Marketing That Doesn’t Look Like Marketing

Let’s get this out of the way: we love traditional advertising and have loads of proof that it works. Ok, everyone good? Now let’s take a step back to talk about telling your brand story through short films & branded content.

Legendary VC Peter Thiel claims to evaluate businesses more like a good story than an entity trying to make a profit. His belief is that the most compelling story wins. Your brand is no different. Neither is ours.

The Way out What?

Let’s talk about March.

Over the past several weeks we’ve gotten a slew of questions about what we’re doing with our “Way Out West” film series. For those of you that have been following along, you’ll know that we’ve sent a crew out west to shoot four original pilots. This has prompted two general reactions:

1. Are you trying to make a ‘Free Solo’?
2. Are you still doing commercial brand work?

The short answers are not really and yes.

As a company, we’re pursuing what looks like two separate goals that are really just one overarching goal. We refer to it as a “barbell” strategy where one side is branded commercial content and the other is sponsored originals. We believe it’s imperative to do both in order to offer the best of each. And our partners benefit because we’re lifting both sides – and, hence, the quality of our work – simultaneously.

The most compelling story wins

What very few people admit is that creative enterprises (agencies, filmmakers, what have you) are really in the talent business.

In order to attract the best creative talent, you must have a mission. By that we mean something unique to an organization that goes beyond earning a paycheck and making a profit. There has to be something shared and meaningful for everyone on the team that is bigger than the sum of the parts. Ours is Chispa and the ongoing Search for the Big One.

But you need more than a just big dream.

For the mission to be believable, you also need the right people with the right plan. That means actionable, easily-understood steps and a team capable of fulfilling it.

For our creatives and filmmakers, one of the things we provide is a blank canvas and creative freedom to pursue projects that incorporate Chispa and our Search. These films not only challenge us creatively, but they also push us to new places, use new techniques and equipment, meet inspiring people, and constantly evolve the ways in which we tell stories of humanity.

This is why the Way Out West films had to happen.

What’s your story?

To build brand loyalty you need two things:

1. An emotional connection
2. A functional connection.

An emotional connection begins and ends with people. Your people. Transparency, honesty, and a strong differentiated positioning will generate more trust and build more long-term brand equity than traditional promotional messaging ever could. We believe the best way to do this is to let the people that live your brand story tell it through video.

Beyond the emotional reasons, your product or service must meet the functional requirements of your customers. If it can solve an unmet need in some way that’s superior to competitors, congratulations. If not, your story becomes even more important.

Creating With Chispa

Like our barbell strategy, we believe the most effective way to communicate is with humanity-focused branding overlaid with tactical promotional messaging. Partners of ours find that our films impactfully shift perceptions, artfully change behaviors, and effectively guide the audience through the consideration phase. Whether this audience is comprised of clients, prospects, talent, shareholders, vendors, or other partners, investing in your story and the long-term health of your brand will earn dividends for years to come.

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