For too long advertising has been more about interrupting consumers in existing media spaces rather than giving them something new to watch. What if instead of interrupting a consumer, branded ad content was a central focus in consumer media? Enter the brand film.
In a world where internet content is a primary source of entertainment, advertising is no longer about displaying a generic brand message and hoping for traffic. Brand films are short films that focus on telling a story with high production value where the brand itself takes center stage.
These films are not just glorified TV spots. They are well produced films that are just as entertaining to watch as they are ad worthy. Seeing a brand produce a film used to be a rare, but today it is an important part of the marketing strategy for any business.
BMW, GE, JetBlue, and Johnnie Walker are just some examples of businesses using this powerful tool. BMW has been producing brand films since the early 2000's and has continued using the brand film as a tool to build the personality of their products.
In today’s world consumers are inundated by media 24/7. However video continues grow especially in the millennial market. On average 80 percent of millennials consider video content when researching a purchase decision and 7 out of 10 millennials are likely to watch a company video when shopping online.
Modern consumers expect not only a great product but a great story attached to that product. Traditional TV spots alone are often not enough to tell this story, especially when consumers are spending more time on other screens such as computers and mobile devices.
Reaching consumers on secondary screens means developing content that can be distributed across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other online media sources. On these platforms the users pick and choose what kind of content and advertising they see. Skippable ads, and a wide range of choices in content and platforms make creating an entertaining brand film even more important.
Capturing the attention of users on these platforms is about telling stories that they can connect with. JetBlue's Film HumanKinda is a great example of a documentary brand film that connects with viewers.
Brand films are not direct sales tools but pieces of marketing content that help add to a brands character and value. Many brand films do not even mention the brand directly; rather they make the brand or product a central character within the film.
This gives life to the product and causes people to associate the brand with the messages of the film. The benefit of this type of marketing is that the focus is not on directly selling the product but on selling the story. Stories are what people connect with best. Stories are how we communicate with one another. So naturally it is how any successful brand should connect with consumers.
Unlike traditional marketing creating a brand film allows a business to develop content that viewers will voluntarily watch. Rather than developing traditional interruptive advertisements, these films let brands own the story and the journey to tell that story.
Marriott hotels went so far as to create promotional packages to go along with their films. These packages encouraged viewers to book rooms and offered deals on those rooms.
This helped turn the film not only into a branding tool but a direct vehicle for sales and profit. Brand films when properly produced and distributed can have an incredible effect on brand exposure and engagement.
Intel's "Within" film series helped start the idea of "Social Hollywood" it increased brand awareness but also allowed the viewer to engage directly with the film and the brand.
A feature length example of a brand film is the "Lego Movie." In many ways the Lego movie is the best example of brand film because it entertains audiences without making them feel like they are being advertised to. The Lego series of films are not only great movies but also great marketing tools.
Branded content is the future. It is the foundation from which to build an entirely new type of marketing. Branding is not just about creating a sales tool. It serves a much greater purpose. It creates an environment where the brand story is a dynamic part of society. It shapes how people live through the products and services they use.
The stories that we help brands tell bring life and personality to those products and services. That personality is not just the that of the brand but a collaboration between the consumers, the brand, and the product. Branded contents role is not only to tell one story, but many.
Audiences need to see themselves within this story for a brand film to be successful. In this light the audience themselves are just as crucial to the story as the brand and product. To learn more about brand films and how we can help tell your story with a brand video contact us today.
- Christopher Settineri