Episode 11: Bad Branded Content Videos
On this episode of Press Play, Ben and Justin continue with this month’s theme and take a look at and critique two examples of bad Branded Content videos.
The key elements that are discussed are:
1. Be Entertaining
3. Align With Brand Ethos
Ben’s Example: “Real Life Trick Shots 2” – Dude Perfect
Justin’s Example: “Obsession” – OK Go
At Storyboard Media, we’re experts at designing video strategies for growth-stage companies. If you want to find out whether creating branded content video is right for your business, shoot us a message today and let’s have a conversation.
00:04 Ben: Hello, hello. Welcome to another episode of Press Play, where we take a look at the best and then worst video marketing content out there. I’m Ben, and there’s Justin. Today, we’re gonna take a look at a couple bad examples of branded content. Now, branded content, of course, is not overt advertising for a brand, but content that the brand feels like it just wants it’s audience to see. What do you think the key elements of good branded content are?
00:32 Justin: Well, there are four things. First, it’s got to be entertaining because this is something you would’ve liked to watch as a consumer, viewer, whatever. Second, it’s got the branding element of this, it’s got to be very subtle, if at all.
00:45 Ben: Yup.
00:47 Justin: Third, it’s got to align with the brand’s ethos. What do they believe in and that kind of then spurs the… Alright we need to make content about that sort of thing.
00:56 Ben: Okay.
00:57 Justin: And four, it’s… The brand itself has to be connected to it so much that it’s irreplaceable. It has to connect to the content so much that maybe one of three brands could potentially be involved in this, not where you could just slap on anything at the end and be like, “Buy, my things.”
01:19 Ben: Okay. Alright. Yeah, no. I think we’ll probably see an example or two of that, with what we’re gonna watch today. Before we play our bad examples, a little bit of a disclaimer here. These are not inherently bad videos, right?
01:31 Justin: No, they’re actually very entertaining videos.
01:33 Ben: They can be very entertaining and they can be really, really kind of well done. What we’re trying to show is really, it didn’t meet the key criteria, which means they didn’t execute well on being branded content. They may be good videos in themselves. They may be well-produced, well-written, whatever. It just doesn’t work as branded content. Now, the reason I brought my bad example today kinda goes back to that irreplaceability part. I feel like the brand is just totally slapped in and just like somebody said, “Ooh, yeah. We could totally put ourselves in that.” It feels so much more like product placement than actually branded content. So, I’ve got Real Life Trick Shots 2, from Dude Perfect.
02:11 Justin: Great title.
02:11 Ben: Yeah, and let’s press play and…
02:14 Justin: Dude Perfect does have some good content.
02:15 Ben: They do, not this.
02:17 Justin: Alright.
02:17 Ben: Let’s press play.
[Real Life Trick Shots 2 – Dude Perfect]
06:06 Justin: That was fun.
06:08 Ben: Yes. It was fun, but it makes me angry. The way…
06:13 Justin: I can see it on your face. [chuckle]
06:14 Ben: The way that they just tacked on the Kay Jewelers stuff. Just the bags in the random spots, when they were doing other interesting things. And the very lazy throwing of the ring or the necklace around. It just felt so tacked on. And then I don’t know, then they’d go with four, five clips of really cool things. And then they just remind me again that this was a Kay Jewelers branded piece, because was it was just awkwardly crammed in there.
06:45 Justin: Yeah. There was a little bit shoving it down your throat of Kay Jewelers. It kinda brings up this new wave of advertising that, I think can be confused with branded content, which is influencers. It is like let’s align influencers with your brand a little bit more. There’s nothing to do, the only reason I can think of that Kay Jewelers chose this is because dudes, guys who occasionally or often buy jewelery for their ladies, would see this. This is definitely a guys channel on YouTube. Other than that, there is no connection. It was horrid.
07:30 Ben: No. And it was so forced. It just made me feel like they didn’t respect. They thought that I wouldn’t even notice.
07:42 Justin: Didn’t respect the viewer. Yeah.
07:43 Ben: Didn’t respect the viewer. I don’t know. Every kiss my ass starts with Kays. [laughter]
07:51 Justin: Well okay, let’s get to the criteria right, we’ll sort it out here. So, entertaining?
07:56 Ben: Sure.
07:56 Justin: Two thumbs up.
07:57 Ben: Absolutely.
07:57 Justin: Awesome…
07:58 Ben: Yup.
08:00 Justin: Awesome content.
08:00 Ben: Yeah, great content. They’re…
08:02 Justin: Not branded content. [chuckle]
08:05 Ben: But not well branded content, because subtlety.
08:08 Justin: Number two, subtlety? No.
08:09 Ben: No.
08:10 Justin: Not at all.
08:11 Ben: It was just cramped in there at random intervals.
08:14 Justin: Usually, the kitchen and the bathroom sink…
08:18 Ben: Kitchen and bathroom sink was I think, the only times they did it. And sometimes… So there were two things they did. One was like, they’d take a piece of jewelry and toss it on to a jewelery holder thing. The other thing they would do is just do one of their other stunts and just have a couple Kay Jewelers gift bags sitting there.
08:37 Justin: Yeah. Nothing subtle about that.
08:39 Ben: No.
08:41 Justin: I can’t even say this, does it align with the brand ethos?
08:45 Ben: I don’t need to know what Kay Jewelers brand ethos is. Well, if it does, I don’t want to know what Kay Jewelers brand ethos is.
08:54 Justin: What does throwing garbage bags into the garbage can have to do with Kay Jewelers?
09:00 Ben: Other than a sexist or a misogynistic message, I don’t know. But that can’t be what they’re about. So it just has to be a no.
09:06 Justin: It doesn’t align at all.
