Sometime in the (not so distant) future when we all own digitally enhanced, connected, self-driving cars, it could unlock as much as a billion hours per day of customer attention. Instead of keeping eyes on the road, drivers of the future will be able to spend that time reading articles, watching movies, tuning into podcasts or scrolling through social feeds. There will be more time for people to consume content….and who is taking great notice? BRANDS!
Personally, over the last year I have seen more and more branded content popping up everywhere. Whether I’m scrolling through Facebook auto-play videos, sponsored posts on Instagram of branded geo filters/facial lenses on Snapchat, there has been a strong and significant increase in branded content across all platforms. And trust me, it’s not just paranoia thinking marketers are out to get me. This increase is a fact people! In 2015 native advertising, or content marketing, became a US $10.7 billion business, up 35% from the previous year according to BI Intelligence.
Throughout most of the 20th century, brands have relied on the creativity and expertise of the media, advertising, and entertainment companies to create content and deliver audiences. But with extreme changes in the media landscape, the battle for the consumer’s attention has become brutal, and requires new strategies and capabilities. Hello content marketing.
I applaud the brands seizing this opportunity by producing content that isn’t just about pushing product or services. Instead, smart players are using branded content as a way to communicate their brand identity and values. There have been some very smart, engaging and sharable pieces. Here are a few that deserve a mention:
The Danish toy company has realized that more content creates more engaged fans, and more engaged fans drive more sales of Lego bricks. Lego has increased its presence in entertainment following the success of “The Lego Movie” by developing multiple television series for children. The brand message is much more than "buy our stuff". It's a huge coup to persuade adults to essentially be indoctrinated with the Lego spirit of adventure.
In February 2016 this Italian high fashion women's clothing and accessory brand (owned by Prada) created the MiuMiusic app which unites music, technology, graphic design, and the label's runway shows. Users can choose to pair the tunes with a variety of graphic patterns and Miu Miu looks and accessories, resulting in a video that promises to be unique every time it’s watched. But all social messaging aside, playing around on the app is pure fun for the fashion addicts out there.
Chevrolet recently launched their “Positivity Pump” campaign on World Positivity Day, September 13th. On this day the company launched a digital interface running IBM Watson to scan your Twitter or Facebook to rate your digital positivity. You can test it out and see what your own positivity score is here. What I personally like about this project is it's not about glossy car shots but instead aims to show the brand personality and values by celebrating and encouraging positivity around the world.
Producing & Directing "Positivity Pump"
I recently finished a contract with the Momentum Worldwide team, which is a part of the McCann agency office here in Toronto, Ontario. I was brought on to produce and direct the Canadian competent of the global "Positivity Pump" campaign and I worked closely with the amazing account director Jeff Perrin to bring this digital video to life. I come from a storytelling background and this was a great opportunity for me to flex that creative muscle in a focused marketing capacity. You can watch the entire video below and you can access videos from a variety of territories around the world through the Chevrolet Canada Youtube page here. I've also included some photos from the shoot to share a “behind the scenes” look and personal perspective of the shoot experience. Travelling through the rocky mountains via helicopter was pretty incredible and definitely an experience I will never forget.
Photos from set