How Modern Brands Are Redefining Content Creation


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Lessons in Brand Storytelling

There’s nothing quite like the magic of Cannes during the festival season. The glittering Mediterranean backdrop, the red carpets, and the palpable excitement as the world’s most creative minds gather to celebrate excellence in film and branded content. Celebrities, glitz, glamour, showbiz, and money all converge to make Cannes an unforgettable experience.

From stunning short films to engaging documentaries and immersive series, the content honored at Cannes consistently exemplifies the power of blending marketing with entertainment to create something truly memorable. In this article, Hollywood Branded shines a light on how modern brands are leveraging compelling content and innovative storytelling through partnerships with Hollywood to captivate audiences and enhance their market presence.

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creating compelling content

Traditional advertising isn't enough to capture attention in today's saturated market. Brands need to entertain to engage. Hollywood provides the perfect stage for brands to craft compelling narratives that resonate on a cultural level. It's about telling the brand's narrative to showcase the ethos behind what makes the brand more than just a product. You need to entertain in the process. It's no longer enough to make a kick-butt product or widget.

Brands Who Have Developed content

Brands are having to become storytellers, creating entertaining and informative content. This approach helps them break through the noise and connect with their audiences on a deeper level. Some standout examples of brands partnering with Hollywood to create memorable content include:

  • Starbucks Studios: Producing original entertainment that amplifies its narrative, aiming to weave its story into cultural conversations.

  • McDonald's and Prime Video: Partnered with Roc Nation, Known, and Creative Control to produce a docuseries on the McDonald's All-American Game, sold to Prime Video. This series authentically connects the brand with its audience.

  • Rolex and Roger Federer: Backed the documentary "Federer: Twelve Final Days," seamlessly integrating its brand with a beloved sports figure’s story.

  • Mattel and Barbie: Co-produced the blockbuster Barbie movie, which not only entertained but also subtly promoted Mattel’s brand narrative.

  • Adobe and Sundance Film Festival: Sponsored the 2024 Sundance Film Festival and produced a series of short video interviews with filmmakers and actors, engaging creatives interested in their video editing software.

  • Patagonia and Environmental Documentaries: Produced a series of documentaries focusing on marine life and environmental activism, aligning the brand with its core values and engaging audiences passionate about environmental issues.

PatagoniaPhoto Credit: Patagonia

Documentaries: a PR vehicle with impact

Documentaries have emerged as a powerful tool for brands to tell their stories compellingly and authentically. They offer a unique blend of storytelling, education, and entertainment that can significantly enhance a brand’s public relations strategy.  They also offer the media a totally different angle to cover your company, and when you employ some A or B-list celebrity talent to accompany your new foray into the magic of Hollywood screen time, you make it even more interesting for PR.

Benefits of Brand-Backed Documentaries

  • Cultural Impact: Documentaries can shape public perception and spark meaningful conversations.

  • Awards and Accolades: High-quality documentaries often gain recognition at film festivals, bringing prestige to the brand.

  • Resume Builders: Successful documentaries can bolster the credentials of marketing professionals involved, showcasing their ability to craft impactful stories.

How to Produce a Documentary: A Step-By-Step Guide

  • Define Your Objective
  • Conduct Thorough Research
  • Develop the Narrative
  • Assemble Your Team
  • Plan the Production
  • Filming
  • Post-Production
  • Distribution Strategy
  • Marketing and PR
  • Evaluate and Learn

It's not just about documentaries either. Another go-to right now for brands is short-form digital content that can be repurposed across the brand's entire digital landscape, from owned to paid.

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Expanding to Short Form Content and Branded Series

Beyond documentaries, brands can also create short-form content and branded scripted films or series. These formats offer additional avenues to engage audiences and convey brand narratives in compelling ways.

Producing Short Form Content:

  • Concept Development: Identify a core theme or message for your short-form content. Keep it concise and impactful. Think about what will grab attention quickly and leave a lasting impression.

