Surreal Engagement

Charity content with a difference

The Rainforest Alliance have diverged from the standard emotional tone of charity content to create a very truthful, insightful and funny piece of content to kick start their campaign.  This content approach is far more likely to be shared and to further encourage this the target number of views is overlaid onto the video – another easy way to feel you are helping.

MF Doom ranks highly

Adidas have brought in another celebrity to their fold – this time in the form of lesser-known MF Doom:  a hip hop artist who has come out of graffiti artist retirement for one exclusive night. Partnering with an urban legend to follow his story has resulted in this being one of the most shared videos on the internet this week.

Halo 4

After five years, a new Halo game is being released and the team at Xbox recruited their super fans (global competition winners) to become, quite literally, part of the game.  Plunged into a real-life version of the game in Lichtenstein, the gamers got truly engaged.  Internal Kameleon debate questioned whether the content was for trade or consumer purposes though.  Although involving and engaging the consumer, the main contributions for the piece were by Executive Producers and Creators of the game, making it feel more like a video-versioned press release.

Interactive Skin

Burt’s Bees displayed a billboard of coupons prompting passers-by to each take one off thereby transforming the lady’s skin in the image – effectively making an interactive ‘before and after’ shot.  This content works because – within a small budget – the campaign utilises three marketing elements: direct marketing; a live, real-life event; and branded content.  The spontaneity of the content makes for a very shareable video with over 50,000 views in less than 2 weeks – quite remarkable for a relatively, low-interest product.

The floor’s falling away!

LG took over an office lift and replaced the floor with their new IPS monitors showing an image of the floor falling away.  The product is seamlessly integrated within the content making this prank-style video go viral.

Sound Taxi

Make The City Sound Better is a campaign for AIAIAIs latest headphone-release.

They’ve equipped a London taxi with microphones that record its surrounding noise, and converts this into unique music in real time as it drives through the city. A great idea to demonstrate the product benefits in a fun way.

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Taking on branded content

Calling all 007s…

Nick Grimshaw and the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show asked their audience to recreate a favourite Bond scene, with a chance of meeting and interviewing Daniel Craig and Naomie Harris as the prize.  Listeners were encouraged to produce a one-minute video and upload it to YouTube.  To kick-start the campaign and inspire the public to get involved, Greg James, one of the DJs on Radio 1, made his own video in which he emerges from the sea à la Daniel Craig – which has now gone viral.

70 second win

At a local train station, Coke Zero challenged unsuspecting passers-by to unlock the 007 in them for a chance to win exclusive tickets to the new Bond film.  In true James Bond style, contestants had to go the extra mile—overcoming obstacles and delays in less than 70 seconds to win.  Brilliant content by Coke. It looks like there’s a little 007 in everyone.

Sony brings it all together

Making brilliant use of their leading music, movies, games and technology, the Sony Entertainment Network has brought everything they do best under one roof to create unique content. Add a great soundtrack by Swiss Lips (one of their newest artists), and the result is truly inspiring.

Commuters play Beethoven

Great crowd-sourced content brought to you by Nexus (Art of Transport Scheme), with support from FACT Services Liverpool.  At a bus station in Newcastle, commuters and passers-by were invited to contribute a note or two to a Beethoven Sonata – they all lent a hand and shared in a centuries-old musical tradition. Compared to some more elaborate flash mob performances, this is rather simple: less is more.

Check In with the All Blacks

In July this year Mastercard launched “Check In”, a competition in which the winner gets to follow the All Blacks on the Air New Zealand European Tour in November.  This advert, voted New Zealand’s favourite in the Fair Go Best Ad Award, is an amusing and endearing look at the enthusiasm of the All Blacks’ fans, and their relationship with the players.

Oozing aspiration

US luxury gym line Equinox, which launched in London this week, fuses fitness, fashion, and high-quality content focusing on brand building, aspiration and their award-winning instructors, rather than the physical environment of their gyms. The result is compelling. Will you sign up?

