Anjali Nazarenko and Saskia Tempest-Radford were immersed in a visual feast at Brand Film Festival London 2019, the awards and conference from Campaign and PRWeek that celebrates brand storytelling. Here are their takes of the five recurring themes from this year’s event.

  1. The Business Case for Diversity in Brand Film
    Consumers expect brands to communicate their point of view on diversity and inclusion, so it’s important that when these social issues are addressed in film, we address who is in front and behind the lens to authentically tackle these issues. Currently, 85 percent of all buying decisions are made by women, yet women make up only 9 percent of directors worldwide and feature in front of the lens far less than men…
  2. The Strength of Numbers
    It’s estimated that more than 50 percent of engagement on YouTube is now bots, and in 2022, more than 50 percent of the information we receive will be fake. This means that engagement is increasingly being flagged as a “false economy” - success needs to be measured on impact and awareness/sales rather than comments and views. Retention and emotional connection could paint a better picture of brand impact.
  3. Data and its Role in Brand Film
    Find data to question what you’re doing, not to simply justify what you’re doing. To do this, think about using data that challenges your idea rather than bolstering what you’re doing – if it’s still standing at the end of it, then you’ll know it’s a solid idea!
  4. Neuroscience Meets Brand Filmmaking
    When you enter a cinema your brain relaxes, but when you hear shouty brand messages your brain shuts down if there is too obvious a call-to-action, almost like an ad blocker. So, what does this mean? Tests show that our brains have space for emotional and authentic storytelling, particularly when the build of a brand film resembles that of a film trailer. By establishing an emotional connection with your audience, your brand can bypass the “ad-blocker” effect.
  5. Emotion Drives Behavior
    Brand content needs a variety of emotions - viewers don’t want emotional fatigue. Our memory is driven by emotion, narrative and relevance, otherwise known as three keys to success when crafting a film. Also, stop thinking inside out and start thinking outside in - work out what your audience wants to see and stop building on briefs. Instead, start building on brand values.

Brand Film Festival