How Entertainment Marketing Is Different Than Advertising... or PR


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The Difference And How It Affects Your Brand

What we do as entertainment marketing specialists is deal expertly in the art of consumer suggestion - something which flows along the lines of both advertising and PR. But there are differences in these marketing practices.

Marketing authority, speaker and cartoonist Tom Fishburne is quoted as saying, "The best marketing doesn't feel like marketing." And THAT is what entertainment marketing does for a brand. When done right, it makes the brand feel organic to the content.  Which means it becomes more easy to relate to (and buy into) with the very tuned-in and engaged viewers watching. In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines what sets entertainment marketing apart from advertising and PR and how brands can benefit massively from it.

How Entertainment Marketing Is Different Than Advertising... or PR

PR And Advertising, Defined

Unless you have a degree in PR, advertising, or marketing (and perhaps even if you do), the fine points of public relations and advertising versus marketing can blend together a bit.

Advertising, quite simply, is paying dollars for ad space to showcase a message - be it on television, in a print source - including out of home, or in a digital ad to promote the brand to viewers. The bus kiosks, the TV spots, the digital banners and pop-ups, the train or taxi signs, the magazine ads, the... you know. The list is endless. Advertising is the most in-your-face way of promoting a brand and a practice that can be alienating, intrusive, and bitterly complained about by many.

Well then, what is PR? Well, the Public Relations Society of America defines it as thus:

"Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics."

This means PR strategists connect the brand to the consumers by way of making sure the brand is viewed in a positive light by consumers, typically through earned media, through press releases, pursuing favorable articles in relevant publications, or association by word of mouth influencers, and even doing damage control if need be. 

Check out our blog post we wrote on Not Having A Public Relations Plan In Place.

how your product placement program works

What Makes Marketing Different?

Marketing tends to be more subtle than advertising or public relations. Marketers study the way their target demographic shops, reads, watches, and, in general, consumes. They then use this information to organically reach their audience.

Entertainment marketing is a specific facet of marketing that focuses on reaching consumers through entertainment - specifically product placement, brand integration, celebrity endorsement, social media influencer campaigns and much more.

We not only believe, but know star power turns heads. Marketers who focus on entertainment marketing, in particular, have extremely established relationships within the stars of Hollywood and with the people who run it behind the scenes. They are experts at creating a marketing strategy that fits the brand and feels organic to the consumer while still 'wow'-ing them with celeb power.

To see your product or brand used on TV or in the hands of a celebrity? Well, it quite simply validates the quality of your brand to those who consume that form of entertainment, whether the consumer realizes it or not. And 43% of consumers report actively being aware of making a purchase from seeing a brand in the content they are watching! That is 43 people out of 100 who may never have bought the brand if they hadn't seen the content. And that's only those who are aware of it.

This power of suggestion is very important in a marketing strategy and, therefore, should be to brand marketers. It can completely sway the way your demographic views your brand.

How Entertainment Marketing Is Different Than Advertising... or PR (1)

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product placement guide

Important Distinction

We are in a time when brands continue to spend more on advertising than on their marketing or even PR plan. Even though consumers do SO MUCH to try to ad-avoid. But with current trends, that is an outdated approach - and is no doubt going to change.

As more and more people use ad-blocking services, stream from digital outlets like Netflix, which, for the most part, have no commercials, and do everything they can to avoid or completely tune out ads, entertainment marketing has become the most organic and effective way to reach consumers.


Consumers are becoming smarter, especially in this digital age. The consumption of digital content is expected to surpass that of any other medium within the next year, yet big brands still spend their dollars on ads their consumers will either pay not to see or feel annoyed while watching them.

However, watching their favorite celebrity sip on your beverage on their favorite TV show? Seeing the lead character in a film wear your brand's clothes? Scrolling through social media to see a celebrity with your gadget? Well, that's better than a cheesy 30-second TV ad spot any day. And more and more brands are realizing this and creating marketing strategies to wow their consumers.

Learn More From Our Content Library!

Check out our blogs below to learn more: 

Before you spend another dollar on traditional advertising, start thinking about ways to make your marketing more engaging to consumers using entertainment marketing.  Watch our video below to learn how to combat common advertising challenges marketers face daily!
Learn how entertainment marketing engages consumers