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Opinion and Insight

5 Top Content Tips From Stoked’s Rita El Hachem

Stoked, 2 years, 7 months ago

The producer behind Lebanon’s award-winning Johnnie Walker campaign on les frères Lumieres, Youtube and emotion

5 Top Content Tips From Stoked’s Rita El Hachem

When the Freres Lumiere invented the cinematography back in 1895, they projected their first film titled "La sortie des usines Lumière”. It was the first cinema film in history and people rushed to the café to see it over and over. The invention was mind blowing, people were curious. The film showed workers leaving the factory. Other films followed subsequently with similar ‘content’, and soon, curiosity and the new fascination in this medium started to wear of. People became in need of entertaining ‘content’. The invention itself, as cool and mind blowing as it was, was eventually only a medium.

With the advent of digital platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, Instagram and the explosion of media as a new channel, there’s a definite hype sweeping the ad industry. Predictions abound of the imminent end of TV and everybody in the communication business is trying their best to ride this wave.

But all of these are simply media for people to consume as they please. Here lies a bigger challenge for the communication industry. During the days of the Freres Lumiere the number of entertainment media was small; today the choices are abound. Brands, marketers, media agencies, creative agencies, are all trying to keep up and make their voice heard and understood in this virtual Babylon.

Branded content, web Films are growing at the expense of TV advertisement. Although the 30” occupies still the biggest part of the pie and guarantees a larger exposure, we see more brands and marketers pushing hard to own content.

Here are five things that you need to know when talking about content 


1. People are fueled by feelings and entertained by ideas and concepts. They need to feel something – anything. If a piece of communication fails to stir their emotions it won’t have a chance to register no matter how much money is spent on it and behind it.

2. Branded content production is still a full on-production, advertisers are under the impression that labeling it as “content” will automatically result in lower cost. Of course there are many ways to cook an egg. You can boil it, poach it, fry it or make an omelette with it. Whichever method you choose the ingredients are almost always the same but the process is different and so is the outcome. Boiled eggs are great, but if you fancy an omelette then you need more than boiling water.

3. Content does not equal low-budget productions, thrown out on online media at cheap media cost in the hope that it will somehow become viral. It needs to be produced carefully. Consumers are more savvy and their span of attention is shorter. They have high expectations, and having access to global content raises the bar higher.

4. A “Youtube creator” might think it is a ground breaking idea to take Nike’s money and travel the world, shooting himself and his friend in nothing more than an amateur “selfie” film. That film might gain tens of millions of views on Youtube, but I wonder if it would have generated anywhere near as much viewership if it were for a brand other than Nike?  In this case, isn’t it Nike that has pushed the film and not this film that has given a push to Nike? Or is it only the fact that Nike sponsored the trip that has generated the buzz. It has fueled people’s dreams of having a fully paid for trip and a promise of fame at the other end. 

5. A well thought out concept that resonates welI in its context will find a way to spread and reach large audiences. As an example, in a place like Lebanon where the internet service is slow and people lose patience trying to browse the net, let alone follow campaigns, an integrated and interactive campaign for Johnnie Walker “Keep the Flame Alive” managed to reach and engage a record high number of people, and to bring the brand closer to them [it also won two Grand Prix and a Film Craft Silver Lynx at this week’s Dubai Lynx Festival]. All this because the idea tapped deep in the universal human psyche, talked about the fighter in each person and inspired people to keep walking. It is these creative ideas that can impact the society and strengthen the brands positioning are the ideas that will make the online media the medium of choice because the consumers can react and interact in real time.


The changes are rampant and more than ever before, production has the chance of being instrumental creatively. This has yet to be seen, though. How long will it be before “ La sortie des usines Lumiere” won’t be enough anymore? 

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