The Best Horror branded content is also known as branded entertainment: pieces of content created by an entity (brand or corporation) that also advertises the parent brand.
It can be defined also as an item of content sponsored, i.e., either produced by, or having a say in the production and post-production phase of the content, by a corporation that may or may not carry the corporation’s branding.
Horror branded content builds awareness for a brand by connecting the branded content with the brand, even if the branded content items can stand by themselves independently of the parent brand’s flagship product or service.
Examples of The Best Horror Branded Content
- Shudder Exclusive Horror Production
- Netflix Original Horror Production
- Bloody Disgusting Select Horror Production
It’s sad to think that for many horror fans subscribing to a streaming service is an afterthought, especially if said service is a generalist one, like Netflix. If it’s an afterthought, and if it compounds with said fan not keeping up with the latest horror news, then it probably will stay as an afterthought.
This is more than sad, I’d say it’s unfortunate. Because there isn’t any alternative, legal way of getting the branded releases; when they are exclusive to the service.
When something as streamlined (no pun intended) as a streaming service exists, that sometimes you don’t even need to search anything to watch a movie thanks to the interface, you don’t drudge and go through the inconvenient, and morally questionable, motions of infringement.
All the better karma for not infringing, and the superior, contented, throw-away culture that people with healthy self-confidence like to express. And ultimately, the content isn’t a throw-away, because the items, especially the original ones, stay in the service and you can access them again as long as you maintain your subscription to the service.
Alternative Definitions of Horror Branded Content
An alternate definition would be a chain of horror websites covering many niches related to a horror subject or topic. A branded content network or distributor has different sub-divisions or products that can be unbundled from the chain as a branded product or service, or as an associated line of products or services.
In the case of horror website chains, each website on the chain can be a sub-brand of the main site’s brand.
What I did find that kind of made me curious is to find that big brands were using horror branded content as part of Halloween seasonal marketing campaigns.
Two Halloween seasonal definitions of branded content would be:
- Any product can be themed to fit the season, in the case of a horror Theme for Halloween (Fanta)
- A brand can commission horror content and share it for what it is, and in some way brand it (Skittles)
Horror branded content on the web was not easy to find. Nobody pushing it advertises it as such. You have to pay attention and recognize it when you see it. Once I became aware of this fact, finding them was relatively easy.
This website’s reason to exist, as a separate entity from Shock-Depot.com, was precisely to fulfill the need for high quality, relatively evergreen curated horror branded content, that is aggregated in a way that’s easy to browse.
It’s a pity that horror branded content is being used mostly by mega-buck brands and that professional horror dispensers of a different scale currently aren’t benefiting as much from it.
The worst point of this fact is that the big names using horror branded content are doing their take on it, and not as something committed to being a lasting resource or service to the horror community as the products and services of other horror nodes.
Just remembering horror when Halloween is around the corner, and to devolve the branded content mechanics, to mix them with seasonal marketing campaigns, and to make a hybrid of old with new marketing techniques out of it shouldn’t be taken seriously when it’s called branded content.
That would be more like old-fashioned seasonal campaigns, with branded content marketing baked in. Or this or that old-fashioned, lacking in innovation, whatever, with a few branded content marketing elements. That certainly doesn’t make it branded content.
Not something that should be classified as true branded content, even if they release something like this Skittles commercial, that could be called a horror short subject.
This ad was cool to watch, and all the time of its duration I was trying to guess how would what I was watching gel with a Skittles promotion.
The answer was that it doesn’t. It was just a one-minute horror short that at the end shows one second of Skittles and related brands at the last second of its running time.
Rogue Horror Branded Content
You can notice the branding in both of them. The definition would be, taking advantage of any digital creativity you generate, even when infringing the rights of others, to publicize your brand.
You just need to watch the .GIFs to realize how it’s done. One was created by Giphy user absurdnoise someone who sees the world as an animated .GIF, and the other by IFC a purveyor of slightly off .GIFs.
Horror Household Names and Brands
To focus on the idea of what makes the best horror branded content, let’s look first at a successful horror fiction writer: Stephen King. He is a great example for those looking to make more than a simple dent in the horror branded content arena.
I think Stephen transcended the branded content stage, first creating his personal, consistent, and interlocking mythopoetic horror world, and ultimately becoming a horror household name just in the niche of horror fiction.
To diversify into more horror niches as he does, it kind of dilutes the effect of the household name as a brand that causes an impact on people that identify as horror fiction authors, but at the same time adds a tremendous bulk of value to the brand as an integrated horror powerhouse.
You can’t deny the dominating, and leading, nature of the Stephen King brand as a brand of horror. To just give an example of the power of that household name as a brand, just think of the Joe Hill case.
I don’t know why someone like Joe Hill wouldn’t benefit directly from the Stephen King brand. Maybe Joe didn’t want to be directly linked to Stephen. But at the end of the day, anyone who enjoys good horror fiction knows about Joe and who he is.
If I were him, at least I would have given myself a pen name more in the neighborhood of Joe Bachman, if you get what I’m saying. Well, he didn’t, still, once you see a photo of Joe Hill’s face, you at once realize who he is.
