Sean Cummins at CRA 2015

Staff Writer

In an entertaining presentation, with plenty of visual cues and props, Sean Cummins gave a terrific presentation entitled “Now is the Winter of our Brand Content”.

Sean discussed his views on branded content at length saying:

What is branded content. A form of adverting that blurs the distinction between advertising and editorial content. It’s more and more prevailing with advertising moving away from its exact science.

It’s definitely in at the moment, but like most fads, it will eventually leave us.

It has its merit. The art of branded content came into its own when the Australian Open allowed Jacobs Creek to run vignettes during the tennis between sets as a two minute story about Andre Aggasi. This highly successful add, was aired for free as it was entertaining and it told a hidden story about Aggasi. .

Huge amounts of good will for Jacobs Creek cause the content was different, but ultimately BRANDED.

Branded content is great for clients , but has opportunity to give great content that is compelling and tells a story. It’s a clever case of trickery to the audience who can’t always tell if there being advertised to.

Audiences aren’t stupid, and can see through unauthentic content, but clever content that puts consumers needs first has the potential to get major cut through whilst getting through the mess that is today’s branding onslaught, and for the near future.

Branded Content has a fresh way of serving up new way of selling advertisers message that doesn’t leave the consumer feeling as though they’ve been SOLD.

Sean suggested that the key drivers now are “Making sure you have a bloody good story to tell.”

He also talked about his dislike for a particular word “Activate is another fucking word I hate”.

One of Sean’s most successful campaigns was developing the Jeep campaign.

He talked about dealing with an iconic American brand, such as Jeep, and demonstrated how they turned it’s brand position on its head with “I bought a jeep”. With the words becoming part of the Australian vernacular.

He said:

  • Have a big idea and build a platform.
  • Create something that will lasts, future proof your ideas.
  • This puts you in the centre of the clients world.

Sean went on to discuss the Heidi Klum – Intimates campaign.

“Her power was her ability to get on shows like Ellen and Jimmy Fallon. The biggest issue was how to position Heidi in the market; a number of ideas fell flat with her management.”

The pressure was on to find the right campaign for Heidi. The idea came about almost accidentally, and it was for Heidi Klum to appear in the next SIA video. A friend got him in contact with SIA’s management and they did a deal.

“I will give you Heidi, we’ll pay for the video clip and let’s call it even”

The end game, massive videos views with 25 million in a week, massive press coverage – Total Paid media Spend = Zero.

“Take meeting’’ – Don’t let your ego get in the way of an idea”

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