Judges for the One Show Entertainment Awards expected entrants to be creative and entertaining. But they also expected them to further the cause of the brand.

“It’s relatively easy for brand to benefit from entertainment, but very difficult for entertainment to benefit greatly from brand,” observes Jae Goodman, co-head and chief creative officer of CAA Marketing and chairman of the judges for the One Show Entertainment Awards.

It’s a delicate balancing act. Go too heavy-handed on messaging or product shots, and viewers might tune out. But content that does not fit the brand’s image is not really effective either.

Judge Mark D’Arcy, president of Time Warner Global Media Group, says branded entertainment should be considered part of a larger canvas of advertising. The agency vet says he considered how interesting and well-executed entries were when handing out his scores.

“I don’t want it to be just great branded entertainment,” D’Arcy says. “It has to be awesome. There’s so much competing for our attention. Does it give a return on attention?”

The other consideration is relevance to the brand: “Do they own it? To me the bottom line is, how effectively are you creating a positive feeling about the brand, and how creative are you?” says judge Steven Gaydos, executive editor – features of Variety.

Gaydos was impressed by the entrants that used interactive elements as part of their campaign, where “advertising, marketing and social networking were all blending together.”

Distribution effectiveness is another factor the judges considered. They asked whether the sponsor had a sound strategy for spreading the message. Goodman has a rule at CAA: “We can’t say ‘viral.'” It’s not enough, he explains, to create branded entertainment, place it online and expect it to spread: That type of magic thinking rarely pays off.


One Show Entertainment Awards

When: 7:30 Wednesday night

Where: Egyptian Theater, L.A.

Web: oneshow-entertainment.org