With the elections rapidly approaching, those of you in potential swing states have been inundated with political advertisements from both candidates and advocacy groups. Luckily, you aren’t the only group that gets to enjoy political content (I know, enjoy is probably a strong word). From Hollywood to Antarctica to Belgium, other groups have joined in on the act. Check out the three “issues” videos below. All are incredibly well crafted, and they really drive home their points. PS – If you love Kevin Bacon or polar bear amputations, then these are the videos for you.
As attacks on women’s reproductive rights have become increasingly brazen and absurd, it’s time to draw the line. Some of Hollywood’s biggest guns ask for your signature on the Bill of Reproductive Rights.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest goes after the big soda companies by jamming the famous Coca-Cola polar bears. In this case, a family of polar bears exposes the fattening consequences of a soda-heavy diet, as the video seeks to counteract the billions of dollars the big soda companies spend on advertising by informing the public of soda’s responsibility for the obesity epidemic.
In a Belgian school, the girls are separated from the boys and told they will be doing a special activity. Initially the girls are excited, but it turns out that the activity is menial labor such as peeling potatoes, and cleaning toilets. Naturally, the girls quickly get upset and ultimately protest. Subsequently, the girls are informed that 75 million girls all over the world are forced to do work just like that simply because they are uneducated girls.
This week we saw numerous examples of how mini-documentaries (either trailers for a longer film, interviews, or creative testimonials) can be powerful content mediums. In addition to the examples highlighted below, ESPN, Sharpie, and Puma have also ran successful mini-documentary campaigns over the past year.
First, Vans released a trailer for their new documentary, “Bones Brigade”, which focuses on Stacy Peralta’s 1980′s skate team. Until the Brigade came on the scene, skateboarding was reserved for outlaws, hoodlums and other shady characters. However, as the Brigade quickly realized, growing into a counter culture symbol has its perks (just ask the Hippies), and many of the team members ended up gaining tremendous financial success (Tony Hawk). The trailer artfully displays this early, gritty underground skate world in an incredibly well-ochestrated mix of interview close ups and vintage skating clips. The emotions of the skaters are raw and powerful.
In addition to Vans, design company Herman Miller also used a mini-doc format to showcase their creative and eccentric take on design. Whether it is world-famous designer Ayse Birsel reflecting on how she uses a deconstructive thought process to come up with new ideas or Irving Harper telling stories about his incredible paper sculptures, the mini-docs below capture the artists’ imagination and display it throughout the content. Instead of constant product placement or overt branding, the company provides us with story lines that are compelling, and for that, we salute you.
Until next week, check out Sharethrough.TV for the latest mini documentaries and other forms of branded content. If you see anything we missed, feel free to shoot us a message or comment below.
The theme of the week in video was hidden cameras. This applied to the real world (just ask Mitt Romney) as well as the video world. From the staged hidden camera to the real thing, voyeurism has always been a video tactic that has captured the attention of TV and online viewers. Check out a few brands and agencies who hit it out of the park.
To start it off, comedian Sarah Colonna pretended to be a “beauty cop” as she patrolled the streets on her Segway doling out tickets for beauty infractions. Her one-liners are hilarious and the video is extremely entertaining, which is no surprise to those who have watched other Portal A videos (check these out: Airtime, Californians for a Cure, and Ed Lee 2011). The hidden camera effect was not prominent in this video (and the violators are most likely actors), but Benefit Cosmetics still made us feel like voyeurs. Nice work.
How can you compete with a rude beauty cop? Well, hide some rotting fish in a car and let people gag, that’s how. Conscious Minds, which has been behind other interesting stunts such as Nike’s Dunk, Pine-Sol Lady, and Vinyl Throw, once again delivered in epic fashion. To get the point across that Fresh Step Cat Litter really does take odor away, they loaded up a cab with a hidden camera and some fish and watched people gag, vacate the vehicle, and cuss. Lol. When the fish was covered with Fresh Step, people didn’t even notice a smell. This large discrepancy in reactions really drove home the campaign’s message. Tally another big win for Conscious Minds.
To cap off the hidden camera stunts, Smart Water, in conjunction with AR New York, used some serious start power in their “leaked” Jennifer Aniston security tape campaign. If you enjoy a pregnant Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel in a bathing suit, or a little person in a alien costume, then you will love this one. Like always, Aniston delivers some chuckles and Smart Water’s product placement is well done.
