Talk about one beauty of a campaign.
Pereira O'Dell's social film for the Intel Toshiba partnership has been awarded the Film/Branded Content & Cyber Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
The six week series, called "The Beauty Inside," stars Topher Grace as Alex, who wakes up every day in a different body - each new body played by a cast of consumers who auditioned via Facebook for their roles. The strange adventure, which Alex chronicles on his Intel-powered Toshiba laptop (naturally), gets problematic when the body-switching character falls in love.
According to Ad Age, the judges praised the quality of the production and story, which "represented a move forward in filmic and online storytelling," as the pub puts it.
As tenuous as the connection to the Intel-based Toshiba product may be (based on this first episode - see YouTube window above – one could be forgiven for wondering whether it really matters which notebook the character uses) the effort lives up to a central tenet of my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, which is to move marketing away from using the web as merely a channel for message distribution, toward content based on real-time participation, creation, collaboration and exhibition.
Here, consumers could watch the video on Facebook or via a special site, Like it to hear about the next installment, and, as mentioned, audition to play Alex. The nice interspersing webcam snippets enable many to play the role from the comfort of home.
One could argue that this is less product integration than mere product placement (I'm not sure I'd notice the product brand if I didn't know who was behind this). But it is a compelling way to make the product the central mechanism a provocative and entertaining narrative.
Kudos to all involved (and a huge congrats).
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