Eschewing the restrictions of a slick, 30-second TV spot, brand films have emerged as a tasteful and compelling way to show what a brand is about.
In contrast to a more straightforward commercial, a brand film can be thought of as a merging of a filmmaker’s vision and a brand’s core idea. Ideally, it bridges the division between art and commerce to establish a brand’s authenticity.
One of the many notable brand films is Un Rendez Vous, which was directed by Guy Ritchie, and made to promote the Dior Homme brand. Since its debut in 2010, it has amassed more than a million YouTube views.
There is some anxiety about brand films from marketers and companies, however, according to marketing expert Ed Cotton. For instance, they’re too often wrongly limited by the documentary label, which isn’t as sexy as creatives might like. There’s a perception that they’re too long and won’t keep our attention. They require specialized skills that could strain writers and producers. Also – simply because they’re so new – it’s often difficult for creative agencies to sell to marketers, and then for marketers to convince their managers they’re worth the budget.
Cotton notes, however, that these are weak excuses given what there is to gain.
To get a sense of how advertisers are using brand films, Short of the Week has cataloged some of the best branded content posted online.