 

Kameleon’s are back in town…

The Real Bears

The CSPI, a US advocacy group with aim of promoting health and nutrition, have created a short film featuring animated polar bears who suffer with problems associated with excessive fizzy drink consumption, including tooth decay, the onset of diabetes and even erectile dysfunction.  What makes this most effective in getting the message across is the use of some recognisable ‘happy’ polar bears.

Answering Back

The “CEO” of Bodyform had a potential PR nightmare on her hands: a male Facebook user wrote to them saying that Bodyform’s adverts had misinformed him of women’s periods, setting him up for a fall. Their response: to create a tongue in cheek video for women and tell the truth to all other men. Crafty buggers.

Man Reminder

Whilst on the subject of men… Rethink Breast Cancer have cleverly created a Man Reminder App and accompanying advert.  Using attractive men in their content has allowed for a fun approach to push forward a serious message, which reduces the scary aspect of checking for signs of breast cancer. It’s not only memorable but users will look forward to receiving reminders and women will want to share the messages with friends.

#TheReturn

Basketball viewers, fans and teammates are all in it together, rooting for D Rose to return to The Chicago Bulls after suffering with an injury. His passion for the sport, his determination and professionalism are inspiring character traits that the basketball player displays in the series for Adidas, which charts his return to the court.

Road Bike Party

Martyn Ashton has teamed up with WD40 and taken a £10,000 road bike for the ride of its life. Road Bike Party captures some of the toughest stunts ever from a Tour de France-winning bike.  ‘Hero’ videos such as these drive traffic to YouTube sites and are perfect fodder for sports fans who might want inspiration to oil up their old bike.

Zombies

Greggs is promoting their Halloween products through a new piece of branded content called ‘Britain Prepare for Zombies: Only Humans Allowed’ where zombies invade a Greggs cafe. This, in conjunction with live sampling events in high footfall areas where consumers can try the products and take photos of themselves with the zombie bakers, is an excellent example of appropriately tent-poling their branded content.

Cybergeddon

Norton Antivirus and Yahoo have teamed up to create a brand new online series, a crime drama called ‘Cybergeddon’.  Developed by Anthony E. Zuiker, the creator of TV crime drama CSI, this series is high quality and perfect for the tech-literate audience who will engage with the show, take advantage of the bonus material and Norton offers.

Dear 16 year-old me

The David Cornfield Melanoma Fund have asked real people, not actors, to tell their true, emotional and powerful stories to the next generation to try and prevent as many lives being touched by melanoma.  The video is heartfelt and honest, and attempts to speak to sixteen year olds who can change their habits to save their lives.

Celebrate success in splendour: Kameleons in Paris

Delectable Mr Continental:  The lure of Paris

Carte Noire coffee has a series of videos to seduce female coffee lovers, using male models to woo them with their mouth-watering words.  In this video, Mr Continental (who’s French, obvs) offers to go and change all the light bulbs in the house, while the viewer sips the perfect cup of coffee…  Bonjour!

Gastronomy and Automobiles:  Everyone deserves a treat

Renault has this week unveiled a new car at the Paris Motor Show.  This new Renault Clio is made by famous pastry chef, Pierre Herme; the car is made from chocolate.  Parallels can be drawn between the new vehicle and the chocolate sculpture:  the designs are both unique and technically accurate.  This film conveys the thought, time and skill that go into carving out this perfect, delectable and distinctive vehicle.

Dressing for dinner

Louis Vuitton briefed filmmakers to answer set questions around encounters in a personal video.  Travel is at the heart of Louis Vuitton’s brand, and this set of films, produced for the Journeys Awards, conveys that message.  With a high production value and artistic vision, the films were shown in Louis Vuitton’s in-store cinema.

Success and Glamour:  Raising a glass

How can we go to Paris without mentioning what we plan to drink for breakfast, lunch and dinner?  Moet & Chandon used this content to prove the sparkle of their champagne alludes to success and glamour, celebration and grandeur.  The content dazzles the viewer with a history of the brand, narrated by an aspirational figure, Scarlett Johansson.

Guetta’s Got Twizy: After dark dancing

Famous, French record producer and DJ, David Guetta and his wife have designed the new Renault Twizy.  Inspired by the world of clubbing, this car is brightly coloured, has flashing lights and a racing car-themed interior.  The content shows off the vehicle to David Guetta’s soundtrack: ‘The Alphabet’ track is used to raise momentum and maintain interest from the younger generation and fans of clubbing who this car would be attractive to.

