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Branded Video Content all the way…

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./


 

Italian Marketing is keeping up…

So… gone are the days when I’d think I’d never come back to Italy as the market was far behind compared to the English one! I’ve been down here for the past couple of weeks and I have to say, I’m extremely impressed by how far they got to!

I’m not sure if you all know, but  the Italian audience is now one of the most prolific both in terms of iPhone  and Facebook usage throughout Europe (2nd in Apps’ Downloads and 3rd biggest audience on FB). From what I’ve seen and heard, ‘social media’ campaigns seem to be working pretty well; also, in terms of ‘innovative use of media’ the market currently looks pretty healthy and not entirely different from the UK. What stood out while surfing the internet over here or watching both TV and the ‘bigger’ screen is how creatively they are producing and delivering content.

Some examples below:

I spotted a lot of bespoke landing pages to promote movies á la Nintendo Wario Land YouTube page. If you haven’t seen it before, this is something that’s been done over and over again by other brands. In Italy I’ve spotted the trailer of ‘Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs’ (Piovono Polpette) using the same technique. Check it out here!

Another interesting thing I saw through a YouTube takeover was this campaign launched by Intesa SanPaolo, an Italian bank, to put trust back into their consumers. Called ‘Per Fiducia‘, (English Version here) the project includes three short-movies produced by three young talented directors with the mission of highlighting the positive and vital energies that animate the Italian country. Named ‘Per Fiducia 2.0′ the campaign is now asking users to participate through an interactive story-telling tool and create their own stories. Through a crowd-sourcing tool, users will be able to vote and rate the content, deciding the winners and therefore the next batch of short-movies to be showcased online…

Flashmobs seems to be taking over the more adventurous Italian audience as well. The Italian FOX TV decided to promote the American TV Series GLEE with a flashmob in ‘Galleria Alberto Sordi’ in Rome – check it out down here:

Also I haven’t managed to find a link anywhere online, but there is a new Italian TV show called ‘InnovatiON‘ where users are asked to interact with the content on TV from their computers while watching the show. Something like this obviously works if you are watching the show live – but no issues there at all as in Italy there is no SKY forwarding/rewind/recording facilities yet!

Last but not least, I’d like to give a massive thank you to Andrea Genovese who is providing an excellent review on everything happening in Italy through his 7th Floor website. If you speak Italian I’d really recommend you all to follow him – he’s an increadible source of inspiration and definitely keeps me in the loop with everything that’s happening “back home” – Grazie Mille Andrea!

I think there is a little bit of work to do in terms of using more emerging technologies but I am definitely going to keep Italian case studies in my mind now that I know things are working nicely here! ;O)

Over and out … happy holidays peeps!

E/.

 

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Most Contagious 2009 – Best of…

Morning!

I checked my emails this morning to find the much awaited Most Contagious 2009 report in my inbox. It was a nice surprise and definitely something you should read to remind yourselves what a fantastic year 2009 has been. You can download the 45-pages PDF here or you can read the slideshare document clicking the image-header above.

I’m taking the opportunity to put down some of the best highlights from the REPORT together with some extra content that have stood out during 2009:

