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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : November December 2007
T V C P R O D U C T I O N to get it right - to work out what a viral is - and to stop trying to make virals that are really TVCs budget- ed down,” says Nicol. Jonathan Samway, executive pro- ducer at Prodigy, is a big believer that TVCs will come back stronger than before with television remain- ing very accountable in terms of audience measurement while online continues to be a grey area. “There are people who will refute that and say they can quantify sales by their online presence, but I still defy anybody to say major corpora- tions will wholeheartedly shift the balance of their marketing into online,” he says. “Creatively it has a lot of expansion because it escapes the boundaries of television restric- tions…there’s been some one-off successes but I still think we have a long way to go and there are a lot of channels out there as to how viral arrives to your desktop, while televi- sion is structured around program- ming people want to watch inter- rupted by advertising which we sit through.” Clients are looking at covering all their bases at the moment, which means they want to stick to their familiar ground of TV, but need to dabble in other media as well, to try to reach an audience, suggests Karen Sproul, producer at Exit Films. This means the budget is being stretched across a broader range of activities, leaving less money available for the main spend - the TVC. Paul Prince, founder of the Sweet Shop, which has offices in Auckland, London, Los Angeles and New York, thinks the bound- aries between online and TVCs need to be broken down and if they haven’t already, then they need to. “Increased bandwidth will be a dig- ital direct marketer’s dream. Virals are a little like traditional media, I think clients want to spend money where the results are more measur- able,” he says. BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT Prince thinks branded content is gaining momentum: “My bet is great content sells, you don’t want a throw back to the beginning. Great content will sell. It doesn’t matter who pays for it, as long as it is good. Maybe some brands can become the next entertainment.” Rob Galluzzo, whose company @radical.media, produced the Axe ‘Gamekillers’ campaign, co-created and directed by The Glue Society Sydney/New York for BBH New York - one of the most successful examples of branded entertainment - says everybody is talking about it, but few people are doing it. “The simple litmus test is ‘are the clients going to put some start up money on the table?’. It is very dif- ficult to define a business model looking into the future,” he says. “We have done a bunch of branded entertainment projects out of New York. One in particular is Iconoclasts for Grey Goose Vodka. This has just been sold through Fremantle to Foxtel and is now 38 C A M P A I G N B R I E F Vanderfield: “I don’t really think the clients and the agencies in this country have really cracked how to use virals and branded content and interactive... when it comes to their own brand building and sales,” he says. Samway (above) is a big believer that TVCs will come back stronger than before with television remaining very accountable in terms of audience measurement while online continues to be a grey area. “There are people who will refute that and say they can quantify sales by their online presence, but I still defy anybody to say major corporations will wholeheartedly shift the balance of their marketing into online.” Cudlipp thinks better work will ensue once clients start treating their customers with respect as opposed to mug punters: “We could put all the researchers in a boat, tow it out to sea, and sink it and see what happens if risks are taken and gut instinct is employed. And content - as in ideas - could start to claw back some of the ground lost to style.” Prince thinks branded content is gaining momentum: “Great content will sell. It doesn’t matter who pays for it, as long as it is good. Maybe some brands can become the next entertainment.” Grasse: “You can do a lot of edgier stuff on the web and the stuff that does well there is a little bit dirty or a little bit profane or you’ve got some cuts you can put on the web that you can’t do other places but it is essentially still a TV idea.” running on the Bio Channel.” It may be the buzzword of the moment, but the concept of brand- ed entertainment has been around for a long time. Masterton recalls that when he first started working in the industry in the 1980s meet- ing a guy in New York who was ter- ribly excited about a new thing called ‘product placement’, which was predicted to change the world. (Although movie buffs since the 50’s and 60’s have recognised it as a lot older business than that - remember The Love Bug, which was an entire movie promoting the VW Beetle and The Italian Job (for the Mini), or Goldfinger (for the Aston Martin and the Ford Mustang) - not to mention the plugs for various brands of cigarettes over the years! Cynicism aside, he expects brand- ed content to become more preva- lent. Plaza’s first foray into this space was the short films for MTV featuring Snoop Dog, first released as commercials. Like virals, you need to ensure it’s something peo- ple will want to watch and that clients will want to pay for from a business point of view. “If you switch on Sunday morning television and you watch how to build a house and it’s sponsored by a bank, that sort of branded content is not something we are going to be that interested in doing,” he says. “The biggest challenge is going to be about creative control and the other biggest challenge is how it gets originated and how it gets put out into the market because ulti- mately it’s got to be picked up by an outlet other than YouTube for it to become a commercial reality.” At press time Filmgraphics was about to go into production on a 16-part series about climate change for the Weather Channel, a project it initiated and pitched to the chan- nel. Airing on December 3, this is the type of thing Moore would like to filter through agencies. He says: “I’m trying to encourage agencies to take more of these pro- jects on board. We’ve got a couple of things we’re developing that we would like to take to agencies and another idea that is a platform we are trying to create for advertisers to talk about their services in the com- munity, I’d consider that branded entertainment.” Zoom TV’s Mark Toia says feed- back from General Motors and Ford in Australia about branded content suggests concerns that there’s just not enough people locally surfing the net wanting to watch virals. “Some of our Australian clients are thinking about branded content, but most don’t have the balls to press the go button. The numbers for them just don’t stack up just yet,” says Toia. It’s also a matter of cost. The Guild’s Nicol points out that a thir- ty minute TV show costs as much to make for an Australian audience N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 7
AWARD Awards 2007
September October 2007