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  • Writer's pictureAmit Baram

Updated: May 21, 2019

Game Of Thrones' last season has brought many online discussions (and rants) about the writing's quality / haphazardness.

New technologies in private editing tools and online services like Magisto and Promo have given an unprecedented rise in video content creation. Video has faster turnover times than ever before, and with cheaper production costs, has fitted itself right into a sweet spot in the marketing campaign's budget.

Similarly to George RR Martin's books many brands go straight to video these days and face the consequence of creating content that misses its mark.

One thing that is important not to overlook is the writing.

A lot of times with challenging budgets the writer is called upon to build a strategy targeting the brand's audience, bring an effective concept, create messaging that resonates and converts and produce a compelling narrative with visuals in mind.

Whether you're looking for a campaign, product or service video, having a writer that is creative, visually oriented and understands marketing to the core is a good place to start.

#marketing #video #content #writers #GOT #design

A short case study in large scale content marketing.


Last week I binge watched Netflix and Formula 1’s new docuseries Drive To Survive. I was drawn in to the cast’s passion and drive to win at all costs, to the dramatic on (and off) track battles, to the high-speed, edge-of-your-seat racing action and to the sophistication involved in operating this massive, highly competitive, tech-oriented sport.

I’ve never followed motorsports before but after watching the series I felt the urge to watch a real Formula 1 race. I found myself checking up on race dates, current standings, sports channel subscriptions and watching race highlights. Leaving behind me a fat trail of pixel crumbs for F1’s marketing team to collect.

I wasn’t alone. I was part of an engagement wave flooding over the F1 brand.

This marketing M.O isn't new but it resonated with me because I was the one captivated by it and it got me thinking about the famous impact Top Gun had with a 500% increase in recruitment rates to the US Military after it was released. The film, starring a young pre-scientology-era Tom Cruise, was partly funded by the US Military ($1.8M) and used as a recruitment tool by the recently commissioned Military Entertainment Complex under the Reagan administration. Their mission (which they chose to accept) to resuscitate the Army’s poor post-Vietnam image included funding for many other features over the years including Armageddon and Iron Man.

Formula 1 rebrand by Wieden Kennedy

Similarly, Formula 1 was having a bad decade, it had lost popularity and lacked current appeal. It was sold in 2016 by eccentric Brit billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, who commanded over the empire for over 40 years, to the American Liberty Media holdings group ($4.4B). The Americans, with an inherited talent to make business out of sports, laid out a growth plan and expanded into new markets (namely N.America & Asia). They did this by restructuring the world tour to include ‘New World’ venues and engaging a younger target audience.

They revitalised the brand with a new retro look and a significant digital presence including top of the funnel content, culminating in this primo piece, produced by Academy Award, BAFTA & Emmy winner James Gay Rees (who also credits: Senna, Amy & the breakthrough Exit Through The Gift Shop)

F1’s expansion and rejuvenation efforts reflect a change taking place lately on the track itself in the form of more inclusive teams and younger drivers, much like Top Gun reflected the change happening in young Americans in the 80's looking to shed their previous generation's defeated post war trauma and take pride in their country again.

The two pieces, also share a premeditated marketing plan to create great content as a recruitment tool for their brands.

It won't be long before other industries look to better their image through content and we might end up seeing "Drive to Sanitise" a behind the scenes drama about the lives and loves of dump truck workers in Minnesota.

#marketing #content #racing #Formula1 #Netflix

  • Writer's pictureAmit Baram

Short answer - yesterday.

We all know the common saying: If you’re not even a little ashamed of your MVP, you’ve waited too long to launch. Same goes for branding.

Many early stage startups I meet are reluctant to part with any of their seed / round A money for branding and identity - especially companies focused on B2B products or services. They feel the time isn't right to invest in such superficial matters, they could not be more wrong... and here's why:

How important is a logo anyway?

Short answer - it isn't.

Well, branding isn't only about creating a nice logo, in fact, logos are only a very small part of branding and they don't even have to be nice, they have to relate the right message.

Branding is more about creating an identity system, a vision, a clear company mission with specific targets and goals that not only your clients can understand but your team and investors can too.

It's about defining your audience and knowing how to speak to them in the right tone of voice, creating emotional guidelines they can understand and finding them in the right arenas.

Branding is about mapping out the whole structure and future of your company.

Why should I decide on my identity so early on?

Short answer - it will make all future decisions easier.

Adding or removing certain product features, deciding on the right marketing strategy, attending or skipping a trade show, hiring the right candidate, launching in a specific market, etc...

All these questions become so much easier to answer once you have a clear vision and identity. They save you countless amounts of ca$h and time in endless repetitive meetings and discussions.

It's like a guiding light in your company's path to prosperity.

Can't I do it as soon as my next investment comes in?

Short answer:

You can wait... but you shouldn't.

All you're doing is giving up your competitive edge to fast reacting competitors who can learn from your progress.

Not all successful companies where the first ones on the block, far from it, many successful brands simply packaged existing products in a more compelling manner.

Slack, Spotify, Facebook, Chrome... are just some brands that created a better identity to dethrone or delete their competitors.

When's the last time you logged into your Friendster account on Netscape?

So, what can I do?

Start developing a compelling story, today!

Build a narrative, accent your benefits and reach out to your base, wether it be end customers, other businesses, potential investors or your own in-house team.

#branding #identity #marketing #strategy #startups #launch #funding

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