What Makes A TV or Film Fee Deal Worth It To A Brand


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So what makes a fee deal worth it to a brand?  Why is one production a better fit than another?  It all comes down to deliverables, costs and viewership, which are not actually necessarily impacted by each other.

This is the first in a series of blog posts that will discuss how different production partners are perceived, and why brands may choose to work with a production with a smaller viewership than one that a quarter of the world will see.



A-List Versus No-List

A movie that has an A-list cast, with massive box office global appeal, may be less of a fit for a brand than a time-buy television series with a very niche viewership that is going to go the extra mile and create added-value content for the brand to repurpose through it's social and marketing channels.

Sidenote:  What's a time-buy you ask?  It's where the production foots the bill for producing the content and running it on air.  They literally 'buy' time from the network, and typically also have all or a portion of the commercial air time that comes with that time slot.  So for a 30-minute show, only 22 minutes of content are produced, and 8 minutes of commercial time are saved to sell to an advertiser or brand partner.  This air time can be made available as part of a fee deal for a brand integration deal.


BlockBuster Films Don't Provide Deliverables

The bigger the content partner, the less a brand is going to receive as added value.  Why? Because they simply don't have to.  The power of the name of the title and the cast of the property alone is enough to provide a juggernaut of an implied association for the brand.  So for a brand to just appear in the final edit of the scene, the mighty production typically feels that is a big enough win on its own - and worth lots of dollars in exchange.  

How many dollars?  Well, that's only determined by how much your brand or your competitors are willing to pay. In many cases, the highest bidder with the lowest asks in return, "wins" the opportunity.  If no one pays, and the production still needs a brand?  Then the focus is on the word "need" - how much does the production need it, and how will the brand benefit the production?  If the need is high enough, the exposure is then more cost-affordable, or even free.  

Traditionally, much of what you see in content is trade or loan with no fees.  The bigger deals - and bigger movies - require higher fees or brand marketing support in return for the eyeballs they will receive from being in the scene.

Now, that is not to say this exposure isn't worth it.  It is - for many many brands.  Really really worth it.  The perception alone to both consumers and employees makes it a stand-out win.  And of course, the awareness factors are a biggie.  But this is really worth it for brands who then can take that content exposure and multiply it by building a promotional campaign to further differentiate marketing, and bring awareness of the partnership off the screen and into other mediums.  That is what a co-promotion is.


Small Productions Have To Be Savvy Marketers Of Themselves

The smaller the content partner, the more creative the producers need to be.  

Brands are not in the business of financing movies or TV shows.  They are not even necessarily in the business of marketing themselves - that is just a happenstance that is a necessary (evil) requirement.  

Brands ARE in business to make products sell products, and then make more products.  

When producers realize this, and see areas where brand marketers could use assistance, a golden opportunity arises for both sides to win.  The point is not to have a brand fund a production but to supply funds so that the production can then assist the brand with marketing itself.

A brand partnership with a content partner should be the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

The product exposure in the content is just the first layer of that partnership.  From there behind the scenes, content can be cut and shared through social and digital channels.  The more turnkey that content, the easier for the brand marketer, who doesn't have a team of individuals in front of editing bays to manipulate content.  For many brand marketers, even crafting a simple social media post is just an added burden on an already-over-flowing plate of their to-do list.  


The First Step For A Brand Partnership

Is Product Placement right for your brand? Watch this video to learn more about how this marketing practice works, what brand categories it works for, and the results brand marketers see!

Watch the video to learn what is Product Placement