While completely different then the hidden camera videos above, this video by 72andSunny is all about rallying people together to engage in ACTUAL stunts. In this case, political ones. In a very 99%esque campaign, United Colors of Benetton targeted a really interesting audience for their latest campaign: NEETs. NEET is someone who is “not in education, employment or training.” It’s a nebulous catch-all designation for those who may have lost their job, can’t find one and have given up, as well as those who are so disenchanted by the current state of the economy that they never had any interest in getting a job in the first place. It’s an interesting group to go after because many of them have deep-seated, anti-capitalist sentiments, but United Colors must feel like they will still purchase a chic sweater every now and then.
Make sure to visit Sharethrough.TV for the rest of this week’s hit videos, and scroll through to check out some past ones as well.
Until next time,
Your Sharethrough Team
Branded video content comes in many different formats, and this week we got to experience a few of those. Whether it is an online only documentary or a one minute TV spot, the key to successful content is creativity, and these videos nailed it.
To kick it off, our friends across the pond, Addiction Worldwide, rolled out a new campaign for Remington that focused on the precision, control, and power of Remington’s electric razors. To create an analogy for these qualities, Remington hired professional bike rider Denny MacAskill to do precision tricks through the streets of San Francisco. Similar to DC Shoes/Ken Block’s recent Gymkhana Five video, Addicition played off of the beautiful site lines to grab your attention and then used MacAskill’s skills to drive home Remington’s messages:
Intel and Toshiba continued to hit the mark with their “The Beauty Inside” online movie series. With the help of Pereira & O’Dell, they did an excellent job at weaving in their product without making it corny or drawing too much attention to the product itself. Overall, the series is really clever as it quintessentially incorporates an ingenious social component:
Honda and their creative agency RPA launched a new video that highlighted Honda’s U.S. presence. The man character, Tim Mings, has made a life of driving and restoring N600 vehicles, the first Honda ever made for the U.S.. Destined for the scrap heap over 40 years ago, Tim has become the U.S. leader in N600 restoration. The video is just another example of RPA’s ability to come up with a creative story line that delivers Honda’s message in a unique way. Just take a look at their recent Ferris Bueller commercial for an example of another successful campaign.
Lastly, Audi created some buzz for a few different reasons. First, their video called “Suspect” aired during the NFL Kick-Off last week and it was a great example of a TV spot that felt like content. It built some nice suspense and then when it offers a resolution, you’re left wondering whether there might just be something more going on. Venables Bell & Partners, which made noise in the branded content community for its 10 part online series for eBay, was able to give a motion picture feel to a one minute spot…not an easy task.
Unfortunately, Audi and MediaComm received some harsh criticism for a promotional video that focused on Evil Kenevil’s “Snake Canyon” stunt. Audi recreated the stunt with their newest vehicle, the RS5, but audiences felt short changed when they were left with a cliffhanger (no pun intended). Personally, we felt that this video was pretty spectacular and captivating. We can’t wait to see what Audi comes up with next.
With autumn on the horizon, we have started to receive a healthy dose of football hype, election previews, and back to school product announcements. Luckily for us, many of these advertisements have been excellent and entertaining examples of branded content. As we continue to move away from summer and closer to the World Series, the presidential election, the holidays, and the Super Bowl, we look forward to the continued influx of great new videos. Now, onto this week’s roundup.
Like always, EA Sports is pulling out all the stops for its annual Madden game. In a series of videos, actor Paul Rudd and Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis discuss their friendship, talk some smack, and humor us all in the process. These videos are not that far from how a typical Madden relationship looks, and that is what makes it even more hilarious. Game on.
So, did you just get a new Verizon iPhone or AT&T Android phone? Well, Virgin Mobile thinks you need need to ditch it and get a new one. Heck, Virgin even gives you some examples of how to ”accidentally” ruin your phone. So next time you trip on a cruise ship and send your phone overboard, don’t be surprised if your phone provider questions your motives…
As we gear up for election season, YouTube will once again play a prominent roll in how candidates interact with their constituents. For the first time ever, YouTube is rolling out a clearinghouse for all political content. As you will see in the video below, YouTube rolls out the “U.S Election Hub” by creating a political analogy centered around the concept of balloons. By showing examples of balloons as both symbols of good (birthday) or bad (drug trafficking), it creates a central theme that is both captivating and eye-opening. To cap off the montage of images, the video leaves you with a shot of balloons falling at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, which helps bring the story full circle and create immediate timeliness.
Lastly, Nike continues to create stellar, creative advertisements. In the clip below, Nike rolls out their new soccer cleats by using marionette-like cinematography. If you are a soccer fan, this one is sure to inspire.
Until next time, keep on watching and exploring!
Madden Forever: Interview
Brand: Madden 13 (EA Sports)
In a series of hilarious videos, Ray Lewis and Paul Rudd describe their BFF relationship. They grew up together. They did a lot of summer stock together and Paul even taught Ray the squirrel, his now-famous celebratory dance.
