‘Investment is key to good branded content’ argues Mescall

John MescallPutting the ‘bullshit filter’ on is key to making good branded content, McCann Australia’s ECD John Mescall told yesterday’s Festival of Branded Entertainment.

Speaking at a session on viral video, Mescall said: “The difference between advertising and entertainment is ‘would I pay money to actually watch this, would I pay money to own it?’

“Just put the bullshit filter on, like seriously ‘would I pay for this?’, and work to that.”

Mescall was the creator of Dumb Ways To Die, one of the most viral marketing campaigns of all time.

“Going the viral route isn’t cheap, you can’t skimp on the quality of the work, people think do it because it’ll be cheap because that’s the wrong way to go about it,” Mescall said.

PHD’s global innovation director for Unilever Joel Pearson joined Mescall on the panel to disucss the success of Dove’s Beauty Sketches campaign. Pearson said: “Don’t skimp on the investment in the actual content itself. If it looks cheap it’s probably not going to do well,” he said.

Mescall said it wass important for clients to allow the people making the work the time to ensure the final product is as good as it can be.

“I was blown away by the level of trust both clients gave to the people responsible for creating the magic, you can’t do anything without a great client.”

But Mescall argued the pre-testing camapigns can kill off good ideas. “I think if it [Dumb Ways To Die campaign] was link tested it would have failed. Most really awesome stuff does,” he said.

“The application of common sense is better than any testing. As long as you have a sufficient level of intelligence and artistry and you inject common sense into that, you don’t need testing.”

Miranda Ward


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