale requires a larger investment and that is something that needs to be considered before venturing into long-form content, Nikari says.

“Do you have enough to invest, both regarding budget and hours? And, ideally, it’s also part of a bigger brand activation. If you look at that and you’re still confident that this is a good idea, then go to your local broadcaster and explain why you would like to do something like this.”

Renewed for a second season

The first season of The Super Merchants was so successful that the programme was renewed for a second season that aired in the spring of 2022. The show’s popularity with viewers showcases the power of long-form branded content.

“They got better results than they wished for, we got better ratings than we expected and we got great brand survey results as well,” Nikari says.

'The Super Merchants' won the Best Use of AFP Broadcast at the 2022 Native Advertising AWARDS. You can read more about the programme here

Alexander Højfeldt Lund er Head of Writing hos det prisvindende content marketing-bureau Brand Movers. Han har været involveret i flere prisvindende content marketing-projekter, hvor han har haft det overordnede ansvar for tekstproduktionen. I Brand Movers leder han tekstafdelingen, der hver dag producerer indhold til store nationale og internationale kunder. Primært er hans ansvar at sikre høj kvalitet i alle tekster, der forlader bureauet og samtidig være katalysator for kreative løsninger og ideer til indholdsproduktionen. Alexander Højfeldt Lund er uddannet journalist og har arbejdet som journalist på Fyens Stiftstidende, redaktør på Jyllands-Posten og redaktionschef i det journalistiske produktionsselskab Media Movers. Den journalistiske baggrund præger Alexander Højfeldt Lunds tilgang til content marketing. Han er vild med de historier, som brands kan fortælle, men han går også meget op i troværdighed, og han insisterer på at udfordre de brands, han arbejder med. På den måde laver man det bedste indhold, mener han.

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