In 2001, BMW, in conjunction with Omnicom Creative agency, BBDO, kicked off the modern era of brands taking on the role of serious content producer in digital formats. BMW Films, and their short film series The Hire, was prescient to what would become an important channel in an era of consumer ad-avoidance
In 2007-2008, Mindshare rallied its clients Suave (a Unilever Brand) and Sprint to create In the Motherhood, a webisode comedy series targeted to new moms that was distributed on the MSN network. The series included popular talent including Leah Remini, Jenny McCarthy, and Chelsea Handler. For its time, the series did well on the web, but floundered when it was pick-up as a TV series by ABC and was recast.
Since that time, the branded entertainment and content world has flourished with The Myers Report forecasting Branded Entertainment will be an $8.8 billion business in 2020.
Also read: Unilever's Aline Santos Shares New TV Strategy and Apple TV+ Partnership by Simon Applebaum
Just in time for Father's Day, Apple TV+ will be launching a touching, funny, heartwarming new documentary, Dads. Directed by award-winning actress Bryce Dallas Howard, the film is receiving very positive reviews with a 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing. Dads brings together several stories and perspectives of fatherhood from both celebrities such as Jimmy Kimmel, Will Smith, Judd Apatow, Jimmy Fallon, and a mix of non-celebrity fathers. Dads is available to watch on Apple TV+. You may watch the trailer for Dads here.
In Howard's words as told to ABC's Good Morning America, "For me stories are so powerful because they are a gateway to radical empathy." One of the subjects of the film was Howard's brother, Reed, who found out that he and his wife, Ashley, were expecting mid-way through the project. Says Howard, "During my sister-in-law's baby shower, I was looking for my brother and someone told me he was in the basement with my dad (legendary actor and director, Ron Howard). Here we were hearing the screams of countless women supporting Ashley in this venture and yet my brother was downstairs with my dad 'hiding'. I realized that men have no right of passage when they become fathers. I got to capture conversations with my brother and my Dad and witness how he helped prepare himself."
The whole concept of this documentary aligned with the purpose of Dove's Men+Care brand who has made it part of its Brand Purpose to support the right for paid paternity leave with its "Pledge for Paternity" effort. Unilever produced Howard's Dads.
In a recent Leadership Conversation with Unilever's Global EVP Global Marketing and Chief Diversity Officer, Aline Santos, Jack Myers asked Santos about the role of OTT in this new non-limited ad supported media environment. Santos was very excited about the options available at this time and explained that purpose plays a very important role, 'When you have purpose in a brand there is so much more you can tell your consumers. So, if you're selling a soap the conversation is not only about soap, but in the case of Dove it is about self-esteem. There are so many issues that we like to tackle in content in a different way. We are launching a new movie that Apple has bought from us, Dads. We are going to be talking about the importance of men taking responsibility and care for their kids; the pleasure for men that this role brings, but also the empowerment that brings to women. When men come in as caregivers and liberate the women. It is amazing that paternity leave is not available throughout the world and that is something we are fighting for. In our own company, when we started the paternity leave policy, not many men were taking it. Our CEO said that for every man in our company who has the right to take that paternity leave and doesn't, have them give me a call. With this announcement, overnight, all the men in the company were taking paternity leave, and now they are championing it.
You can watch the on-demand version of Jack Myers' Leadership Conversation with Aline Santos here.
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The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.com/MyersBizNet.