Branded video review with RedPill: Mads Mikkelsen, Krokodil and SickKids

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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%.

Le Fantôme: a Jake Scott film starring Mads Mikkelsen and the new Ford Edge.

Rating: 56%

Remember when BMW was making branded content before it was a thing? Well, Ford’s finally caught up, and they’ve got Mads Mikkelsen instead of Clive Owen. Sadly, even Hannibal’s charisma can’t make feeling up a car anything other than weird.

This short makes a fascinating case study of the current identity crisis in advertising. I’ve often written about how brands should really be looking to become content creators on their own, producing content people want to watch regardless of the product. This is a new and powerful way to develop deep customer loyalty - if I go to BMW’s website instead of Netflix when I’m looking for something to watch, you can be sure I’ll remember the name when I’m car shopping; if your brand makes me feel like Clive Owen, I’ll do everything I can to get that car.

BMW’s content worked brilliantly because the brand committed to the idea that they were short films showcasing the car – not ads attempting to sell. Ford doesn’t commit and it shows. You can see the marketers and the filmmakers negotiating throughout the film. The car itself destroys the suspension of disbelief so necessary to enjoying the experience. When your product is the biggest problem with your advertising, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

Krokodil Requiem - Крокодил Реквием

Rating: 91%

This isn’t strictly branded content, but some things are just worth talking about. Created by Romain Demongeot, Unit9, and Sonia Presne, Krokodil Requiem, is the rare bit of art that pops up on YouTube instead of Vimeo. It is a seductively haunting experience, rooted experimental video, that truly makes you feel the despair and compulsion of addiction.

There are echoes of Marco Brambilla in its stagey use of VFX, and of Cronenberg in its distorted and decaying bodies. Its emotional power stems from the hallucinatory sound and imagery - the subtitles are almost redundant. It is always a pleasure to come across artistry of this kind online.

SickKids VS: Undeniable

Rating: 94%

After that downer of a video, here’s some sick kids! But damn, does this one have oomph. It works easily as a high-concept music video, despite it being a TV spot. It succeeds where so many others have failed – to work both online and on TV.

The track, "Undeniable" by Donnie Daydream featuring Richie Sosa, gives the video a Nike-like drum beat; this sensibility permeates throughout. The images are a wonderful mix of goofy theatrics and intense hospital scenes. The danger feels real and scary, making the moments of triumph all the more epic. Genuinely exciting and fun to watch, it really does turn the kids into superheroes.

Matthew Davies a director at RedPill, a specialist branded video agency. RedPill focus exclusively on branded video, covering content strategy, creative, video production, influencer marketing and organic distribution.

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