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What is the difference between sponsored ads and branded content?

Sponsored ads and branded content. They may seem like they're the same, but they're completely different! What exactly is the difference then?

Yin Chu Rijnaard
April 10, 2019

Audrey: And today's burning question is, what's the difference between sponsored ads and branded content? I think this is really interesting, for sponsored ads, you know these days we see everyday, we run ads, if you guys have been doing Facebook, or Facebook ads, or Google Ads, basically these ads are all considered sponsored ads. But for branded content, it's rather different right? So maybe you could share a little bit with us.

Karl: So, basically, let's say you're a shampoo brand, as a shampoo brand you might have 10 million followers globally but nobody's gonna wake up in the morning and say, hey, what's my shampoo brand telling me today, or what are they posting about today, so you need to sort of, for a shampoo brand you need to create a digital, a video, boost it on Facebook, and get the viewership in, and that's really casting a wide net to really hope that people would watch it, and perhaps engage with it, but for branded content like what we do, we have an audience that actually comes by every day, they come by regularly to check out what's happening in Malaysia, to watch what's funny, what are we talking about today, what are we making fun of today, and that user behavior's very very different. So when we launch a piece of branded content that's partnering a brand, they would actually watch it in the same manner as watching any other video that they would see on our platform, and the main difference is that, it has a branded sponsorship, a partnership of sorts, and maybe they might or might not be interested in it, but in the event that they are, there is also a level of brand trust, that hey, if MGAG is talking about it, generally seems pretty cool, I would want to trust it more than any generic ad that I see out there targeting me, so that's the main difference I see, we have an audience that trusts us, we have an audience that likes our style, and the branded content that we put out would be consistent with what they would expect from us. So, I see that as one of the main differences.

Audrey: Yeah, I think for sponsored ads, it's pretty much like reach out to everyone, every single one, when I look at the sponsored ad and it's from a company, I just look at it and say I'm being sold to, right? And I guess, I've been obviously watching SGAG, as well as MGAG, videos and when I'm looking at that, obviously I'm being entertained, right, I go there for the entertainment purposes, for the purpose of being entertained, I'm not there to be sold to, and I don't mind, while I'm being entertained I get to know about something extra, and I think that really helps, helps me get to know about the brand a lot more than this, always feel like I'm being sold to by the brand.

Karl: Exactly, so we see it as traditional, for example, sponsored ads, that would be a commercial message, that might be entertaining, but for us it's entertainment that has a commercial message, so even if you don't care about the product, you still got entertainment out of it, which is value for the audiences, so that's a key difference here.

Audrey: Love that, love that. Alright guys, I think that's it for now, you have anything else to add?

Karl: I'm good.

Audrey: Okay, so, if you guys want to have more sessions like this and want to ask more burning questions like this, feel free to drop us a note at NEXT Digital Marketing Lab. We'll see you there.

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