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Are we scared of making brand films?

March 23, 2011

Not everyone can afford to run or produce a TV ad, not everyone wants to feel forced or confined by the limitations of the 30 second spot, but why should that mean a brand can’t access the use the most powerful medium of all time- film?

Do away with the restrictions and challenges of 30 seconds and open your mind to a world of seemingly limitless possibilities.

The problem for me is that brand films are still rather too earnest.

I like the one from Red Wing Shoes showing above, I feel like I learned something about the brand and it made me feel good about them, but it’s rather dry and lacks entertainment values. I feel like I’ve seen dozens just like it.

Who is going to invent the new brand film- the one that isn’t earnest and doesn’t just have to rely on nice cinematography to make it?

Where are more of the Johnnie Walker 8-minute entertaining brand stories (1.5 million views!)?

It’s been over a year and it’s the only one I have seen that comes close. I believed that it might be the start of a trend, but it hasn’t happened.

What’s holding us back?

Is it the newness of the medium the clients don’t go or agencies haven’t been able to sell?

Is it that “brand film” automatically and wrongly equals documentary and that just isn’t sexy enough for creatives?

Are we scared that we are forcing people to watch something that’s too long?

Is it that something beyond the 30 second time frame involves a new skill set and perhaps too much work from the writers and producers?

Whatever the reason, they all seem like poor excuses for an opportunity that’s ripe and ready for the picking. 

Posted by Ed Cotton

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