By Tom Bannister
Branded content went mainstream this year. Heres a look at five brands who pushed the branded content envelop in 2015 with innovative video-centric work:
4. Google’s “Alphabet”:
The different brands within the conglomerate formerly known as Google have pushed the boundaries of digital filmmaking this year, including a 360-degree action movie from Justin Lin, and a 360-degree music video, cause related documentaries, the most shared viral of 2015, ‘Friends Furever’ from Android, not to mention the various Google Play series and California inspired, celebrity animations. And that’s all before we get to YouTube including all that investment in their homegrown talent and the Rewind video. Last but not least the Year
In Search video.
3. President Obama:
POTUS led Washington and most of Madison Avenue when it came to branded entertainment this year. His collaborations ranged from appearing in an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls, to his Grammy appearance to spoofing himself on Buzzfeed and participating in a YouTuber-led interview slam. The through-line is Obama isn’t afraid to cast an irreverant glance at his, work and position, and speak to people in their own language… and Michelle is pretty active in the space too.
2. Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew market share rose 6.9% this year, with New York Magazine calling it ‘the internet’s soda’. In terms of digital filmmaking they have pushed the envelope. One of the few brands to release a theatrical feature film, they also produced virtual reality , created digital video destinations, sponsored endless video game vloggers and extreme sports films. Lastly they have made produced a variety of stand alone, short form content with Earnhardt, Call Of Duty and rock musicians. Full Disclosure: SXM has produced for Mountain Dew this year.
1. Beats By Dre:
Beats’ films are always so artfully made. Their YouTube channel is one of the most regularly updated, from series like Don’t Blow It, Beats Per Minute, Beat X Beat and Hear What You Want, to celebrity driven short films like the recent Christmas Miracle with Tracy Morgan. Beats is great at creating ancillary second screen video around global events, specifically this year events like the Rugby World Cup with The Game Starts Here and Straight Outta Compton. A regular on the various viral video charts, Beats are one of the few brands you don’t press skip on, after five seconds.