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Branded Video Content all the way…

27 Jan

For those who remember, the expression ‘branded content’ was coined in 2001 with the launch of an amazing BMW project called The Hire, a collection of 8 short movies produced by BMW with some of the world’s best directors, starring Clive Owen as the main character and showcasing some of the best qualities of the mighty German cars.

As consumers had begun to be engaged with much more interesting, relevant and definitely longer content, in 2001 this was considered a breakthrough innovation. In 2010, nearly 10 years down the line, this marketing approach is still considered to be one of the best around and who couldn’t say the same with a bunch of new ‘branded content’ making their way into our ‘hearts=brains’ ?

It’s always good to remember what Gary Knight, ex ITV, once said:

The content element must be real, for real people, in the real world. It must never be advertorial, as it then becomes “fictitious” and the franchise is lost. The best starting point is to think about how to create a genuine viewing experience that can adopt true brand-extension positions, both on-and off-air.

The new decade has definitely started with a BANG within this marketing environment as more and more marketeers try and come up with cost-effective ideas; new ways to reach diversified audiences and create content that can be easily integrated within a marketing mix using different channels.

Just thought I’d show you some of the great examples from the last couple of years that I’ve loved, followed by some of the newly-launched ones, as I am really excited about 2010 being the year for branded content.

In the same style of The Hire, towards the end of 2008, Sony Ericsson launched an awards-winning campaign calledWho is Jonny X, a nine-part digital drama series to promote the new line of Xperia phones. Each episode (2 to 3 minutes long) followed Johnny X as he used his X1 mobile phone to try and piece together elements of his life following a kidnap by a gang. For those of you who didn’t see it, you can either watch the whole movie on the official website, or go to their YouTube page to see each single episode.

In 2009, Red Bull decided to create an online series whose target audience of extreme-sports fans could completely-relate-to and entirely-get-addicted-to. For this reason, they decided to launch ‘The Atherthon Project’, an awesome show tracking the exploits of the most famous family in mountain bike history. The series follows British riders Dan, Gee and Rachel Atherton as they compete in the 2009 UCI World Cup Series and the World Championships in Australia. Totally addictive and perfect for their adrenaline-junky-core-audience.

Also last year, Schweppes launched a short movie called ‘SIGNS’ which is one of the videos I simply can’t stop watching. The viral seeding activity was brilliant as no one actually knew that it was a branded project by the Orangina Company. The video has reached around 10 million views since launched and it’s an absolute masterpiece in my honest opinion. It’s quite funny that until the last time I saw the movie, I didn’t realise at the end the ‘Schhhhhh’ sign made by the actress (which kinds gives it away…)

In 2006/07, Orange commissioned a TV show called ‘Orange Playlist‘ to promote the existing Orange Mobile Music Store. The show was broadcasted on ITV every Wednesday featuring different celebrities picking their 10 favourite songs. The show was so successful that it was commissioned for the following year. Orange and their brand entertainment agency Cake also managed to extend their Playlist content into experiential marketing through roadshows touring universities and city centres.

In 2009, Australian ‘uBank launched a rather successful campaign to help consumers understand the tough economic climate with a series of some very ‘tongue-in-cheek’ video-tutorials. Called Money Box the content aims at making the world of finance simple and easy to understand, helping you “make the most of your money right now” (Very ASDA-ish)

2010 has already had an impressive start with branded content….

Devil-worthy fashion brand PRADA has just produced a new short-movie called ‘First Spring’ in collaboration with one of the most established Chinese artists, Yang Fudong. The short clip has been shot beautifully and the awesomeness of the video is very much in the lack of heavy branded material. You don’t see the PRADA logo anywhere during the movie; a well thought technique that will definitely allow the brand to grab consumers’ attention even more.

As Daniel Granatta has already mentioned within Adverblog, ABSOLUT is one of the brands that better understands the concept of branded content. One of their recently launched sites to promote their ‘Rock Edition’ vodka bottle, called “You’re with the band“, is in fact a very good proof of that (this is a documentary made by Danny Clinch on how’s the life of a rock band such as Wolfmother).
However, their latest work is something that looks absolutely exceptional.
In collaboration with ‘Where the Wild Things Are‘ director Spike Jonze, this week Absolut has launched a short-movie at the Sundance Film Festival called ‘I’m Here’. As Contagious magazine reports, this is a wonderfully whimsical tale about two robots living in LA that Jonze says is his first love story.

Jonze says of the collaboration:

Absolut didn’t give me any requirements to make a movie that had anything to do with vodka. They just wanted me to make something that was important to me, and let my imagination take me wherever I wanted’.

All I can say is that the movie seems to be fitting perfectly with the ABSOLUT brand and even more with their latest comms positioning. The investment in such an acclaimed director seems to have already paid off with the 30-minute film being accepted into film festivals globally, including Berlin next month, Turkey and the aforementioned Sundance. (Ref. Contagious)

One last thing to mention for those who really don’t get the difference between ‘Sponsored Content’ and ‘Branded Content’.

Sponsorship is adding a brand’s logo to an already existing event or entertainment property, whereas Branded Content involves coming up with the creative idea together with the brand and the producers. It is an effort of collaboration in order to bring consumers entertainment that they want, in the form that they want it!

Who is gonna be next?

E./


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One response to “Branded Video Content all the way…

  1. Kirsty Clegg

    February 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Hello, my name is Kirsty Clegg and I am a 3rd year Advertising & Marketing Communications student from Bournemouth University. I need to recruit consumers who show a vested interest in the following areas; online advertising, Coca – Cola online, Branded Content and online power of consumer.
    Consequently these are the search terms I used to find your blog and am therefore keen to talk to you. This research is for my dissertation and so imperative to my degree.
    Firstly, if you would be interested in airing your opinions about said areas please take a couple of minutes to fill out this questionnaire (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XGTK2ZN) simply to determine if your demographics fit with my research.
    I would be incredibly grateful if you can take the time out to help with this, feel free to find me through my wordpress (www.kirstyyyyyy.wordpress.com)
    Yours sincerely,

    Kirsty Clegg

     

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