Brand: Virgin Mobile
A highlight/blooper reel of people intentionally losing and breaking their phones in order to take advantage of the new Virgin Mobile phone deal.
Introducing the YouTube U.S. Elections Hub
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
The many meanings of a balloon represent the many different perspectives offered by media outlets during the political campaigns leading up to election day. YouTube’s Election Hub will be a clearing house for all of it.
A marionette version of the great Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta gets his defenders all tangled up.
This was another great week for branded content. As is usually the case, the best content was not confined to a certain creative structure. In fact, we saw everything from hilarious repurposed television spots to longer-form documentaries. What did they have in common? Well, they were all extremely entertaining to watch, and they are now driving online conversations.
For Nintendo, Penelope Cruz and her sister, Monica, starred in the debut advertisement for Super Mario Brothers 2. The Cruz sisters did a great job, but not just because they are easy on the eyes. The appeal of video stemmed from the ability of the Cruz’s to look as though they were truly enjoying the game just as any of us non-celebrities would. That real life sneak peak was refreshing and fun.
Despite the NBA offseason, Foot Locker found a way to keep us engaged with some of the leagues funniest personalities. James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder showed us that, despite losing in the NBA Finals, he remains in good spirits. For a television ad, this really hits it out of the park. Short and humorous, it definitely is an ad that you want to share with friends.
While the television ads highlighted above were great, the next two used a little more creativity to get their message accross. To highlight the precision and consistency of Volvo’s 18-wheelers, the company hired Faith Dickey, a world-record holding tight rope walker, to walk across a line between two Volvo trucks as they speed forward towards a set of tunnels. The catch: If she doesn’t make it across before the trucks enter a tunnel, the line will snap and so will she. This video was intense and memorable.
Lastly, Puma rolled out a research based documentary that wanted to answer an age old question: Do sports fans care more about their team or their wife? The brilliance of this campaign, outside of the compelling topic area, was that the study was legitimate scientific research and the results were published online. This not only made the research more appealing, but the online availability of the study allowed viewers to engage with the content even after they finished the video. While the results showed that soccer fans (grudgingly) prefer their wife to their team, the video showcased just how difficult that decision actually was.
Until next week, enjoy the great campaigns below.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Agency: Alerte Orange
The gorgeous Cruz sisters play the new Super Mario Bros. 2 game against each other with the loser having to dress up like Mario and go out in public.
Brand: Foot Locker
Here’s a great example of a TV spot that’s also very much content people want to watch. This hilarious spot features Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Both are all-stars, although Harden might be the more famous simply because of his amazing beard, which, like his gear, he likes to always keep fresh.
The Ballerina Stunt
Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors
Without a doubt, this is one of the most ridiculous stunts you’ll see.
Love or Football
In England, football (not American) is many fans’ greatest love. Puma decided to test whether or not this holds true when measured against their actual partners in life.
This past week was a mixed bag of branded content videos. Levi kicked off the week with a chic campaign that showcased how their jeans fit seamlessly (no pun intended) into our fashion-focused culture. The message in the video was clear: Jeans are timeless.
W Hotels and Roman Coppola, the director and screenwriter, have joined Intel on a search for new screenwriting talent. In order to find that talent, individuals are being asked to submit a short screenplay (like the one spoofed in the below video) that takes place in a W hotel and features an Intel Powerbook. If your submission is selected, it will be created by The Directors Bureau, which features the one and only Wes Anderson. The one catch is you don’t have much time: Deadline for submissions is August 30.
To prep for it’s 80th birthday, LEGO rolled out an animated documentary outlining its history. From a small Danish toy company to a global corporation with its own theme parks, LEGO has remained a centerpiece of every childhood playroom. This video allows the lego-enthusiast to take a look inside their favorite pastime and pay homage to a company that is constantly exploring new ways to capture our imagination.
Lastly, as you may have already seen, Little Baby’s Ice Cream created one of the most…err…unique videos in recent memory. Whenever you involve ice cream and cannibalism there is a strong likelihood you may stir up some conversation. Remember to go hug someone you love after you watch this because it may leave you feeling a little creeped out.
Enjoy, and keep looking for awesome new videos at Sharethrough.TV
Go Forth 2012
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Levi’s 2012 installment for their “Go Forth” campaign is an anthemic cross between a beat generation poem and a self-help mantra.
Four Stories: A Short Film Competition
Brand: Intel/W Hotels
Agency: Virtue WW
Write a short screenplay set in a W hotel and utilizing an Intel Powerbook as a key prop and you could get it made by The Directors Bureau, whose roster of directors includes Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola.
The LEGO Story
Agency: Lani Pixels
In celebration of LEGO’s 80th anniversary, this 17-minute, animated film tells the history of the iconic Danish company.
