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Tuesday, 07/02/17

Our approach to 'the content scramble'

The debate around who owns content, what is content, who should make it, who owns it and more topically in my world…. the role agencies play in content continues to flow across our social feeds - the most recent of which is a piece on 'what branded content means to the future of agencies' which offers a range of views from different agencies on 'the content scramble'

So… whilst I am sat on a delayed train (also topical) I thought I would jump on board with my build on how we are 'scrambling'…. sharing some of what we are doing at MediaCom in the UK to develop our content offer, our role in the process and our appetite to collaborate to ensure we are servicing our clients with innovative solutions.

At MediaCom, we are "front foot" and have a new drive to grow the amount of original content productions and ideas we take to our clients- whilst specific briefs will exist and do a great job, we want to expand our opportunities to do amazing work based on business challenges by taking solutions to clients that they may not of thought about…...

The focus for us is to be pro-active across seeking out, spotting and developing the very best ideas in video, television and social formats that start from a position of just being great ideas but have the potential to become great branded entertainment!

There is still a lack of genuinely brilliant branded content projects where the brand is integrated naturally and in a way that editorially fits or indeed is the right type of content to engage an audience. There are many reasons for this….

BUT as a content person in a media agency, you may find it refreshing to read that I don't believe we can tackle this alone - nor can we do it working with a singular supplier (topical…again!!) we need MANY experts in the form of producers across different genres, short and long form to bring us diversity of thinking.

I currently have active conversations with half a dozen production companies, ranging from super indies to small but agile production companies who are pushing the boundaries with new and exciting formats and an ability to turn thinking around quickly…..BUT, we need more to satisfy appetite ….

The role we play as an agency isn't about making the content, writing the treatment or trying to wedge as many pieces of product placement 'moments' in as possible....we want to protect ideas but find the brand angle to create a marriage that works with our consumer understanding - it's more about having a rare skill of opportunity spotting, it's how you take an idea and see the potential for a brand to integrate working with a creator, a broadcaster, publisher, network or platform so that we can deliver the right idea to the right audience at the right time. Not forgetting our access to shaping the media plan around this, enabling us to activate and extend the conversation across many more media touch points.

Already this year we are experiencing huge appetite for bigger and more challenging ideas in the content space. We have various large scale opportunities in development in the form of formatted social video series, both short and long form brand funded video and television series, but are also keen to explore potential for our brands with interactive Facebook live formats as well as looking to how we might work with the likes of Amazon and Netflix to create big and ambitious branded entertainment projects as these platforms emerge and offer relevant reach for certain brands.

So… like any good piece of content, this hopefully has a 'pay off' for producers reading this and an FYI for others…. whilst I cannot openly share our client's challenges in this piece, I am offering an 'open door' to producers to engage with us… we are open for business!! ….

A great starting position for anyone wanting to engage is to:

share great ideas that on your development slate that you feel could benefit from brand integration
share great ideas that potentially have strong broadcaster, network or publisher interest but may benefit from a brand integration and investment.
If you're able to keep it punchy in the interests of time for all concerned, we are just looking for a summary of idea, any talent involved, any interested partners, publishers, broadcaster or networks, and potential opportunities for the brand as you see it - clearly we will have a build on this when specific brands are identified.

To summarise….In the same way as an agency that we have done with broadcasters and publishers, we want to build more links with producers and continue to build a collaborative approach bringing the industries closer together to work across our

By Paul Tremain, Content Development Director

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