I love good stories

August 2017

by the BCMA and PJ Pereira

The BCMA is in a privileged position to have access to the leading experts and pioneers of the branded content industry. This interview is a part of ‘For The Love of Branded Content’ series which brings together ‘thought-leaders’ from across the globe to share their ‘love’ and advice on what it takes to succeed in the ever-evolving world of branded content.

PJ Pereira, Chief Creative Officer at Pereira & O'Dell, says he simply loves good stories.

Learn more in his short interview below.

1. Why do you love branded content?

I don't. I love good stories. Movies, books, plays... some of them have a brand behind it and I am totally cool with it. As a consumer, I am ok with them, as long as they respect my intelligence. As a maker, I like the challenge of playing an ad guy and an entertainer at the same time. It’s more difficult, but very rewarding. When you hit those marks all at once, then I’d say “I love it”.

2. What do you love the most about branded content?

It’s fascinating when you can, at the same time, mix the need from the brand to make a profit, and the consumer to be entertained. There is nothing new on this collaboration, by the way, it's just fashionable again. But when those two sides merge into a great story it gets really interesting. And there is also the collaboration. It’s such a pleasure to be able to exchange ideas with great content creators, see how they work, learn how they think… The opportunity to work with smart people beyond advertising makes you smarter.

3. One piece of advice you’d love to give someone undertaking branded content?

Never underestimate the intelligence of the audience by hiding the brand or by overdoing it. The art is in the balance. And the world will try to unbalance you all the time. The artists collaborating with you will push to make the brand less prominent. The clients will try to make it more. Your role is to find the right spot, where both will be content, and the audience ecstatic. They will both thank you for that later. Because the best examples of branded content and branded entertainment are those who find a way to, at the same time, bring return to the investment of money that the brand makes and the investment of time the consumer makes. A dual ROI, in marketing jargon.

4. What is the best example of branded content you love?

The Lego Movie. Having worked with the brand in the past, I can see their long, complex strategy throughout the entire script, but somehow they kept it fun as hell to watch. It’s sad that they never entered it in any advertising award, and that the Academy denied them the Oscar. That could have been the first time a brand idea wins a Grand Prix at Cannes and an Oscar. It should have. Let’s see who is going to try next then.