In 2008 Guy Browning and I started a business called Immense Productions. Our vision was to combine the best creative people from big brands with comedy writers from film & TV. With some careful help on the ideas-building front they would produce new and original comedy for the brand to share with its customers.
We had this idea just when someone turned the whole world and its piggy bank upside-down, which was unfortunate. But very fortunately Immense Productions went on to make a charming funny feature film called Tortoise in Love, which is out this summer.
Since then it’s been interesting to see brands explore their use of online video and enjoy the benefits of producing stuff people actually want to watch. This started way back with popular TV ads but in the past few years it’s extended into useful how-to videos, ‘viral’ successes (some of them accidental) and huge amounts of content being produced specifically for online audiences.
A lot of this work still feels very sales-y, or like it was written by the PR department. The final step towards true Brand Entertainment will come when brands put down the product and start to focus on what people actually find useful, interesting or entertaining. Fosters started to do this in their sponsorship of “Original Comedy on Four”. Now they’re one of a few brands taking it all the way online with fosters.co.uk, hosting new and/or previously unseen episodes of comedies like Alan Partridge and the Fast Show.
Making millions of people happy is a great way to boost brand loyalty. And brands are starting to realise they can do this themselves, just as successfully as TV broadcasters.