Why are Commercials Starting to Look Like Short Films?

Have you ever seen a commercial that looked like it belonged in Cannes instead of on CNN? What you may have seen is called a branded film. Branded films are often longer than a traditional commercial spot, focused on storytelling, and serve to dig deeper into a brand’s messaging. Some examples of branded films are BMW’s The Hire, Philips’ Parallel Lines, Marriott’s French Kiss, and most notably, Warner Brothers The Lego Movie franchise. 

In this article, we’re going to break down what exactly makes a branded film, how you can create one for your brand, and what kind of impact branded films can make. Take a look at the production company’s past works and demo reel. Do the past productions look of high quality? Are these past productions similar in look and feel to what you hope your production will look like? Do they have references for their work ethic and skills? FOXFORCE has so many wonderful testimonials from our past clients and crew, we send these over with our capabilities deck, so you know exactly, what, why, and how we do what we do and with the proof to back it up. To request our deck simply email  info@foxforcemedia.com and we will send one over to you!

What Are Branded Films?

Branded films are diverse. Although they run longer than a typical commercial or brand spot, they can range from a few minutes to half an hour. These videos are often entertaining, inspiring, and drive home a specific, often hard to capture, feeling, or impression of a brand. Not only are they typically more entertaining for the consumer, but they also leave a longer-lasting brand impression.  

Branded films can be in a narrative form or a documentary. Brands can determine which style is right for their image and their audience. For example, a brand like Nike can take advantage of athlete partnerships to do an in-depth documentary on Nike-sponsored athletes and their journey. A brand like Southwest can do a narrative film capturing the emotion of a cross-country journey to see a loved one. 

Here are some great examples of branded films:

BMW’s The Hire

Philips’ Parallel Lines

Marriott’s French Kiss

How Can Your Brand Get In On The Action?

Unless you have an in-house production studio capable of cinema-level production, you’re going to need to outsource. Once you have partnered up with the perfect video production company (FOXFORCE), it’s time to get down to business. Branded films are significantly more complex than a traditional commercial. First off, since they are longer than a traditional spot, you’re going to need a bigger budget, a more thorough story, and higher-level actors (or if you’re doing a documentary you will need at least one solid lead). 

Where commercials are often trying to highlight specials, new diversifications, or singular attributes of a brand, Branded films give you an opportunity to dig deep into your brand’s core and help audiences connect to that. This is where storytelling comes into play. 

In order to get started on your branded film, you’ll likely need to research and form a partnership with a production company (Like us!). Check out this blog on How to Find the Right Production Company for You.

What Impact Do Branded Films Have?

Branded films can see an extraordinary impact on brands. For example, BMW saw a 12.5% increase in sales between 2000 and 2001. However in 2002 when they produced three new chapters of their new branded series, they saw an increase of 17%. In addition to sales, over 2 million viewers registered on the project’s landing page and 60% opted into email campaigns. From there, 40,000 users opted to complete the brand survey and 94% of respondents said they would recommend the film to others. 

By taking advantage of branded films, your brand can also see the success that larger brands experience. Not only do they lead to tangible results, but they also elevate your brand image and awareness in the consumer’s mind for the long-run.

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