A rendezvous

Chic, suave and sexy, Jude Law personifies the Dior Homme scent in this Guy Ritchie-directed film.  The male scent from Christian Dior is seemingly utterly distinguishable, even amongst the sleek backdrop of romantic Paris.  Let’s hope that we bump into Jude ..

Feeling good:  The journey home

Directed to families with young children, The Family Wellbeing Index from Actimel attempts to engage customers with their new platform.  Families are encouraged to answer simple questions to determine their family type and in return, Actimel offers actionable, personalised solutions including food, play, learn and exercise tips to promote family wellbeing.

Affiliation, Uniqueness and Identity

Expedia Find Yours

Expedia have created a series of human stories, both user-generated content and selective brand-produced films to convey their personal touch – every trip is unique and transformative. Working with travel bloggers, this approach aims to provide the Expedia brand with an aspirational identity, rather than a quick booking site.

I’m Not Rafa!

PokerStars have drafted in Spanish tennis player, Rafa Nidal, to rehearse his bluffing skills in an amusing piece of content which promotes the recently opened online poker market in Spain.  The film shows Rafa posing as a receptionist at a Golf Course in Mallorca, and trying to convince customers that he’s not the tennis star. The release date of the film is pertinent too; with the Ryder Cup in full swing this week, this content will generate a strong dialogue for the brand.

Asos & Puma in Brazil

Politically-charged, Brazilian graffiti artists are the stars of Asos’ gritty, mini-film to promote their new association with Puma X Black. With brand logos noticeably absent, the film delivers the typical Puma, everyday athlete vibe, and is filled with street cred to engage a young male audience.

Why VW?

September 17th saw Volkswagen debut their campaign for drivers to share their stories, be it unforgettable road trips, fun first dates or sustainable customisations of their cars.  Volkswagen has invited their customers to tell the online community why they love their car and share their fondest memories of it.  By asking their consumers to define what Volkswagen means to them, the power and scope of the carefully curated campaign rests on who is most important to the brand.

WAKE THE F**K UP

Despite our internal debate as to whether the Democrat Party should be considered a brand, this Obama campaign video certainly garners attention:  Samuel J. Jackson has been recruited by the Jewish Council for Education and Research to speak frankly to young people about the importance of voting, canvassing and donating to Obama’s re-election campaign.  Filled with crucial facts, this humorous, no-nonsense film endorses Obama’s manifesto and inspires the viewers to get up and get engaged, and with over half a million shares in the last five days, this video is set to go viral.

 

Power, Precision and Control

Danny MacAskill vs San Francisco

Danny MacAskill is an internationally-acclaimed street trials rider who asserts in this Remington film that life as a rider ‘takes power, precision and control.’ We watch beautiful and dangerous shots of him riding through the city of San Francisco. Only the final credits link him to the brand itself, Remington’s Touch Control Male Grooming range. The film was released as part of a series to promote the range, with other films starring F1 drivers and parkour stars.

 

Topshop Goes Interactive

Topshop have successfully commercialised their Facebook audience – turning ‘likes’ into sales.  While the catwalk show of new season’s trends was being streamed live over Facebook, fans had the opportunity to share photos of the key looks, buy clothes and accessories for delivery within six to eight weeks as well as browse colour options and order makeup for delivery within 48 hours – much sooner than the arrival of garments into stores.

In an interview with Reuters, Justin Cooke, the Topshop chief marketing officer, said, “People have been trying to figure out for some time, how do you make these ‘likes’ into something relevant, how does the social aspect mix with your brand, and I think we are going to be the first brand to unlock that, we’re going to be the case study …(to) commercialise that social audience.”

 

Non semper erit aestas

Sadly, it will not always be summer, as epitomised by not only the weather in London this week, but also the stunning A/W William Tempest for River Island collection which entered selected stores on Monday.  The second biannual FASH/ON Film Festival premiered Ryan Hope’s 11 minute film, which displays the 13-piece capsule collection at a fantastical party in a secluded mansion.  The purpose of the film is to stimulate and promote the growth of the brand, whilst forging relationships between fashion designers and an emerging film-maker.  Moreover, the film highlights London as integral to the digital revolution.

