Why brands are the new studios

Greg-Logan HatchBrands should take a leaf from Red Bull’s playbook and start creating their own content says Greg Logan.

As more and more brands produce content, learning the power of entertainment rather than the sell, we get closer to the age of brand storytellers.

Red Bull are the pioneers. Their global production and distribution division is almost as big as the product they sell. Around the world people actively choose to watch their programs and their online channel. If it wasn’t for Red Bull, we wouldn’t have seen the guy jumping from space.

Most brands will say ‘yeah, but we’re not Red Bull’. It’s true, they stand for adventure, which works perfectly in the entertainment space. However, there are hundreds of brands out there who stand for something that works as entertainment. Those who pay big money to be associated with sport could be producing their own product and have sport wanting to be associated with them. Comedy, information, fashion, beauty, gaming, travel, business… there are so many entertainment genres that are there for the taking.

One surprising brand doing a great job of producing their own content is DuPont. Their Horizons program is the second most popular program on BBC World News and is now in its third season. DuPont successfully uses the power of content to work beyond the TV show, maximising the value via their YouTube channel, major touring events turning the content into a major sales tool.

In the US, Ikea funds an A&E Network show Fix This Kitchen. After two seasons viewers have an 86 per cent improved perception of the brand, are 30 per cent more likely to visit the store and 75 per cent more likely to purchase. With this kind of success, why stop at kitchens? Ikea could easily own home and lifestyle entertainment.

Recently Netflix announced it was going to start creating their own content instead of just distributing the content of others. HBO did it, producing some of the finest entertainment in the world. There’s no reason brands can’t do the same thing.

This is where we are heading – the end of traditional ads, traditional studios and production houses where brands create content designed to entertain and engage first, selling second.

Instead of brands sponsoring a show like X Factor or The Voice, they could be creating their own singing competition content for around the same money. The benefit to the audience is ad-free entertainment with just one integrated brand or product message.

Soon there will be no differentiation between ‘internet’ and ‘TV’. Traditional TV advertising will no longer exist and video ads as we know them will die. Brands and companies will become a studio or publisher, and publishers will become brands. Very soon everyone in business will be making original video content. But the time to start is now. In a few years, online video will be exploding at levels that we cannot imagine, and those who have done the hard work, who have worked out what works and what doesn’t, will be producing the entertainment people will turn to.

And they will be turning to you. For human beings are addicted to stories, and need brands – whether they’re Disney, Red Bull or OMO – to tell them good tales.

Greg Logan is co-founder and managing director, Hatch Entertainment.

This feature first appeared in the tablet edition of Encore. To download click on the links below.



  1. Boring
    6 Feb 13
    11:25 am

  2. Yawn!!! How many times have we heard this!!!

  3. Kate Richardson
    6 Feb 13
    1:35 pm

  4. For every The Voice, there’s 3 Excess Baggages, and in this market, very few brands if any have the money, know how, appetite for risk, or access to distribution to make this business model work on their own. For now, for brands who have the budget, it’s hard to go past an investment in a successful TV format (where someone else is taking the risk) coupled with the right leverage strategy (which could include a content play) over a self funded TV format. Just ask Barilla who sold out of product in Coles stores after their involvement in Masterchef last year.

  5. Chris
    6 Feb 13
    1:53 pm

  6. Great Read Greg, would of been good to see mobile incorporated as well.

    Mobile devices now account for 10 percent of global Internet traffic, double of 2010. Much of that is attributed to mobile video and video consumption through mobile apps increased by 52 percent from March 2011 to March 2012.

  7. MR T
    6 Feb 13
    2:24 pm

  8. This is all well and good, but not every brand has a story.

    This idea is what leads to brands having a Facebook page stating “Like this if the new Omo washing powder makes your white’s whiter!”.

    It’s not content. And it makes me snore.

  9. Chris
    6 Feb 13
    4:23 pm

  10. The Kiwi Sceptics was a great example of what can be created online with a good budget, picking up many awards including Winner of Cannes Lion award.

    Small to mid size company’s with less budget can still create an effective social video campaign, but do need to be careful not to damage their brand by producing amateur looking content… It can give their Brand a global presence across all social, mobile and VOD platforms..

  11. clive burcham
    6 Feb 13
    5:36 pm

  12. yup

  13. Gregory Stone
    6 Feb 13
    5:47 pm

  14. 100% with you on this one Greg,
    Tourism australia did some great work with the Making Tracks series musical engagement on a journey thru australia… they ended up using one of the songs as the backing for the new TA spot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4nKqtMxh6Q


  15. Researcher
    7 Feb 13
    2:35 am

  16. Wow, I think you are onto something here. Maybe a brand like OMO could make some broadcast quality content. I don’t know, something with mass appeal, real life drama, set somewhere like a Street in Manchester or a small beachside town in Australia. It could be like a serial with new episodes every week or even daily, OMO could promote their brand before the show starts, maybe in a small break in the middle and then again at the end.

    I suppose all they need to do then is find the best was to distribute that content to find a mass audience. Shit, have we just re-invented the wheel here or is that the emperors new threads you are designing.

  17. Sam Eoldidea
    7 Feb 13
    5:41 pm

  18. Wow! You might be on to something here.

  19. SantaCrusing
    9 Feb 13
    2:55 pm

  20. The biggest cliche and “repeat” on this page is the reiteration of people making fun of the article in the half-arse, Gen Y manner above. Ironically, that manner of reply has been around since the pre-Internet/pre-Social Media of the BBS boards of the California State Public University System where such “original sarcastic comments” making fun of something for being unoriginal were already around, and even printed out on DOT MATRIX PAPER MEDIA, in the mid 1980’s, from the ad-dollar hotspot of San Diego all the way up to the trend-setting Santa Cruz and past UCSF to link with associate campuses in what is now “Portlandia”.

    Something “Researcher” should do some “research” on. Or STFU. As every whiteboy Gen Y hipster-tard with dreadlocks should do. Since that look is in fact older than the fathers of such hipster-tards; such loser-a$$ poseur whiteboy wannabees were some of the talentless, culturally-derivative punks maundering such “Emperor’s New Clothes” comments back in ’87 on the BBS boards.

  21. Researcher
    12 Feb 13
    3:29 am

  22. That’s me told. Thanks for that ”SantaCrusing”, I laughed so much reading your post above a little bit of pee came out. STFU, whiteboy and ”Gen Y hipster-tard”. Comedy gold and a history lesson too.

    I have no idea what you are on about and I won’t be researching any of the bizarre world you write about.

    Sorry if you didn’t like the sarcasm I am trying to make the point that much of the ‘Opinion’ section of this site is actually a fairly overt sales pitch for a service provided by the writer. Despite that ”YOU GO SISTER”.