It was raining awards during the Brand Film Festival in London. As expected, ‘Nothing beats a Londoner’ for Nike was one of the big winners (Best of the Best award and 2 Gold awards). This epic film from Wieden+Kennedy, which already picked up eight awards at Cannes Lions 2018, showcases the variety of sport that takes place in London, and celebrates the grit and determination displayed by those partaking in it.

Most awards however went to ‘Viva La vulva’ (Best of the Best and 6 Gold awards) for Essity, the Swedish multinational with brands like Libresse and Tena. A hilarious and at the same time beautiful (post-) produced three-minute film that, as the title suggests, celebrates women’s vulvas, using a wide range of objects, both natural and man-made, to stand in for the intimate area.

One of my personal favorites is the John Lewis & Partners Christmas ad with Elton John, ‘The boy and the Piano’ (2 Gold awards), which showed us that a gift can alter the course of someone’s life. Great production and story but, speaking honestly it could have been created for any department store.

This brings me to the slogan of the festival: Celebrating the best of brand storytelling. Branded content is supposed to be king but the challenge for marketers is to find the right balance between brand and storytelling.

The 90’s are way behind us so please don’t put your brand and message all over the place anymore as it will make the content feel like an over produced ad and the viewer will see right through it. They don’t mind branded content, but the story should be relevant to them and the brand should play a meaningful role within the story. Joost Geurtsen, Head of Global Brand Partnerships at Insight TV, mentioned something similar in his in key note during the festival: Stop finding an audience for your content, start finding a story for your audience.

A great example is ‘Land of the Land Rovers’ which won gold for best brand documentary. The film, which is part of their 70th anniversary celebrations introduces villagers in Sandakphu, which sits at an altitude of 3,636m down a steep and rocky track and is only accessible by using a fleet of Land Rovers dating back as far as 1957.

For me that’s the way marketers should treat branded content. Great story, beautiful shot and a meaningful role for the brand. Also the message is clear, Land Rovers are indestructible even after 60 years.

So where does Insight TV stand in all of this and what can we take away from this year’s Brand Film Festival. Insight TV has always been a TV entertainment channel that wants to provide substance with the stories it tells. We want to encourage our millennial viewers to go on adventures and be inspired by influencers who chase their dreams. We have been telling these kinds of inspiring stories for years now, and we will continue to do so in the future. This year the Brand Film Festival has reminded us yet again that at Insight TV, one of our goals is to celebrate the best of brand storytelling with shows that we produce.

Get inspired! Take a look at the films that won an award at Brand Film Festival London 2019:

Mirko Oosthoek

Mirko Oosthoek

As Head of Advertising and Sponsorships, Mirko is responsible for all advertising related business on Insight TV’s international tv channels and digital platforms.