Since 2009, American ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs has used its platform to talk about waning honey bee populations. The brand's latest project to call attention to the issue will be The Extraordinary Honey Bee, a virtual reality experience that lets viewers fly with bees to gain a fresh perspective on the situation.
A trailer of the experience was released at Brand Storytelling, a five-day associate event of the Sundance Film Festival dedicated to storytelling in marketing and advertising.
Marketers up against ad blockers and divided attention are turning their energies away from interruptive advertising during engaging stories and towards producing such content themselves. "At the core, brands are basically a story, so if you don't tell a compelling and engaging story you're basically a commodity," explains Alex Placzek, Haägen-Dazs's US director of marketing.
Entertainment projects like recent feature film The Founder – a biopic chronicling how American salesman Ray Kroc turned the McDonald's fast food restaurant into a national franchise – show there's interest in the stories surrounding a brand. The question is whether in this age of 'alternative facts', the public will grow wary and weary of hearing these stories told by the original source.
For more on moving beyond interruptive advertising to spread brand awareness, check out The Messaging Opportunity, Mastering the Attention Economy: Social Media Week London 2016, and Live-Streaming Strategies. To help you stay attuned with how consumers connect through entertainment, follow our monthly Pop Culture Round-Ups.