But thinking about the parent brand, it makes sense to create a different stream to do a separate thing.
My Horror Fiction, and Non-Fiction
I used to be addicted to reading books when I was a child. Thankfully, skater/HC-punk friends pulled me out of that when I was at the beginning of my teenage years, and I didn’t read again (other than comic books, and the odd poetry book here and there) until the fag-end of my teenage years.
At the end of my teenage season, I kind of returned to books, at a level almost as invested as when I was a child. But in my early twenties, I kind of dumped fiction for non-fiction books.
When you do the jump from fiction to non-fiction as your main reading intellectual fodder you start to realize that it’s all about knowledge cultivation, value farming, self-improvement, and improving your relationship with the rest of the world.
Now, one thing is books and the world of learning. But a way different one is learning how to curate value from the internet. It’s very much different because the modality of internet value is much more generous than anything you could aspire to learn through acquiring and reading books.
But it is still complicated because books generally have a much higher, and structured, grade of value than most content you find for free on the internet.
And this is complex like this because I’m talking about written horror content. A kind of content that is very easy to produce and also very easy to duplicate, even steal. Yet, at the same time, it’s trickier than other subjects to find good non-fiction content on horror (discounting scholarly papers, of course).
But there is a whole other world of things and experiences that aren’t as easy to duplicate (or exploit) as written horror content or creepy audiovisual media.
I’m talking about things of which the actual value is precisely in limited, unique, and/or rarity of the actual original things, and not about an idea, innovation, or mass-produced item, or about something that propagates through easily to reproduce mediums.
Or of other, smarter things, that you simply can’t duplicate. Or due to the thing in question being technological and duplicates or plagiarism of it being easily spotted and dealt with, like for instance the content and structure of a web-based horror branded content chain.
And here is where, in some way, my case has a parallel similarity to the Joe Hill case.
Since I began reading non-fiction I developed different sides of my personality that I value and others like me would value, but that persons who are not that heavily invested in knowledge cultivation wouldn’t.
After a lifetime of cultivating knowledge, you realize that everything you learned has real value. All the things you studied just because your thirst for knowledge pushed you to, things that have value are the main difference between you and someone else who is simply not as interested in the values and the benefits that non-fictional knowledge gives.
When others were poisoning their mind, body, and soul with gross self-gratification, and generally being slaves to their compulsions and the world’s inertia, you were getting heavier and heavier in the topics that you love.
When you realize that the heaviness has value and that others would like to benefit from (and even pay you for) what you’ve learned, you begin thinking of ways through which you could distill your accumulated knowledge into conveyances to communicate it.
Organize Horror Topics Through Brand-Aspiring Ingenuity
One of the first things you learn as good conveyances is all the different categories of content formats that you can share, publish, sell, or otherwise spread, through the internet.
But if all the different types of knowledge you gathered aren’t compatible with one another, meaning that they don’t match with each other because the followings and audiences they would generate are not matched, then something happens.
You start to think about clearly partitioning your values into different niches. You do it, and then you have separated more than, say, half a dozen niches for each topic.
Once you did that, and you feel you can start to share, right then is the best moment to create a brand; or at least a brand’s prototype or a brand’s germ.
I say this because, at first, my way of exploring branded content, without having to invest a big amount of time or money to do it, was resorting to identity design. It’s not a proven method or anything, though.
If you have the slightest tendencies towards multiple personality disorder, channel that shortcoming into something valuable like this:
- Get started in the world of brands by first partitioning your topics of choice into different facets of your identity.
- Do it with mires not so much on investing in the ego department of your alternate identities, but on mutating each identity into a different brand later; when you have a better view of your scale of values's bigger picture.
I have the capacity of liking and being enthusiastic and passionate about an above-average quantity of things. My challenge was organizing all my niches in ways that minimized the disparity between the topics.
I achieved the organization I needed by classifying my subjects and creating a different brand for each broad niche and its sub-niches. This was a basic coping mechanism for my ever-increasing list of interests.
I started doing this years ago, not knowing that it would be very useful to me when I decided to put to good use my knowledge and skills.
When you start to create your own brand systems it isn’t actual branded content yet, but it has some points in common with it.
If, besides classifying your interests and skills, you create original, quality content, such organization is not just something that becomes necessary with time. The best thing about it is that it has all the potential to evolve into actual branded content down the line.
How To Spot Best Horror Branded Content
If you want to find horror branded content on the web, one easy way to find out if a horror-themed site is part of a branded content chain is to look at the footer of said site. If other domains are being offered, that’s most probably branded content.
Also, differentiate between actual horror brands offering branded content as opposed to content marketing agencies that offer branded content and brand storytelling services, because they aren’t the same.
Have Fun with Horror Branded Content
So without further bush-beating, let’s analyze a few branded content firms that specialize in the horror genre.
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- Bates Motel Vector Free Vector by holly molly
- Frankstein Series by Leonardo Ho
- Bloody red grunge abstract texture background Free Vector
- Addams Family Dinner by Breatcg Bug
- Stephen King Caricature by Mark Rain