Juror POV: Saville Productions’ Rupert Maconick

The producer of Lo And Behold discusses the need for winning brand content

The advertising world is changing rapidly. Every major brand is now exploring how to reach consumers on commercial-free streaming platforms.


The answer is simple: Instead of making ads, brands must create the films and streaming programs that consumers want to watch.


Brands that have embraced this approach are finding success. P&G has an original docuseries that reaches millions of subscribers on Hulu. Our latest brand-sponsored documentary for Johnson & Johnson, 5B, was accepted by the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and will be in 400 theaters this summer.


Other brands have been slow to adapt their advertising strategies. These brands still believe that with enough media dollars you can engage consumers with ads and branded content. The truth is, you can’t.


Paying for viewers with a media deal is like a movie studio buying all the tickets to its own film and calling it a box office hit.


In today’s world, consumer engagement can’t be bought — it must be won. With so many great content options available, consumers will invariably choose entertainment over forced brand messaging.


Contrary to what many advertisers think, it is not prohibitively expensive for brands to make top-tier entertainment. Brands can fully fund a feature-length project, like a documentary, for less than the cost of a traditional advertising campaign. This includes working with an A-list director.


The reason this approach is so affordable is because authentic entertainment projects do not require brands to commit to a costly media buy.