Every fortnight, Redpill reviews three new or relevant branded videos and assesses the reasons behind their social performance. Redpill’s rating system scores videos across five categories (awarding a maximum of 20% for each category): originality; on brand; creativity; craft; and shareability. The sum of all five scores produces a rating out of 100%.
Los Pollos Hermanos - Taste the Family!
Gus Fring is back - on Better Call Saul that is. To build up anticipation for his return, Netflix and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan have featured our old favourite Gus Tring, and he’s just as creepy as we remember him.
What makes this ad so special is that it refuses to be special. Unless you know the character, this could be any other one of a million fast food ads. This is a vehicle for subtext - nothing on its surface betrays what it is really about. Interestingly, it is this straight face that makes it so shareable. Many other adverts have used this format - publicity for fictional brands - but most will always drop a hint about their true nature. I kept expecting to see a bag of blue meth tucked away in the background, but there is no such wink here. Just Gus Fring’s shark-like smile.
Campari - Killer in Red - Short Movie (English Version)
Clive Owen seems to have found a niche as the mystery man in branded short films. After returning as BMW’s the Driver, he appears as the bartender in Campari’s new short. Written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, it is a gorgeous, lush piece of surrealism. Exactly what you would expect from the creator of La Grande Bellezza and This Must Be the Place.
As a piece of branded content, Killer in Red works surprisingly well. Showing off a host of Campari cocktails - from my favourite the Negroni to the cocktail of the title, it manages to be both a practical advert and a brand-building one. And it certainly makes you thirsty.
Simone Giertz with Ericsson - Why my sponsors are leaving
How about this? A sponsored influencer video about sponsors. Simone Giertz is known for creating hilariously bad robots - a kind of millennial Rube Goldberg. Apparently, her sponsors are having issues with her swearing, even though she is literally referred to as ‘the queen of shitty robots.’
This is a key point in working with influencers that a lot of brands get wrong. Influencer content works as effective advertising when the influencer is recognisably themselves. Influencers are not character actors, but rather movie stars. They play only themselves.
Influencer marketing is not the space for tightly controlled brand messages. Even if the brand is producing the content, it is important to heed the influencer’s knowledge of their audience. After all, they are the ones that built it.
I applaud Ericsson for sticking by Simone’s side, not just because it shows loyalty, but more importantly it means they knew who they were partnering with.
The author, Matthew Davies, is a director at Redpill, a specialist agency, focusing exclusively on influencer marketing and branded video, covering content strategy, creative, video production and organic distribution.