How to work with brands – Video

I traded -22′ in Toronto for +22′ in Miami and am attending a really good media and entertainment conference for the week – NATPE. This conference (or market) used to be about selling and syndicating TV shows, but now, there is also a focus on digital and working with brands.

NATPE hotel

The general message seems to be that brands need to be active across social media and want to be involved in video content, particularly brands that target Millenials (18-34 years).  Working with influencers and great content can be a very effective way to reach consumers, promote brands and drive sales. Word of Mouth is one of the biggest ways people discover trends, shows, places and products. The intersection of brands and storytelling is really relevant.

There has been phenomenal growth in the amount of video and other content available online, especially over the last 12 months. It is a very exciting time for creators, but it is also crowded and can be hard to stand out or make money.

TH YouTube stars

A new group of celebrities or influencers have emerged in bloggers/vloggers, YouTube Stars, and now even Viners. Their relationships with consumers or viewers are more 2 way and conversational, versus the traditional TV series or 30 second TV commercial. These new celebrities feel like friends to many as they are often in social feeds as much as close friends and family. Authenticity and relevance are key. They are each a personal brand and in turn reflect on their audience and their personal brands. Sponsoring brands are also like characters or personalities.

A great tip from Babs Rangaiah from Unilever: make your content appropriate for mobile, personalized, relevant and visually sharable, then market it. It probably won’t get discovered on it’s own. A video like the Dove Real Beauty Sketches video might get 20 million views because it is really good, but it got 200 million+ because of an amazing team and a good budget to amplify, market and manage it across multiple platforms globally.

You need access to storytelling, talent and distribution to achieve marketing objectives.

Another interesting point several speakers noted is that quite a few brands now have a “double bottom line” objective. Consumers care that their brands care e.g. Pedigree (Shelter Dogs),  Unilever (Dove), MasterCard (Cancer Campaign), Evian (Breast Cancer) and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

A few quick forecasts:

Pepsi: Big opportunity with content to drive e-commerce and online to offline transactions.

Unilever: More brands will be connecting directly to content creators and consumers, more consumers will be cord cutting (don’t need cable- watch everything OTT)

Mastercard: More brands will become  Publishers, connecting with consumers directly

L’Oreal : Strong growth of Mobile and also the Hispanic Community

Chipotle: More Brands will become publishers but branded content will be more authentic with subtle or no branding messages within. Content should stand alone as good content.

Relativity : Content must align with a brand’s DNA and audience.

Case study : Annie’s Search for Sandy


In our tradition of showcasing great campaigns for shelter and rescue dogs, we were thrilled to see this one by Liquid Thread. 

“ANNIE’S Search for Sandy,” hosted by Al Roker, was produced by Al Roker Entertainment and ANNIE The Musical LLC and was sponsored by PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs.

“ANNIE’S Search for Sandy” was documented through a television special in which PEDIGREE® and animal trainer Bill Berloni conducted a nationwide search for a real-life shelter dog to play the role of Sandy, the other orphan in the beloved musical ANNIE. Bill, who discovered and trained the original Sandy 35 years ago, chose a dog who’d only known the hard-knock life. Abandoned, dragged by a car, and moments from euthanasia, Sunny was found in a Houston shelter. In the end, Sunny’s life was not only spared, it was transformed.

PEDIGREE® showed America that with a little love and good nutrition, shelter dogs can shine.

In an effort to promote pet adoption and provide animal shelters with resources, a portion of proceeds from ticket sales at ANNIE and co-branded merchandise directly benefit the PEDIGREE® Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping dogs find loving homes.

“The first-ever brand partnership of a Broadway production generated astonishing results across all platforms: over 72 million logo impressions in its first seven months; more than 922,000 viewers of Annie’s Search for Sandy; more than 61,283 minutes of engagement, 55,000 “likes”, 3,000 “shares” and 4.5 million impressions, across Pedigree’s and Annie’s social assets. And most importantly, the program raised over $500,000 for the Pedigree Foundation.” source liquid

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