Patrícia Weiss, one of our associates, is a strategic consultant on brand narratives, Head of Branded Entertainment & Content and executive producer, key part in our team. 30 years of experience in the world of marketing and communication. Patrícia has a long-established mindset. She founded new agency models more than 10 years ago, until she took content studio. Her great determination, choice and passion are the people-oriented narratives that take place at the powerful intersection between Entertainment, Brands and Culture. Patrícia is the founder and chairwoman of BCMA South America (Branded Content Marketing Association), an Advisory Board member of Women in Marketing Org, in London, and IED, in Milan, where she has been a guest professor for over 5 years and is the creator and curator of the world's first Branded Content & Entertainment post-production, launched in 2016 by Senac. She has worked for marketing of companies such as Citibank and McDonald's and worked for some of the major agencies such as Leo Burnett, M & C Saatchi, Ogilvy, Africa, DM9DDB and McCann. Patrícia helped design the philosophy of ASAS since its founding and brings us her way of seeing the world and how brands must re-signify their relationship with the audience, from what really has the power to affect people; narratives that involve and engage because they make sense to people and create value.
She is sure of one thing: "Good stories are shared today because the audience in interested on them, and not because they belong to a brand. So the great marketing revolution happens when a brand really puts itself on people's shoes. But how? Assuming the commitment to represent society, daring to transform the culture, being the catalyst of an important conversation with broad meaning, that needs to be directed towards the people and less product-oriented, thus telling relevant stories in which the hero and protagonist is the audience, and not the brand. Stories based on truth and made for real people. Because good stories are bigger than products and humanize brands."
For Patrícia Weiss, Branded Content is neither a discipline nor a department. It is mindset and culture. It represents a powerful territory of brand narratives that does not interrupt, is not intrusive and is not a moment of commercialization or sale. A "place" of connection and conversation that tunes the truth of the brand to the truth of the people, through human stories that create values.
According to Patrícia, "The human experience of content consumption has definitely changed. Now the audience is able to escape the interruptive commercial breaks and intrusive messages. They can record a program to watch it later, they even can watch a whole season of a show via streaming at once, when and as many times as they wish, and they even pay much less. Not to mention the permanent state of dispersion of individuals, since we are living in a postmodern hyper- hyper-mass media, with a load of information and messages, and a lack of meaning. The audience produces in a participatory culture, they’re no longer passive, they became the co-author, and no longer tolerates the interruption and intrusion of brand commercial messages, especially those uninteresting in which brands speak only of themselves and little about what is important to people.
We are living in the Age of Truth and Transparency. As society is hyperconnected, the truths, conflicts and differences between individuals come forth much more intensely. People notice what’s fake, and therefore, the intention of the brand is the new authenticity. The nuance is clear, the human differences gain more and more voice and meaning, what used to be peripheral becomes mainstream, because it affects and moves people. Generalization becomes increasingly disposable in communication and in any form of content and entertainment, giving place to what shoes the difference of types, races and genres, evidencing the extraordinary in the ordinary. In this transparent reality, the boundaries between the territories of Branded Content and Branded Entertainment and Publicity is a thin line of different planets and realities that look like the same. If the brand tries to create a content that is actually an advertisement disguised as content, or an embedded content of intrusive and vendor messages, the audience will disconnect.”
And Patrícia concludes: "Choosing brand storytelling just as a persuasive tool is not enough for the brand to amplify a message and engage the audience today. In my opinion, the brand must tell stories from three key drives: relevance, truth and meaning. Stories about people, not about brands.”
"It's a new mindset, a new culture," she says.
"Branded content is not content marketing, it is not advertising, it is not promotion. It is the territory of brand narratives. It is not investing in sponsorship of a film that already exists, but when the brand finds the project and constructs a new narrative from its beliefs.”
In her point of view, branded content is this powerful intersection between brands, culture and people that has the power to change the game, but the goal mustn’t be to continue talking about yourself "because many brands still want to talk about themselves.”
"The less you talk about yourself, the more you have the power to connect with the audience. A brand talking about itself is as annoying as a person spending the night talking about oneself at dinner."
The idea then is not to recreate something completely new without precedents, but to return to a place that has always been natural to us. We sleep and dream in a story form. We imagine possible scenarios in a narrative structure. We interpret and explain what happens around us in a story format. Storytelling is nothing more than bringing this Aristotelian structure of storytelling applied to the universe of content for brands.
Patrícia believes that narratives are increasingly important today because we are living in a world of collapsed language. "We reduced our writing, we work less, we have less time to react, and our social relationship is mediated by images or by fewer characters. We live in an era of a load of information and a lack of meaning, as Jean Baudrillard, French sociologist would say.”
For Patrícia, original and authentic brand narratives are those that generate human identification and establish emotional connection.
"Those narratives in which history is related to us, based on truth and made for real people." Brand content is about relevance, meaning, and truth. People forget what brands promise, say or do, but they never forget what they make them feel."