Rafael Ordóñez from Wunderman Thompson, Mariana Sanz of Edelman and Andrés Vargas of FCB&FiRe

Panel of Transatlantic Talks on Branded Content in Latin America: There’s a crisis of content in general and an excess of documentaries
29 de noviembre de 2022

Branded content should be relevant, authentic, entertaining and able to make an impact and send a message that changes habits. Guests identified with tags took part in the first edition of Bonito Charco: Transatlantic Talks on Branded Content in Latin America held on Tuesday, November 29.

“The idea, the opportunity to use it and its distribution are the key elements of branded content,” said Rafael Ordoñez, regional manager of Wunderman Thompson, while Andres Vargas, partner and head of Breakthrough at FCB&FiRe, said that “branded content includes a lot of data.” In the opinion of Mariana Sanz, Latin American CEO and general manager of Edelman in Mexico, applying this kind of model is based on good alliances. “Dove’s Hair Love campaign that became relevant, intimate and genuine is a perfect example of how brands take on these millionaire campaigns – which are like big Hollywood productions – with a cause that goes hand in hand with their values. In the end, brands have a fairly subtle presence, but using the language of movies manages to generate confidence in their values.”

On that subject the meeting’s moderator Pablo Muñoz, founding partner and business consultant at CØLLAGE and executive VP and general director of BCMA, recalled the saying that “content is King, but distribution is Kong.” Nonetheless, Andres said that the King is really the audience. “The audience is what tells us what we have to do. We have to listen to it, take it seriously and from that point of view we’ll keep working and launching new formats that are more and more relevant.”

All this is at the center of branded content and forms part of what brands use in order to interest and win over their audiences. “We have to be careful in the extreme. Now everyone talks about such topics as diversity and climate change, so in the beginning brands began to speak that way to appear honest, natural and in harmony with the finest values,” Mariana said.

About whether sufficiently entertaining content is being created, Rafael warned that in general there’s a content crisis going on. “It’s enough to see the Netflix numbers and observe how they reflect the crisis – this is very personal and I don’t have a study to back me up, but it seems to me there’s been something of a boom in creating all kinds of content to see which ones make a more immediate profit.”

As for documentaries, Andres noted the excess of that format and how it is a consequence of their revival thanks to Netflix. “They taught us to watch historic realities, and I think that to a certain extent they have caused the trend to this realistic view of the world today. Content is more and more dispersed among small audiences that we see constantly crossing one with another.

Perspective for 2023
The panelists agreed about the economic resilience of Latin American industry. For Rafael, the projections are subject to the political situation of each country. “I see a very competitive market at the level of results, an aspect that’s going to rule together with the speed of production that’s going to be much stronger, because previously you had two months whereas now you’re going to have 15 days.”

“We’re seeing 2023 globally as a year of recession, and I remind people that it’s something Latin America goes through every year,” Mariana said.