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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2007
Losing Face - the award winning short film premiered at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Written and Directed by Three Drunk Monkeys. “No-one is going to go out and watch a 90 minute ad for Coke, it has to be entertaining. That could be the defining thing about branded conte nt, it’ s not s omething you watch for 30-seconds as it passes invol untari ly acr os s you r T V screen, you have to seek it out,” says Lum. “For it to work you have to invest something in it, whether because it’s a great movie, or a TV series you watch, so that’s where we come in, we are a distribution com- pany so we want to make sure it’s wor thy of an audien ce, and not something an audie nce will find suspicious.” While it opens up the field, it still comes down to good storytelling, says Drape: “One of the things we can offer is the storytelling qualities as well, which is very important becau se d epen ding whet her i t comes out as vide o on demand , mobile episode, DVD, theatre or a 30-second TVC, it’s all based on telling a good story,” Drape says. The fragmentat ion of media is also impacting on the way films are marketed and released with the tra- ditional tracking tools of doing mar- ket research in a US mall prior to release failing to give an accurate reading. One such anomaly was the feat ure fi lm Bor at: C ultural Learnings for make benefit glorious, with market research suggesting it would bomb at the box office, but from its fi rst weekend it was a huge success, most likely because clips from t he film had been building popularity on YouTube. “There might not be that tradi- tional buzz but because of MySpace and YouTube and the internet peo- ple are talking to each other without being able to be trac ked,” say s Lum. “If I was a typical advertiser then I would be rea ll y worri ed about traditional media as a way of measuring how well your product is doing or trying to get a l ift out of your product.” He thinks the ideal combination is to mix the two, that is, create con- MAY/JUN E 2007 tent and then put that content into traditio nal medi a and advertis e around it so y ou are getting the right demographic for whatever your product is. While there may be other alliances formed between film companies and advertising agencies - in 2005 WPP i nves ted U S$25m for a minority share in Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s new Hollywood s tudio giving it exclusi ve first right s to product placement oppor tuni ties and commercial licensing opportu- nities - Lum stresses the benefits independence brings. “A big studio may set up a world- wide deal, but those things are real- ly slow moving,” he says. “Because both companies are owner/operated we can get t hings done faster , rather than sitting around waiting for things to get things signed off in London or the US.” Green adds that you put a lot on the line when you leave the comfort of a big multinational business to go out on your own. “There’s a reason why it’s not for everyone, it’s bloody hard work and it takes a lot of e ffort to get those things off the ground and you do take on all the risk, so it real ly depends on the pool of entrepre- neu rial peopl e in the market ing commu nicat ions and fi lm world that you can bandy together to do it. Start-ups tend to be traditional agencies, digital agencies, promo- tional companies or PR agencies. Our bac kgro und - a ll being e x- Saatchi’s - is that we focus on ideas and this is where we see ideas natu- rally moving towards, which is why we saw it as a business opportunity in the first place.” As a parting comment Drape adds they are open to working with other agencies, or anyone for that matter, who wants to create good ideas. “I know that sounds like a cliché, but it might be an agency that wants to come on board with one of their clients and develop a branded content project,” Drape says. 7 CAM P A I G N B R I E F 35
July August 2007