Trio of brands co-fund short film by Tongue’s Jonathan Pease starring influencer Sarah Ellen

Adman Jonathan Pease has collaborated with popular Australian Youtuber Sarah Ellen and digital style influencer Margaret Zhang to create a brand-funded short film project about the way young Australians use social media.

Room 317 tells the story of a woman, played by Ellen, who is trapped in a never-ending nightmare set in a hotel. Waking up suddenly in the night she runs between different rooms, changing costumes and characters along the way,  trying to escape the demons which are chasing her.

Funding for the piece came equally from three companies, Chupa Chups, QT Hotels and Swarovski, with product placement from all three throughout the highly stylised piece, which has had 245,000 views on Ellen’s Youtube channel so far.

Tongue executive ideas director Pease said: “We wanted to address the issues Sarah faced as a young person on the Internet and the way social [media] has impacted her. Things such as negative comments, people not being who they are on the Internet and the way young people are using social media.”



While product placement is evident in the short film, Pease said he and Ellen had been left with complete creative control of how they were used as part of the story they wanted to tell.


Pease added: “A lot of brands are slapping brands onto influencers in a way that isn’t authentic. The influencers accept it, but it unfortunately can do them some harm if it isn’t genuine.

“Sarah knows her audience will be across multiple social channels so a ‘rinse and repeat’ strategy wont carry the conversation forward.”

He added: “We re-edited the film for social media channels so we could market specifically for all social channels.”

This included 6-second teasers for Vine, 15-second previews for Instagram and longer edits for Snapchat. Ellen will continue to post snippets of the film across all of her channels to drive viewers back to her Youtube channel.

Creating content that is ‘ripe for sharing’ is the primary objective, as Pease hopes to reach 1 million views on YouTube and a social footprint of 5 million views for the film across all media channels.

Danielle Sen


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