By Tom Bannister
Here is a roundup of some of the branded content projects that caught our attention over the past seven of days:
Sonos — Band Of Horses
Sonos sponsored the Band Of Horses’ music video for their latest single “Whatever,Wherever.” This is a deeply personal song and music video. It’s made from family video footage stitched together and doesn’t look like it was too expensive to produce. There’s no product placement and the only mention of the brand is “Produced By Sonos” at the end video and on the band’s Vevo/YouTube page. The track is timed to Father’s Day and being pushed out on Sonos’ blog and its social platforms, excluding YouTube. More thoughts on music and branded content here.
Gucci — “The Legend of Orpheus and Eurydice”
Conde Nast’s branded content division 23 Stories launched a four- episode series directed by Gia Coppola in support of Gucci’s Fall collection. This is a scripted series featured some of Conde Nast’s high-end sites, including Vogue.com and the brand’s Gucci.com. Fashion is a fantastic vertical for branded content as clothing can be seamlessly integrated into any story, and storytelling behind the brand is very important. We have seen fashion brands innovate with many forms of branded content lately, except long-form.
A2E Films — “Swiss Army Man”
Daniel Radcliffe skipped the opening of Harry Potter the play in London, but he has been seen driving around New York with a dead body next to him on a bus seat. This is a marketing stunt to promote the launch of his next movie “Swiss Army Man.” Film companies have been leading the way in innovative live stunts, which are then sourced into social media as content. As we have written about before, any live event is now also a digital content play.
In anticipation of the upcoming release of the “Ghostbusters” reboot, Sony Pictures deemed Thursday, July 8th, Ghostbuster’s day. On Ghostbusters Day, cast members from the original film, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts, will join the new Ghostbusters, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
On Wednesday, Sony also launched the “Ghostbusters Twitter Mission Sweepstakes,” which will award prizes, such a custom Ghostbusters uniforms. People love to participate in special “days” and the group mentality of social media blows it up further.
My Whisky Tales / Fishing — Lagavulin
Nick Offerman’s partnership with Lagavulin is shaping up to be one of the best celebrity partnerships in recent memory and shows why long-term rather than one-off celebrity collaborations can be so powerful. In this installment, they sit silently fishing and communicating by subtitle only. There’s no product, just a brand name call out. Whiskey drinkers don’t need to be overtly reminded that Offerman is promoting underlying values of whiskey, because they’ve seen it in previous episodes in this series. This partnership has driven a lot of awareness and earned media but that is not reflected in the YouTube channels subscriber numbers. Does this matter?
DJ Khalid — Snapchat Talk Show
T-Mobile has partnered with SnapChat star DJ Khalid for a new Snapchat-based talk show.The episodes — or “snapi-sodes” — are vignettes in which DJ Khaled will chat with well-known people, starting with T-Mobile CEO John Legere . The “snapisodes” will appear each Tuesday on Snapchat Discover channels, including BuzzFeed, Daily Mail, Comedy Central and MTV. There has been a lot of news about Snapchat’s stance on branded content of late. Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel wants to partner with publishers but seems unconvinced on the viewer value of branded content.
“Warcraft” — China
Legendary Pictures film adaption of the online role-playing game, like “The Angry Birds Movie,” is itself branded content. The film launched is China last weekend and broke box office records there. Last Thursday, the actors joined director Duncan Jones at the Tai Koo Li shopping mall in Beijing’s Sanlitun shopping district, where an exhibition featuring concept art, props and costumes from the film is being held.
Muhammad Ali — Live Stream
I thought twice about including this, but this weekend the O2 Arena in London will live stream Muhammad Ali’s funeral and well-wishers can leave flowers. Muhammad Ali, the man, has gone but the brand will live on. Estates of 20th Century icons like Michael Jackson, Tupac and JRR Tolkien remain big business, and with the emergence of new immersive platforms and technology like holograms, 3D and VR, it seems likely they will live on in new ways.
This post was penned by VideoInk publishing partner Branded.tv, a one-stop shop for branded entertainment. Branded.tv features and catalogs the best branded entertainment campaigns from around the world.