As we may have mentioned, we make stuff that works. In a world where audiences roll their eyes and rush to the ‘skip’ button at old-school trailer-style/broadcast ads, we create video content that people love and enjoy and actively seek to pass on to others. Films you want to talk about, rather than mute.
Now, in this world, there are YouTubers, Twitchers, Viners…all sorts of creative online filmmakers, producers and personalities, each with their own huge and/or hugely dedicated audiences. And, of course, there are brands who want to reach those audiences.
Brands aren’t stupid. They realise social video has the potential to be an incredible way to engage audiences. They can see the success these high profile content producers are already having in achieving exactly that. And often this leads to one (very valid) conclusion: ‘a collaboration!’
We think brands are right to identify this area, and the collaboration approach, as bursting with promising opportunity – as we’ll go on to demonstrate. But first, a cautionary tale about the times when it doesn’t work.
It goes something like this: someone wants to get into this space but, for whatever reason, they miss the ‘conditions of entry’ – like a lanky teenager determinedly queueing for a water slide without realising there’s a maximum height restriction. Unlucky, kid, but it is what it is.
Specifically, advertisers sometimes get caught between wanting a collaboration and a commission. There’s a desire to have all the ‘leverage’ of working with someone else whilst retaining all the control of something you make yourself. This leads to some strange conversations, along the lines of ‘we love what you do. Can you do something for us? We’ll tell you what it is and then you make it. Or, even better, we’ll make it and you…make it famous for us. That works, right?’
No. It doesn’t. It’s like the old mantra of ‘cheap, fast, good – pick any two’. It seems to us, anyway, that it’s another case where you can’t both have cake and eat it. Trying to make the most of a collaboration whilst still operating on a commission mindset is virtually a contradiction in terms. In these cases, we find things tend to go one of two ways:
Does this mean all collaborations are a non-starter? Not at all! We think brands are right to see them as a great potential opportunity. They just have to be done right.
We’re happy to hold that up as an example of the good things that can happen when you collaborate with your collaborators. Think we can say that everyone involved was pleased with this bit of work:
Why was this collaboration so successful? Because we found a genuine collaboration, one where there was a great fit between what everyone involved wanted to accomplish, and which allowed all the parties involved to bring their strengths to the table (/piston-powered ejector bed). Perhaps most crucially of all, the idea came from years of watching Colin Furze. We already knew his style and wanted to work with the grain of that – and the brand tie-in wasn’t foisted on him or crowbarred in to fit an immovable set of demands. He already embodied the kind of character and energy Taylors wanted to articulate, so we could have the collaboration conversation as it should be: ‘We love what you do. Can we do something together? We’ll help you do what you do best.’
We love it when a plan comes together like that.
Are you thinking about a social video collaboration for your brand or agency? Want to do one that works? You can always call us.