We believe that bringing brands, content, celebrities and influencers together makes storytelling more meaningful and impactful.
Creating partnerships between brands and TV and film content is not such an easy process. And that difficulty is one of the prime reasons that a production company should hire a brand marketing strategist to become part of their team from day one of pre-production.
One major reason besides assisting in offsetting below the line budget, is to ensure the production team can see the big brand partnership picture, and not leave things on the table (or in the TV series or film) that will hamper their ability to have a brand sponsor come on post-production to assist with marketing the film. In this blog, Hollywood Branded provides insight to 18 reasons why production companies need to hire a brand marketing strategist to assist with brand partnerships.
Let me give some insight to what can happen without having a sound strategy built on experience in place. I recently was approached by a film that was interested in having an automotive partner come on board, for a pre-release marketing push. The film is fully shot, and in post-production. The automotive brand is cast in a true starring role, yet the teaser reel to pitch the film has in the first three seconds, a shot of a beer being drunk in the car, while the cast is driving the car.
And here's the thing. An automotive executive is not going to get to second 4 before shutting down the partnership. Immediately. This is something that could have been avoided if a strategy had been in place before filming began, or at least before a sizzle was cut. This is all fixable – even in post-production. But if it had gotten to the brand for review first, there would not be a potential marketing partnership with any car brand. Or alcohol brand either.
There are 18 key ways a brand marketing strategist will help a production. These include:
It's not just big box office action films that are the only content brands are willing to partner with. Creating the right strategy from day one will enable both independent (and studio) driven films and TV shows to harness more marketing power at the end of the day.
I'm a major proponents of the idea that it is time to modernize film and brand partnerships. With digital content strategies, even the smallest independent film has SOMETHING to offer a brand partner in exchange.
So let's take a look at a few ideas that a producer should keep in mind.
Why not bring the brand to the casting table, or show some footage of behind the scenes for the writers and director meetings with the brand in the room? This is content that a whole segment of the population is interested in – and allows them to sneak peak at what happens behind closed doors. Share it on your social channels and let the brand reshare that sneak peak with their own fans as production gets closer to starting. Having early buzz on social media is only going to help your production nowadays.
During filming and even into post production, develop a strategy based on providing content through social media or content that can be repurposed by the brand for their own digital and social channels.
Ideas may range from offering filmed backstage brand experiences with the cast and crew to customized vignettes created and prettily packaged, all the ready for the brand to leverage themselves, while bringing some extra PR and attention to the production – and starting strong word of mouth marketing. Create a hashtag for the film and brand and watch conversations soar. Have the unit publicist help the brand get some on set attention. This extra assistance will move the world for you and really get the brand on your team - for the long term.
After filming wraps, use the brand to help continue to push out that word of mouth marketing!
Think about sneak peak content that is distributed through brand partner’s digital channels. Or planning on submitting the film to a festival? Brand sponsors might be able to offset costs or sponsor dinner parties or screenings, and get some step and repeat branding or sampling on the red carpet, with PR coverage. The brand might be open to helping sponsor stunts that gain both the film and brand publicity.
Think content and impressions. What can the film makers offer that will provide the brand exposure with a content partner that makes sense and speaks to the same consumer? Brand marketers are looking for ways to differentiate and stand out from competitors. Entertainment and celebrity offers that option!
In the 6 to 8 weeks leading up to the film’s release, brand marketers may be willing to co-brand advertising with a call to action about the film’s release. This will include a release date of the property, as well as provide some sort of visual reason on why the partnership exists. Help the brand out and be creative!! You are asking the brand for just as much as they are asking you – this is a mutual beneficial relationship.
Here's the thing. Creativity is great. Every film producer, writer, director and cast member wants to have creative freedom. But at the end of the day, they also want a commercially successful film which not only will be great content, but will be viewed by a large enough audience so that those same producers, writers, directors and cast make money.
Getting a brand marketer’s support guarantees that you will garner more eyeballs and interest on the project, which results in more money for all at the end of the day. Even for those who aren’t earning more on the back end – the fact that their film experience on a production which ends up being even more of a box office success helps in future job bookings.
These partnerships do not need to be painful. There is no brand who wants to painfully be inserted into a project. Organic really is key. But so is making sure the brand wins. Brand marketers are hoping to partner with properties that will support their messaging to their targeted consumer, and in a way that is organic to the storyline. Not a hammer blow to the head.
So production execs… start those engines!!! It’s never too early to start strategizing for some effective brand marketing!!! Read our blog 5 Ways Brand Marketers Secure Product Placement To Increase Sales.
And check out these blogs on product placement as well:
Want to get a better understanding of how a product makes it on screen? Then check out this video that walks you through the process!
Topics: Strategic Partnerships, Product Placement & Branded Content
Stacy Jones, Hollywood Branded's founder and CEO, has over twenty six years of leadership experience building global entertainment branding campaigns for top Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of brands. Her career started after receiving her BFA in Theater Production & Scenic Design from the University of Arizona. Acknowledged as an expert in the field, she has appeared on CNN and MSNBC; spoken at conferences around the globe from Germany to Beijing; and has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Financial Times, The Economist, Brandweek, Advertising Age, Variety, B&C and Mediaweek amongst others. Originally from Texas, you will still hear her ya’ll as she gathers the team for strategy planning sessions. Like all true entrepreneurs, Stacy is an adventurer at her core – having sky dived, hang glided off bi-planes, swam with crocs while rafting the Zambezi in Africa, photographed grizzly bears in Alaska, trekked Mayan ruins in Belize, explored the ocean as an avid scuba diver, and who loves owning an advertising agency where she swims with a different type of Hollywood shark on a daily basis.