Brand adver­tis­ing

Tele­vi­sion adver­tis­ing has been around since the 1940’s in the U.S. and back then most tele­vi­sion pro­grammes were brand­ed shows, for exam­ple, Col­gate Com­e­dy Hour.

The roots of the mod­ern tv com­mer­cial came from short cin­e­ma films that were screened before the main fea­ture film. Most major indus­tries made short films which were clas­si­fied as doc­u­men­taries or edu­ca­tion­al films but nev­er the less served as a way to pro­mote, by way of inform­ing and enter­tain­ing.

The most mem­o­rable advert and arguably a game chang­er was the Apple Com­mer­cial 1984 broad­cast dur­ing the third quar­ter of the Super Bowl of that year. It was mem­o­rable because there was no men­tion or visu­al of the prod­uct it was adver­tis­ing (Apple Mac­in­tosh com­put­er) so it stuck in people’s mind and became a top­ic of con­ver­sa­tion.

The suc­cess of 1984 unleashed many copy­cat com­mer­cials with a free wheel­ing style. Then in the ear­ly 2000’s BMW cars intro­duced ‘The Hire’ a series of styl­ish action shorts direct­ed by well known action movie direc­tors like Tony Scott and John Woo.

The series became a huge suc­cess pri­mar­i­ly because the shorts were enter­tain­ing. The actor Clive Owen played a dri­ver for hire who took on dan­ger­ous assign­ments and is seen dri­ving a lux­u­ri­ous BMW car in an action packed sto­ry where the car is the hero which saves the day for the lead char­ac­ter.

But the big dif­fer­ence this time was the series was run on the Inter­net and not tv which meant that view­ers had to seek them out and word of mouth played a major part of their suc­cess.

Prod­uct place­ment and brand­ed con­tent is ubiq­ui­tous on every plat­form and audi­ences have accept­ed this pro­vid­ed it is not too overt and does not become the nar­ra­tive.

Points to watch when mak­ing a brand­ed film:
* Brand films that sell are not films, they are extend­ed ads.
* Brand films that talk about noth­ing but the com­pa­ny are infomer­cials.
* Pro­duce for social media plat­forms. That is where your cus­tomer base lives.
* Give free­dom to the cre­atives with great ideas and visu­al flare and trust them to pro­duce films that get talked about.