Brand tracking is the statistical measure of how often, and in what way Brands are portrayed in entertainment, whether it be in movies, music videos or TV shows.
Having this information is necessary due to viewers’ perception of a Brand being influenced by its portrayal in entertainment.
While direct marketing is still the primary method of molding the public perception of a Brand, entertainment marketing is becoming more and more important as traditional advertising becomes increasingly volatile.
The message contained in direct marketing is highly controlled and the resulting Brand perception thoroughly studied through consumer research. But the Brand portrayals that emerge from entertainment, and also influence public perception, are not currently studied.
In order to fully understand how people are forming their perception of a Brand, its managers must also have a clear view of its portrayal in entertainment. Without this, they are only seeing half the picture. Companies might be effectively communicating a particular image through their direct marketing while a different one is being conveyed through entertainment.
A simple example would be a Brand trying to appeal to younger women in their direct marketing while in entertainment they are shown associated almost exclusively with men.
While product placement and entertainment marketing, more generally, are now integral parts of entertainment, they do not allow nearly the same level of control as direct marketing. As such, the intended message can be distorted. Furthermore, a fundamental part of Brand tracking is analyzing a Brand’s presence and portrayal relatively to competitors. This crucial perspective can only be attained through Brand tracking.
So the question Brand Tracking answers is: how are Brands being shown in entertainment? And this information is important because it allows a more complete understanding of how the public’s perception of your Brand is being influenced.