The Oscars are right around the corner with March Madness soon after that, and it’s got us thinking - it's no secret that when these events are in season, coverage is EVERYWHERE. How about your screens? While there seems to be great potential during these premiere events, is it worth the time and effort to include them in a broader content strategy? It’s time to talk event-based content - from planning, to legal do's and don'ts, and more.

By Pete Erickson, VP of Creative, Screenfeed


1. Show Ownership and Originality with Commentary-Based Content

‘Commentary‘-based content involves pure originality from within the network, giving it true ownership and connection to the content - it’s obvious people running the network are producing the content. Commentary-based content that connects the event either directly or in essence with key facets of your network & audience. For example - a clothing retailer might produce a handful of visuals connecting ‘Oscar Looks’ with actual product, or a corporate comms team might solicit and display employee-created fan videos in support of the local team making a run at the post-season title.

Pros:

Shows real production savviness on the part of your network by truly participating in the conversation of the event.

In the case of user-generated examples, it can provide a significant boost to morale and affinity among the audience.

Represents an opportunity to test content against sales uplift or participation metrics.

Cons:

Usually requires hands-on involvement and coordination within the network team, which usually means extra time and resources.

If the content is commercial or promotional, navigating trademarked visuals or phrases can become especially problematic.

2. Capture the Moments in the Moment with Curation-Based Content

Curation-based event content requires either a person - or an automated solution, to curate incoming data, imagery, or news. The most common examples are content feeds that ingest and display social media posts. You may have seen tweets streamed to this effect based on a user account or hashtag.

Pros:

Tends to generate a lot of in-the-moment, as-it’s-happening content.

Provides cues for audience interaction.

Captures a more raw, first-hand perspective.

Cons:

See Pro #3. ;)

With the quality of your sources goes the quality of the content (in general). Spelling, grammar, and appropriateness - oh my!

Typically has a shelf life limited to the span of the event itself.

The peak time of the event may not align with times of peak audience engagement.

3. Keep it Simple and Informative with Coverage-Based Content

One step removed from curation, coverage simply depends on pre-produced or live content that relays the news and data coming out of an event. Simple as headlines in a news feed (which may already be a part of one of your existing content sources), or as complex as dynamically-updating infographics.

Pros:

Could easily be covered in part via content that’s already in your playlist. (Little to no extra costs)

There are a multitude of creative, interesting things to do w/ data (think infographics, olympic medal counts, sports scores)

Typically updates automatically, requiring little to no extra maintenance.

Cons:

Data (especially sports data) can be EXPENSIVE and require technical personnel to parse out and generate visuals. OR you can always go with a pre-made licensed option via a third-party content provider. ;)

Depending on the source, there could be limited control or customizability of the look and feel of the content.

Finally, it’s worth noting the obvious - governing bodies like the IOC, NCAA AND their sponsors take their media presence and branding with an infamous amount of seriousness. So while I’m not offering legal advice here, there are two things we’ve learned to do in our own event-based content endeavors.

Logos & word marks are essentially untouchable unless you’ve paid for the rights to use them.

Do not show or recreate any sort of logo, word mark, tagline, etc. “Olympics” “Super Bowl” “March Madness” are all essentially untouchable unless you’ve paid for the rights to use them. If your event-based content is slated for editorial use only, and will fill the entire screen, get familiar with Fair Use in order to educate yourself. If anything, aim to get a feel for what questions to run by your lawyer to ensure your content efforts are on the up-and-up.


If you’ve leveraged event-based content for your screens in the past or plan to in the near future, we’d love to hear what you did and how it went - let us know! blog@screenfeed.com