This Is A Special Time
Brand: Little Baby’s Ice Cream
This retro, avant-garde video that stars a man made out of ice cream who eats his brain against a black background and with a creepy music box playing goes for straight weird, and certainly exemplifies the fact that hyperbole is still one of the most effective hooks you can employ to get people to watch.
This week’s Week in Review features a diverse array of branded content campaigns. From alcohol to sports themed funerals to cussing children, brands and agencies really seem to be hitting their stride in terms of creativity.
Wieden + Kennedy released two different videos this week; one for Southern Comfort and one for ESPN. In the Southern Comfort video, we see a husky man walking down the beach in nothing but a speedo. While most of us would feel self-conscious, this man seems completely comfortable in his own skin. In fact, he is so comfortable that he stops to grab an ice cold Southern Comfort on the rocks.
In the ESPN short film, we are given a lesson in sports fanaticism. Not only does is showcase specific examples of fanatical behavior, but it highlights why sports is such a powerful rallying point for so many families…even in death.
Next, Mekanism and KIXEYE came out with an extremely catchy (and expletive-filled) video. After stereotyping other gaming companies, KIXEYE contrasts itself through witty humor and quirky props. If you have enjoyed the recent OldSpice campaigns or the Dollar Shave Club, you will definitely like this one.
Lastly, Ogilvy & Mather and Louis Vuitton put together a great tribute for the “Prettiest Fighter in the World”, Muhammad Ali. Without mentioning their brand in the tribute, Louis Vuitton does an excellent job attaching itself to a universally known leader and champion.
We hope you enjoy these videos, and as long as you keep watching, we will keep bringing you new content every week.
Brand: Southern Comfort
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
This is a pretty epic walk in the vein of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. SoCo on the beach sounds comfortable to this guy.
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
ESPN and Wieden + Kennedy, NY had the legendary director Errol Morris do a short documentary on sports fans who take their love for their favorite team to the grave, literally. The video goes with ESPN’s “It’s Not Crazy. It’s Sports.” campaign.
This is a great recruitment video, of which the last part reminds me of the DollarShaveClub.com video from a few months back. We all know how hard it is to get programming talent here in the Bay Area.
Muhammad Ali’s “Dream”
Brand: Louis Vuitton
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Yasiin Bey, who may be more familiar as Mos Def, although his given name is Dante Smith, recites one of Muhammad Ali’s more famous streams of trash talk about “The Rumble in the Jungle,” his epic fight with George Foreman in Zaire in 1974.
This week’s Week in Review features four of America’s most well known brands: Toyota, Google (twice), Duracell, and Old Spice. These videos do a great job of showcasing how creative top brands have become with online video.
In Toyota’s “The Ex”, Saatchi & Saatchi provides us with a humorous, stereotypical ex-girlfriend character, while also creating a broader story line that their target demographic will likely resonate with. Google, who rolled out possibly their most disruptive product in the last half decade (Google Fiber), created a video that aims to make viewers experience how internet speeds were in the past, present and how they will be in the Google Fiber future. It’s a slow build that delivers a lightning fast ending.
And then there’s Jay-Z. Duracell used the hip hop icon to power up their newest ad for Powermat. It’s just cool. As only a Jay-Z commercial should be.
Enjoy the videos below. If you are left wanting more, pop over to sharethrough.tv to watch our full library of the best brand videos.
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
No matter how tired certain concepts are, if you execute well, it can work. This video exemplifies that. The ex-gf, ex-bf bit has been played out in seemingly every possible way, but this video quickly takes a funny turn, plays it light and cool and then knocks it out of the park with a perfect ending.
The Next Chapter of the Internet
Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
An epic model installation introduces Google Fiber which provides internet speeds 100x faster than current broadband rates. As The Cars “Just What I Needed” comes into tune, the video plays on the old promise of the internet as superhighway. Unfortunately, this is just rolling out in Kansas City, but hopefully it signals the beginning of an even faster internet.
Day in the Life
Agency: Woods Witt Dealy & Sons
Duracell bought Powermat and rolled out a new ad featuring Jay-Z. Check out who gives him a ring at the end…
Google Play Tests
Google’s in-house video production division, Studio G, has released a series of videos over the course of the past 6 weeks explaining the features of Google Play. (You may have seen some of them.) The features are so simplistic they don’t really need explanation, but apparently that’s kinda the point in this series of videos done by Wes Anderson’s fan club.
I Will Live Forever
Brand: Old Spice
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Old Spice continues with their self-help “Believe in Your Smelf” campaign, this time with a scrawny kid willing himself to limitless Olympic gold and immortality.