  • High Production Values: Even short content should be produced with high quality to maintain professionalism and engagement. Poorly made content can harm your brand image, so invest in good lighting, sound, and editing.

  • Distribution Strategy: Use social media platforms, especially Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, which are ideal for short videos. Each platform has its unique audience and style, so tailor your content to fit. Instagram Reels and TikTok are perfect for quick, engaging snippets, while YouTube can handle slightly longer and more in-depth pieces.

Tips for Maximizing Impact with Short Form Content:

  • Hook Them Early: The first few seconds are crucial. Start with something eye-catching or provocative to draw viewers in.

  • Consistency: Develop a consistent style or theme across your content to build recognition and loyalty.

  • Call to Action: Encourage viewers to engage with your content by liking, sharing, commenting, or visiting your website.

Creating a Branded Scripted Film or Series

  • Engage Professional Writers: Develop scripts that integrate your brand naturally into the storyline without being overly promotional. Authenticity is key – the story should feel genuine and not like an extended ad.

  • Collaborate with Production Studios: Work with experienced production companies that can bring your vision to life with high production standards. Their expertise in casting, directing, and production will ensure your content is top-notch.

  • Multi-Platform Distribution: Release your series across various platforms—streaming services, social media, and even traditional TV. Consider exclusive previews or behind-the-scenes content to generate buzz.

Strategies for Successful Branded Series:

  • Character Development: Create relatable and engaging characters that viewers will care about. This emotional connection can enhance brand loyalty.

  • Story Arc: Ensure your series has a compelling story arc that keeps viewers coming back for more. Cliffhangers, plot twists, and character development are essential.

  • Brand Integration: Seamlessly integrate your brand into the storyline. This could be through product use, brand values reflected in characters, or settings related to your industry.

Examples of Branded Series:

  • Lexus and "Life RX": Created a mini-series called "Life RX," which was highly cinematic and showcased the lifestyle associated with their brand. The series didn't just highlight the cars but the aspirational lifestyle they represent.

  • Chipotle’s "Farmed and Dangerous": Produced a satirical series highlighting issues in the food industry while subtly promoting their brand values. This approach not only entertained but also educated viewers on important topics related to Chipotle’s ethos.

Farmed and DangerousPhoto Credit: The Work

Additional Tips for Brand Marketers

  • Leverage Data and Analytics: Use data to understand what type of content resonates best with your audience. Track engagement metrics to refine your strategy. Tools like Google Analytics, social media insights, and specific video metrics can provide valuable information.

  • Interactive Content: Incorporate interactive elements in your content to boost engagement. Examples include quizzes, polls, and interactive videos. Interactive content can increase viewer engagement and provide deeper insights into audience preferences.

  • Collaborate with Influencers: Partnering with influencers who align with your brand can amplify your reach and lend authenticity to your content. Choose influencers who have a genuine connection with your brand and a loyal following.

  • Stay Authentic: Ensure that the content you produce remains true to your brand’s values and mission. Authenticity builds trust and loyalty among your audience. Don't try to force-fit your brand into trends that don’t align with your core message.

  • Engage with Your Audience: Actively engage with your audience through comments, social media interactions, and feedback loops. This fosters a community around your content. Respond to comments, create discussion threads, and encourage user-generated content.

Need Help?

Reach out to Hollywood Branded and our team to help! We have fantastic production partners we work with to provide complete turnkey content. Our teams will help you develop content that will engage your desired demographic, source media coverage and submit for awards, and launch comprehensive influencer marketing strategies to spread awareness about the content. For more information, visit Hollywood Branded.

The fusion of brands and Hollywood is creating a new paradigm in marketing. By producing content that entertains and engages, brands are promoting their products and becoming a part of the cultural conversation. It's a win-win for everyone involved.

Eager To Learn More?

To further explore the power of brand storytelling and innovative content creation, check out these insightful articles from the Hollywood Branded team:

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