Surrogate Ninja: Branded Documentary Content

What’s a surrogate ninja?  It’s a SXSW interactive surrogate who walks into a film panel like she owns the place and doesn’t get caught. BAM.

Glad I ducked in…this panel is not a new topic but more of a continuing discussion in the ad industry and production.

Branded content is not new, it was itself the foundation and origin of television; however, the internet is letting us connect brands with content like never before. Longer format pieces (meaning longer than 1 minute) can now have a new home within a brands space.  Where so many brands are falling short is that to make meaningful content the pieces don’t need to be branded at all, they just need to be grounded in the brands purpose.

Constant questions from marketers: If there’s no logo, no “talking head” about our company, then how can it tell our story? The best answer.  It does not need to tell your story: if you are a brand who’s purpose is about wanting people to have fun, find people who use your brand, have fun, and tell THEIR story. I hate to make media about math, but it’s the transitive property of cool…

Take a look at a nice example of this in action:

Flow Nonfiction (an Austin based company) paired with Proctor and Gamble’s Downy Brand highlighting Downy’s Touch of Comfort Program.

Downy was mentioned only in the front as a lower third and in a back call to action.  Take a look at the piece here:

What makes this work is the purpose of Downy (comfort) and the partnership of their ‘Touch of Comfort Program’ is told by people.  Not by marketers. Not by logo’s. Not by strategy.  It’s told by emotion, hearts, and the visual element of bringing people comfort.  It’s a basic evocative documentary piece.  Simply done. Cheap to produce.Happy Client.



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