 

Channel surfing is not a sport

Puma’s Live Life, Don’t Watch It film is an effective campaign.  It urges people to be sociable, slyly warning of the contentment many people have of choosing an easy entertainment choice – TV.  This film celebrates those who create their own stories with their friends and teammates.   The tone of the film allows for time to think about how you live your own life, and proves that fun is attainable.

 

Fresh Step

Humorous branded content from Fresh Step has racked up nearly half a million views on YouTube in just ten days. And it’s about cat litter. Clearly with a great idea, even the most ostensibly mundane product can be transformed into an engaging, entertaining branded video.

 

An awesome party

MTV Mobile Europe has launched ‘GIF ME MORE PARTY’ a new integrated campaign showing the features and functions of MTV Mobile through interactive content in partnership with Buzzman Paris.

Experience an ‘awesome’ party (probably spelled parDy) from 50 different perspectives. It’s very MTV. And it’s very engaging.

 

 

Branded Content gets Physical

 

Physical meets Digital: Burberry World Live

Branded content meets real-life shopping experience in Burberry’s landmark London store launched this week. Burberry garments are equipped with RFID microchips hidden within, so that when a customer approaches a mirror wearing the item, the mirror transforms into a screen playing videos of the garment on the catwalk and how the item was made.  This is a pioneering way to bring content into the physical world.

 

There’s No Place like Home

This London Fashion Week has been bursting with digital content but this piece, starring the designer Dominic Wilcox, showcases a unique and innovative idea with appeal beyond the front rows. Marking the launch of Global Footprint’s ‘Guide Me Home’ shoes, Wilcox explains the history and concept behind his invention: GPS navigation shoes with LED lights that direct the wearer to their required destination anywhere in the world.

No Place Like Home from Dominic Wilcox on Vimeo.

 

New MTV Platform reveals Potential of Content Wealth

MTV is mobilising its content wealth to attract brand partnerships. A new international, multiplatform, fashion and style destination www.districtmtv.com will launch in the UK, Italy, France, Germany and Spain. This platform will aim at targeting style-savvy 18-to-34-year-olds. Offering access to vast entertainment archives and exclusive content in music, fashion and pop culture, MTV is creating a unique proposition for brands looking to connect with this key demographic.

 

Skittles: Interactive Theatre

A brand known for their off-the-wall online content, Skittles have released a new faux interactive piece that is attracting attention. In Skittles: Interactive Theatre the audience can direct their own story – as long as your name is Bernice…  Rather than distributing the video through their popular, official Youtube channels, Skittles have targeted potential fans through comedic video website Funny or Die.

 

Nike’s Snowboarding Project

Nike has forged the way in beautiful content creation in the sport arena. This snowboarding project once again sees them openly collaborate with filmmakers to focus on an area of branded content largely dominated by the likes of Red Bull, GoPro and Relentless. Beautifully shot with the brand taking a low profile in favour of viewer entertainment.

The Good, The Bad, & The Beautiful

The future of content – prêt-á-porter?

Brand Content went high-tech & haute couture this summer when Google hit the catwalk with fashion heavyweight Diane Von Furstenberg to showcase ‘Google Project Glass’. Augmented reality enhanced glasses worn by models & designers recorded runway footage for “DVF Through Glass.” The film, which gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look into DVF’s creative process, was released yesterday on the designer’s Google+ page and YouTube channel.

The Beauty Inside

Intel & Toshiba’s remarkable new content project, “The Beauty Inside”, is a crowd-sourced hybrid of film and social media that riffs on the iconic “Intel Inside” tagline. The two tech brands collaborated on the project—not only with each other, but with the audience.  The interactive four-part film tells the story of Alex, a regular guy who wakes up every day looking like someone else. The twist… this someone could be you.

Audition now at Facebook.com/TheBeautyInsideFilm.

Peugeot wide of the mark?

