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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2007
SET UP BY EX-SAATCHI & SAATCHI Sydney creatives Justin Drape and Scott Nowell in 2004 - and joined last year by ex Saatchi new business direct or M ark G reen - T hr ee Drunk Monkeys has developed ideas that b uild brands through advertising, branded content and digital channels for clients such as Foxtel Digital, SBS, NineMSN, The History Channel, Pepsi Co NZ, Inspire, L’Occitane and Ideal Introductions. Hopscotch Films is best known for distributing high profile films such as Pan’s Labyrinth and Lives of Others and local productions such as Bra Boys. Many of the projects are still at the pi tching stage and therefore con fidential , bu t T DM an d Hopscotch are currently working on a soccer DVD featuring a promi- nent Socceroo, the TV series 30 Seconds - which they are working on with Andrew Denton - and a book for a youth organisation. So Campaign Brief threw out a hypothetical brief to get our head ar ound what t hey are d oing. Pretend I’m a funky brand wi th $5m to spend on branded content, what are my options? If the client is after the younger generation why not make a movie, sugges ts T roy Lu m, man ag ing director, Hopscotch. After all, Little Miss Sunshine was made for US$5m and went on to gross $250m. “If you are able to make a movie like that - which has a great cast, great director and is well-written - and have ownership of it so that you can create brand equity around this product you have created, then you’ve got a very powerful tool,” Lum says. If young blokes are your target, suggests Green, then why not create a half-hour comedy series around this group that you could sell to one of the networks. You could then take every four minute block within the series and show them on a web site related to the TV show so peo- ple can send them around to their friends giving it a viral component. Think of what The Chaser did with the ‘West Coke Eagles’ segment - which was a segment from one of their shows that was flying around the internet. Nowell suggests taking a group of people on a year-long around the world adventure challenge spon- sored by the brand, from which you create a documentary to sell to a network. The series of short films created by big name directors for BMW in 2001, kick-started general interest in the sleeping genre of branded content - after all the first soaps were funded by detergent brands so they could advertise their products and Hollywood has long flirted with it via product placement. But it is only over the last few years that media fragmentation and the digital revolution has the soothsayers pre- dict ing bran ded con tent i s t he indu st ry’ s inev it abl e next st ep, prompting many advertising and production companies globally to MAY/JUN E 2007 make their strategic moves. Green acknowledges the field is getting more competitive: “Naturally we see it as a genuine business opportunity, there’s a few business- es in the market saying they are pl aying in the branded content arena, some have been born out of media companies, others have been born out of television companies,” he says. “This is one of the first that has evolved from a combination of advertising and film talent, so we are filling a gap in terms of the busi- ness that is out there.” Locally, branded entertainment has mainly taken the form of fully integrated sponsorships, for exam- ple, Ten’s Drive, Bread for Sensis and Ten’s Rea dy Steady Cook, which is backed by Unilever and IGA Supermarket s and Seven’ s Mums & Bubs , suppor ted by Huggies Nappies. But this is expected to become more sophisticated with companies special ising in branded content springing up over the past couple of years. There’s STW’s Brand New Alliance and Mitchell & Partners hired former Becker Entertainment executive Tim Flattery as head of content to e xplore this space. Then there are spec ial ists Brand New Media and Full Circle and more recently brothers Paul and Luke Waldren have resigned from their res pect ive jobs at Nine and Singlet on O &M Mel bou rne to establish a media and branded con- tent company called Abundant Media. Even media buying outfit GroupM is hiring program produc- ers and wants more advertiser con- tent in national shows. As with anything, success begets success and as branded content cre- ates word-of-mouth buzz that g ets it noticed around the world, more fol lows . For ex ample, ‘The Gamekillers’ campaign for Axe Deodorant (Lynx as it is known here) is a one-ho ur TV show on MTV. BBH New York commis- sioned Australia’s The Glue Society to c o-write and direct. Aired 11 times due to its popularity, six more episodes have been commissioned. (The campaign also won two Gold at The One S how and Clio, a nd two Nominations at D&AD). Consequently, The Glue Society is now in discussio n with oth er agencies to develop longform con- tent in the US and is currently writ- ing/directing a comedy series for a cable network. Marketers are certainly warming to the idea of branded content but there needs to be some re-educa- tion, says Green: “I think a lot of marketers still don’t realise that for the cost of doing a TV ad they could have created a TV series and actually have some ownership with- in that series and have their audi- ences every week versus the thirty- seconds they get from an ad. “It is an unknown area for a lot of them, but over t ime it’s just going to become quite obvious that once you get the right people in the room to pitch the ideas to, they can create and execute them and there’s ? CAM P A I G N B R I E F 33
July August 2007