The Ecology of Branding

By Ms Published on .

In the wake of the Seinfeld and Superman web series for AmEx comes two more branded film narratives. Sears Craftsman has sponsored The Scout, a series of 90-second story installments that will unfold over 10 weeks on SportsCenter; and Details and Visa have produced a 17-minute short, The Ecology of Love (seen above), featuring pop superproducer Pharrell Willams, which will be packaged by distributor Film Movement with DVDs.

The Scout, directed by HKM's Michael Karbelnikoff for Atlanta-based agency Brighthouse Live, tells the story of a washed-up baseball scout who finds a prospect in a young groundskeeper. Jerry Cronin, BrightHouse CCO, notes the pleasures of the more leisurely narrative pace when making a string of :90s. "Characters can have more natural speech patterns and reactions, making the story more real and engaging."

Indeed, when Visa and Details approached director Brin Hill about the project that developed into The Ecology of Love, the only requirement was that the card make an unambiguous appearance. "We wanted it to have indie flavor, as opposed to approaching it like an advertisement," says producer Devon Terrill. The film follows a road tripper who woos a French beauty in a beautiful and barren desert.

Like the Superman webisodes, these two new projects aren't isolated exercises. The Scout will be followed by a new short about a Boston family, sponsored by Miller beer, via L.A.'s Ground Zero, and Details and Film Movement will team with DKNY for Friday Night Fever, directed by indie features director Tjebbo Penning.

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