  • Live Stream facility coming to YouTube, as seen with Alicia Keys and U2 special gigs. But also, the integration of a Facebook Chat facility on LIVE events  as it happened with the CNN LIVE on the Obama inauguration and the Michael Jackson funeral memorial.
  • We’ve seen more and more brands using new Emerging Technologies to create outstanding pieces of work. The NIKE Chalkbot is a perfect example –  A robotic chalking mechanism that receives, processes, prints, captures and delivers data (text, GPS coordinates and photographs). It received messages from anywhere in the world via Twitter to @Chalkbot, via an SMS shortcode, or from an entry form on wearyellow.com and printed them along the roads of the Tour de France in bright, LIVESTRONG yellow using 48 nozzles and vats of emulsified chalk. BakerTweet is one amongst many other tangible technologies using the Twitter API to create a rather useful tool. A London bakery called ALBION is using BakerTweet to tell their customers when the bread is hot and ready through Twitter. So customers know when they can come to the bakery and get the freshest bread. Check the video below:
  • The first real examples of Augmented Reality applications. As mentioned within the report, there have been way too many examples of brands/agencies jumping on the bandwagon to simply demonstrate a “look how cool this is and all this cool stuff we can do” attitude.  Possibly the handiest AR application of 2009 was the United States Postal Service’s Virtual Box Simulator designed by AKQA, San Francisco. The website-based app allows users to place their parcels inside a series of virtual boxes, calculating the precise size needed, and in doing so, saving them money on postage and tying in with USPS’ tagline of ‘If it fits, it ships’. Another really good example were the Topps’ 3D Live Baseball Cards. When scanned via a webcam, these produce miniature animated players in the palm of your hand or on your desk, which can then be controlled to play a series of simple batting and pitching mini-games.
  • Motion Sensor Technology integration with AR. See the Fashionista demo-video below to understand more. I honestly believe that we are going to see a lot more exciting projects using this technology; definitely something to keep in mind dear marketeers!
  • In terms of campaigns (some of them featured within the report), imho the ones below are definitely the top 10 to remember:
  1. Compare the Meerkat
  2. The Best Job in The World
  3. Walkers Do Us a Flavour
  4. Axion – Concerts in a Banner
  5. V Australia – 4320:LA & 4320:SYD
  6. Tampax – Zack 16 (website/blog)
  7. Air New Zealand – Nothing To Hide (website)
  8. Sprite – Green Eyed World
  9. VW – The Fun Theory
  10. Coca Cola – Expedition 206 (website)
  • 2009 has been a very ‘profitable’ year for Mobile Branded Applications as well – mainly for the iPhone but there’s definitely more to come for the Android and the rest of mobile OSX. The best ones below:
  1. Nike ID
  2. Absolut Drinkinspiration
  3. Pizza Hut
  4. ZipCar iPhone App
  5. Prius App
  6. VW Golf GTI Competition App
  7. ING – ATM Locator
  8. The Guardian
  9. Ocado
  10. Tide Stains Tips

Make sure you read Johnny Makkar’s blog at Attention Digital and take a look at his extensive spreadsheet of branded iPhone apps.

  • 2009 has also seen the very first ‘Digi-Novel‘ being launched into the publishing industry. Called ‘Level 26′, this is a trilogy produced by the CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker. The first novel, Dark Origins, is the very first book that drives users to a comprehensive site with exclusive interactive cinematic content. Zuiker claims: ‘Level 26 takes the best features of books, film and interactive digital technologies and rolls them all into a unique storytelling experience’. I really hope that this is only the beginning for content to be available on different media and initiate richer branded user experiences using interaction through different engaging platforms.

  • As I predicted at the end of 2008, Crowdsourcing has indeed had a major push however it still hasn’t reached the mainstream level I was expecting. MySturbucksIdea, Threadless Twitter, Marmarati, Walkers Do Us a Flavour and Fiat MIO are just some of the brilliant examples of how important your community can be to the development of new services and products. I mentioned RYZ last year, however I’d still like to advertise it as it’s still one of the best crowdsourcing community to create trainers I’ve ever seen around the web… get on there!
  • The astonishingly well-known T-Mobile FLASHMOB advert has initiated a bunch of other brands using the same promotional technique hoping to reach those ‘viral charts’. Some of the ones which have managed to do so…
  1. Antwerp – Sound of Music
  2. Bondi Beach
  3. Sony Central Station Mannequins
  4. Oprah 24th Anniversary
  5. Just Dance Sky1 -Diversity
  6. Elf Yourself in NYC
  • 2009 has definitely been THE year for Facebook! With more and more brands understanding the platform and initiating conversations with their fans, the biggest innovation must be Facebook Connect which allows users to log in with their Facebook credentials on any website whose settings enable users to do so. Since the API was made publicly available, a lot of brands have been using it very avidly – either implementing the facility within their official website log-in sections or developing bespoke campaigns using the new tool. Some Log in examples are available at Dada.it, the Hffington Post, Vimeo and Joost. From a creative point of view, there have been many useless and superficial ways of using the tool however the very best implementation was the one used for the PROTOTYPE Game trailer. I’d highly recommend for you all to give it a go here and read some more examples here!
  • Last but not least, I can’t really say that 2009 has been the year of Virals in itself as it’s not a NEW trend. However, as it happens every year, there have been some really good ones; below the ones I think have stood out…
  1. SIGNS by Schweppes (Amazing story/Emotional Value)
  2. Inspired Bicycles (Entertaining Content/Value)
  3. Audi Electricity Untamed (Entertaining Content/Value)
  4. Transformers Sightings (Curiosity)
  5. MSI Acrobutt (Entertaining Content/Value)
  6. All the Single Babies (Amateur Content gone Viral)
  7. The Apple Store Kid (Amateur Content gone Viral)
  8. Samsung Claymation (Very Good CGI)
  9. Cloverfield (Curiosity)
  10. Diesel XXX (Entertaining Content/Value)

