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Marketing15 April 2016

Brands Creating Their Own “Original Series”

Social trend

The boundary between activities supporting sales and entertainment is becoming increasingly blurred. Especially well it can be noticed in the example of video content, representing an important and regular part of the growing number of enterprises. According to Cisco in 2015 96% of B2B marketers and 82% marketers from B2C sector used videoing in their marketing strategy. Cisco study indicates also that by 2019 80% of web traffic will be connected with streaming video.

Marketing based on the visual content is no longer connected with having an own Youtube channel or cooperating with well-known from the Internet influencers. Brands follow further in the direction of the formats that amused the most and at the same time are able to attract the viewer’s attention longer. I mean TV series and trends related to the production of “Original Series” by brands far less associated with film production.

Exceptionally successful example of this trend is Nike, which recently released its first series “Margot vs. Lily” – a story about the adventures of two completely different sisters from New York who mutually threw a New Year’s challenge. What are they? Check it out. The film was directed by Tricia Brock, who was responsible for the iconic “Orange Is the New Black”. A series of eight episodes is part of a large Nike campaign aimed at reaching out to young customers. The series includes product placement of sportswear which (anybody surprised?) can be bought in the store brand dedicated to film.

Many companies are considering production of their own series. A few days ago Apple announced its own movie project “Vital Signs”. It’s a biographical series of a famous rapper and entrepreneur Dr. Dre, which consists of 6 episodes and its distribution will take place through Apple’s platforms (Apple Music and Apple TV). Information about the project was proclaimed shortly after the Spotify (which is the main competitor of Apple Music) started broadcasting video content, created in cooperation with, among others, BBC and Vice Media.

If you think the hotel industry has little in common with the TV series and glass screen, then you’re barking up the wrong tree. Today’s Marriott is not only a globally recognized hotel chain, but also the media business. The company in its two editorials (in Maryland and Hong Kong) produces its own films (such as 6-episode “The Navigator Live” or short comedic form “Two Bellmen”) which will soon be sold under license to big shots like Hulu, Netflix or Amazon.

Ultra short forms are other currently tested tools from the video category. Well-known brands seems to be interested in them in the context of production of their own TV series. Snapchat (e.g. through the use of “Stories” by MTV or National Geographic) or Instagram are ideal for pulling viewers in the systematic tracking the history, and also do not require large budgets, such as the previously described example, Nike. The project “Shieldfive” – a thriller of a British duo Dewar & Wilcox perfectly used Instagram in its realization. This micro-series is broadcast exclusively on Instagram, every day at 5 p.m. since the beginning of February – the first of twenty-eight episodes can be found at the bottom of the account. Extremely demanding fifteen-second format of narration has been called by the authors of “Shieldfive” as Economic Storytelling.

I dare to say that the direction of the use of video described by me today will be in the next few years very popular. Many brands will soon decide to this kind of format (or mini-series, depending on their budget) precisely because of the addictive advantage of a good story. You know the rule. The more striking the show, the longer the contact with it and with… brands placed within. Best example? The kind of activities of product placement in the style of Apple in the “House Of Cards”.

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