Automotive content and interactive games are a great fit, as demonstrated in Mercedes’s successful escape the map campaign. But Peugeot’s latest offering, a graphic novel based on its HYbrid4 technology, looks to have fallen short. Limited interactivity, and content that feels like a slave to the product, make this feel more like advertising than Brand Content we want to spend time with. What do you think?

The Lego Story

How should a brand celebrate an iconic moment in its history? Lego chose to stay current.

For the brand’s 80th birthday, Lego has produced a charming animated film which tells the rollercoaster story of the historic family business, showcasing dedication to core values through changing times and fortune. With over 2.3 million views in the last month, it looks like these old boys won’t be left behind in the digital age.

 

Branded content in demand

Champagne content for the holiday season

In the run-up to Christmas, drinks giant Pernod Ricard has turned to branded content to raise the profile of G.H.Mumm Champagne.  The ‘So Champagne’ initiative aims to ‘educate gentleman’ in the art of drinking champers through an online hub, giving the uninitiated lessons in top tipple etiquette. The content series will accompany PR’s ‘Champagne Protocol’ app released earlier this year.
Diversified digital content campaigns look set to top many brands’ holiday wishlist in 2012…

A new Sony make.believe story

What happens when you combine music and gaming? Beck’s latest album has been brought to life in a new game: ‘Sound Shapes’ by PlayStation. Gamers play levels composed around song structures and original artwork, with the lyrics appearing within the built environment.

Mitsubishi Unpretentious

Social media showboating is becoming more and more common – but Mitsubishi has had enough! With its latest campaign Mitsubishi has produced a statement app, ‘Mitsubishi Unpretentious’, which analyses your Facebook friends, drumming up a list of the most pretentious. We don’t want to spoil the ending, but check out the video to see what the new Mitsubishi Outlander does to your pompous friends and their Facebook content.

Skip Ad or Skip Behaviour

Is it possible to convince viewers to ignore the YouTube ‘Skip ad’ button by integrating it into an advert ? This  video for a Chilean environmental care agency does just that. The viewer is confronted with the following options: ‘Skip behaviour’ or ‘Skip ad’, prompting them to question their unecological actions rather than click away. It’s worked on 80,000 people in one week – will it work on you?

Viral video stock exchange

Think you’re pretty good at recognising which YouTube videos will become a viral success and which will peter out? Put your skills to the test with this interactive trading game in whuch users invest in and trade on the viral potential of videos. Be the first to discover a viral video and ride out its success. Give it a go!

A rally call against uniform brands

The Editor of Monocle magazine has written in the FT asking for more brands to aspire to be different, he wants an end to uniform brands & marketing. We’ve got a few recent examples of brands seeking to stand out through humour and the personal touch.

A rally call against uniform brands

The Editor of Monocle magazine pens an article in the FT claiming the business problem facing publishers and airlines is actually one of differentiation. “Spend a bit of time at a US news stand and it’s clear that the crisis in the magazine industry isn’t so much about plastering covers with hash-tags, the problem is that everything feels and looks alarmingly the same”. As brand publishers – identify & listen to your niche audience and be brave with the content you produce.

Fancy a free 4 pack?

This week Grolsch have created an interactive campaign featuring the detective Journt Von Deg. The content shows the detective sitting in a bar with a business card and the obligatory pint of Grolsch. Users are then asked to text the number on the card with their name. See it for yourself here.

Muscle Music

Viral ads go interactive on vimeo. In the latest Old Spice ad, which has been coined a ‘technological and pectoral breakthrough’, users are invited to use Terry Crews muscles to   control a variety of musical instruments. The real fun is creating and recording your own muscle music. If you’re struggling why not use the cheat sheet for a bit of inspiration.

Get your name engraved on a commemorative bean

Heinz Beanz: brand to offer new sauce and social media competition

Brands often seek to expand into new sectors of the market and increase demand for new products. With the launch of their ‘Five Beanz’ range, Heinz is no exception. They’ve created an app to let consumers discover the bean that fits their personality, and then have the chance to win their own personalised Heinz bean, which will have their name engraved on it. The quirky campaign has every hallmark of being a cult Facebook hit.