09:07 Ben: I’m really fired up about this. I apologize. [laughter] Irreplaceability. They literally could have done this with any other brand. Any other brand, product, type of product, whatever. It just felt like a sellout money grab, and that’s what good branding content cannot be. Which is why, for me, it’s a terrible example.
09:30 Justin: Yeah.
09:31 Ben: What do you have for us?
09:33 Justin: So this one, might also make you angry, because we chose them or you chose them. But they’re good. So it’s no Kay go video. They are always entertaining. And I think they do actually a really good… I don’t know how many of their videos are sponsored exactly, but they’ve always been very entertaining. But this one took it to a different level.
09:56 Ben: Yeah. No, I think I know which one you’re talking about.
09:58 Justin: So let’s take a look at “Okay Go’s Obsession”.
10:02 Ben: Let’s press play.
[OK Go – Obsession]
13:51 Justin: Okay. Yeah.
13:53 Ben: So in reviewing this… Lets hit the points.
14:04 Justin: I see what you did here.
14:05 Ben: Okay.
14:06 Justin: ‘Cause one of the good ones was a different. Okay Go video, but slightly different, but it makes all the difference.
14:14 Ben: It is. Yes.
14:17 Justin: And which part was that?
14:18 Ben: So lets review, and we’ll hit it as we go through.
14:22 Justin: Sure.
14:22 Ben: What are the four points? The first one?
14:24 Justin: Entertaining.
14:25 Ben: Sure.
14:26 Justin: Hell yes.
14:27 Ben: As a film maker astonished with how they actually do that.
14:32 Justin: Yeah, some of the perception, like the movement in the camera with the movement in the coloring of the paper and…
14:39 Ben: Robots.
14:40 Justin: Robots. It was really well done.
14:42 Ben: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Subtlety.
14:47 Justin: 99% of it was very subtle, if at all.
14:51 Ben: Except the very end.
14:53 Justin: Right, for both of us then. That’s where we lose it is they almost like, “Gotcha, buy our paper.”
15:01 Ben: Absolutely. It was the: Ha-ha, you just watched an ad for our paper.
15:06 Justin: Yeah, and then as a big fuck you to whoever that… I have no…
15:13 Ben: No. Yes. It’s up to the moment that you see that white screen with the branding on it, it’s almost exactly the same concept as the good Okay Go video, but somehow as soon as they say, “Ta-dah!” It’s like…
15:32 Justin: Paper!
15:33 Ben: “Fuck you!”
15:35 Ben: Right?
15:35 Justin: Yeah.
15:37 Ben: Yes. But that shows how important subtlety is. You can’t feel like you’re being sold to with good branding content.
15:46 Justin: With good branding content. Yup.
15:48 Ben: What do we know about that paper company’s brand Ethos? Does it align with their brand Ethos?
15:52 Justin: I have to imagine either that is… The line: Obsession with smoothness, I think it was, either that is their model or it’s not, but they chose to use it here. Okay. I can see that, I don’t… It’s hard to say that they insist on wasting paper, but then again it does drive revenue, and profit, and all that.
16:19 Ben: That was my thought about the special thanks to Maton Island and Phuket Island.
16:23 Justin: What?
16:23 Ben: Like that’s the island that had to give all of it’s trees for the paper for that video. So special thanks to this island that now has no trees.
16:32 Justin: Yeah.
16:33 Ben: But I don’t know what that special thanks was about. But unfortunately because it was that gotcha moment, I turned against the brand.
16:41 Justin: Right. And Thailand.
16:42 Ben: And Thailand. Yes.
16:44 Ben: I love the Thailandese people.
16:45 Justin: We love the Thai.
16:47 Ben: Thailandese?
16:48 Justin: Thai.
16:50 Ben: I love…
16:50 Justin: Clearly we love Thai.
16:51 Ben: Love Thai. How about Irreplaceability?
16:58 Justin: Yeah, I think they get a checkmark there. It could have been a printer company, it could have been a paper company, it could have been an ink company. There were like maybe three brands that could have contributed to this content. It also could have been done for the sake of entertainment but I think that it’s a weird concept to choose for Okay Go.
17:17 Ben: It makes me wonder if somewhere along the way, and maybe it was their management or whatever, but Okay Go, again I don’t know if all of their the videos like this are actually branded content. And we know that I Won’t Let You Down was branded content from Honda. I think maybe they just thought that worked so well. It’s a great way to finance another music video, except they should have said no to the branding. It’s almost like they got a big head and thought, “Okay, we can do all these as branded content. This is a great opportunity.” And they just let it go a little too far, and now they come off as sellouts, a little bit, which is unfortunate.
17:56 Justin: Yeah.
17:57 Ben: So there you have it.
18:00 Justin: That was their latest video, right?
18:01 Ben: Yeah, I think so.
18:02 Justin: So I wonder where they’ll go next. If they choose to partner with a brand, how will they do that sort of thing. Which brand? I think it’s controlled by the brand, too.
18:12 Ben: Yeah, I’m sure there are ardent watchers of this program. And so, I think based on how upset we are with the over branding, they’re gonna say…
18:24 Justin: And they subscribe to this…
18:26 Ben: Woah. Right?
18:27 Justin: Yeah.
18:28 Ben: And then next time they’ll probably just take it right up to the line and make sure that they’re paying attention to point number two, which is subtlety. Alright, I feel like that’s a good place to end this episode.
18:39 Justin: Alright, let’s wrap it up.
18:41 Ben: So, that’s some bad examples of branded content. We’ll see you next time on Press Play, where we’ll be talking about, insert here…
18:50 S?: Company Culture Videos.
18:51 Ben: In the edits we’ll figure it out between now and then, or not, I don’t know maybe we just leave it like this, but I probably got my mouth covered. See you then.