‘Without a doubt, we’re going to witness a shift from obsessing over what advertising looks like, to what advertising feels like’ says Amy Kean*, head of futures at Havas Media. Silver Bullet recently produced seven short films for the new Nederburg website in collaboration with the digital agency, Liquorice Digitas LBi. The new Nederburg positioning, ‘There’s always a story in Nederburg’, paved the way for rich branded content. And three cheers to Nederburg for venturing away from traditional and numbing ‘ad land’, to a more emotive and entertaining terrain.
All the stories are inspired by actual events and characters that make up the Nederburg legacy, from their current female wine master, Andrea Freeborough, to the heritage heroes dating back to 1791. The styling cleverly dabbles between the old and new so that the films feel timeless. And since the stories are based on the estate, most of them were shot at the winery. The cellar master blends the wine with his lover in the old cellar. The original wine master explores the Manor House longing for his passed wife. And the tango dancers glide over the estate drawing parallels between the basic tango step and the nature of the vineyard. The outcome of shooting on location is that the films steer away from being pretentious; instead they feel more authentic and true to the brand. ‘We wanted to make these films because we were given the space to think creatively, to apply our experience in telling stories and making films. We weren’t constrained by the traditional limitations of commercials,’ says Diana from Silver Bullet. ‘This flexibility afforded us the opportunity to make beautiful films that tell a good story while evoking the feeling of the brand. In my opinion, this is the future of advertising.’
Creative Director at Liquorice, Terri-Anne de Sousa, comments that ‘consumers have more choice in what they watch or listen to nowadays, and if we want to get in front of them, we have to produce something that they actually want to see.’ It’s exciting to see branded content move more in the direction of entertainment without the brand at the forefront, but rather a story that evokes the feeling of the brand, or an ideology that encapsulates the brand essence. There is great opportunity here for strong personal connections with consumers through content that isn’t afraid to let the story lead the way.