And obviously, probably the most watched video of all time, the JK Wedding Entrance

I shall leave you with that and very much hoping that 2010 will be as amazing as 2009 has been…

Happy Making peeps!

E./

 

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New Guinness HD Ad

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The new Guinness TV Ad is going to premiere this Wednesday on Sky Sports HD and ITV.

It’s shot entirely in HD and I’m very much looking forward to see what magic they’ve put together this time…

The lovely guys at Splendid have sent me a digital photo frame with some of the shots from ‘behind the scenes’ and I have to say, now I am dying to see the ad even more… those photos look great and very intriguing!

FROM a peculiar missile and a very cold snowy scenario TO a huge artificial lake/pool and a scary rock – I’m pretty sure the ad is gonna set another awesome benchmark to all creative directors out there. See the exclusive photos below, I’ve uploaded the originals here:

Guinness HD Ad - behind the scenes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately I won’t be able to see the ad LIVE on TV as I decided to chuck it away, but I hope the guys will send me an original copy of the ad so I can post it on here for all of you to see. Charlie? ;O)

If you want to know more, please give me a shout.

E./

PS

Charlie – thanks for the cans!

The office has loved them so far… 2 LEFT!

Guinness CansPicture 40

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 3, 2009 in advertising

 

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Sunny Side Up – 15th May

Last week’s slide now below

As usual, if you have any questions, give me a shout

Enjoy it!

Cheers
Enzo

 

Audi at Maranello

Not much to say about this other than…GENIUS!!! ;O)

The ad speaks for itself – simply awesome I reckon

 
 

Teasing Campaign on METRO

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Hi guys

First of all – so sorry for not being around but recently work has completely taken over – and with Twitter booming, blogging has taken a natural progression into a less important daily online activity … oh well!

This morning I was very much intrigued by this curious teasing campaign on the METRO as I couldn’t work out what it was for

I tweeted about it and emailed colleagues but not many interesting responses… yup indeed, you all suck! :O)

Because of design and typography, the first thing I instantly thought about was DEXTER, whose Second Series is actually coming out on DVD soon

However, Jamie’s hypothesis might be right as she thinks it’s for the NIKE Men vs Women Challenge. (which would be awesome)

Thinking about it and ‘attentively analyzing details’ it might well be the right answer.

The copy for each one of the ads were fitting perfectly into the paper’s news categories. For example ‘After that weekend I knew I’d ind you here‘ was placed in the Health section and ‘You are a Man’ in Sport.  However what I find pretty disturbing, if this is the actual case, on the page covering Natasha Richardson’s funeral, they ask if we’re ‘ jealous of their success‘ ?!?!

Mmmmm not really sure how to take this one on…

I am probably analyzing it too much but it’s an interesting one and I am starting wondering if tomorrow there will be something related to Women

That’d be well revealing!

Keep your eyes open peeps

Cheerio

E

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2009 in advertising, Innovation

 

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