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Art of Producing Branded Content

TCC freelancer and Director/Producer Martyn Gough outlines what he thinks it takes to produce effective branded content.

“If I had a mantra for creating branded content it would be to give the audience something that they cannot discover about the brand in any other way.” says TCC Director and Producer, Martyn Gough.

“I think all brand films are strategic by definition and the DOBSON film is no exception. People feel closer to brands that produce any kind of video content but the more passionately crafted it is, the more emotionally connected they feel. At the heart of this new DOBSON film are the brand values and the need to showcase the product in a lookbook and film format.”

Martyn has been working with menswear brand DOBSON to release Distractingly Sexy But Suitable For Work, a short film that plays off the idea of fashion content being marked NSFW (i.e. not suitable for work). Initially released as a 30 second commercial, this short film came together in a rather unorthodox way. It was the choreography of a typical catwalk, which is repeated in every scene, that was the starting block upon which everything grew.

DOBSON: Branded Content
“First off we needed a legitimate narrative reason to see eight different outfits on the model” he says. Distractingly Sexy But Suitable For Work, which refers to both the film and the luxury menswear garments DOBSON manufacture, revolves around a man’s style choices for the workplace. The story is beautifully contrived around the need to spell out how finely made and luxury these garments actually are. The cut and finishing of a DOBSON shirt owes a lot to work practicality but, as the girl in the film says, they are ‘made from 100% wool from the finest British mills’. When you have the garments in front of you, in your hands, the luxury is immediately evident but we needed to convey that online.

DOBSON describes its customers as ‘pioneers of the digital age’ and ‘the new wave of engineers working in dust free environments’. Indeed their very first online customer ordered from California and turned out to work for Apple. So if DOBSON is aimed at you, you will no doubt appreciate why the film is shot in 6K raw at 120 fps. Whilst some might say this is overkill, there is no doubt that it showcases the fabric using the finest pixels and richest colour.

“It just seemed ‘on brand’ for this tech savvy target audience” says Martyn. “Another, more practical bonus for shooting 6K raw was that we wanted to pull stills to use in the printed lookbook which was a learning curve for us with a happy ending. Shooting in slow motion also helped as the associated increased shutter speeds minimized motion blur.”
DOBSON: Branded Content

Does drama have a place in commercial content?

“Certainly I think storytelling has huge commercial value and I think right now it is the thing to work on. Fashion film is a thriving commercial genre and being commissioned to be creative with narrative is surely the dream.”

“Fashion films are a clear and distinct genre and there is some really cutting edge stuff getting made but storytelling is at the heart of every piece of brand related film, however simple, in any industry. It is such a commercially powerful tool. It can affect different target audiences across numerous industries whilst still following the same process. With ambition and high standards storytelling is a great tool to produce quality content.”

To view Martyn’s showreel, visit his online TCC portfolio.