What’s in a Name?

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Author: Jeremy Ettinghausen, Innovation Director BBH London & Labs

When a few of us were sitting around talking about a film we’ve just produced for Virgin Media we agreed on two things. Firstly, we all really like it. Secondly, none of us know exactly what it is, or what to call it.

“Throughout the ancient world, naming was a sacred act … It was the voice of destiny, summoning the child into his future with all its glorious promise.”

Anne Hamilton, God’s Panoply: The Armour of God and the Kiss of Heaven

We can tell you at least three things it just isn’t;

  • it’s not just native advertising.
  • it’s not just branded content.
  • it’s not just product placement.

What it is is some sort of hybrid three-way involving an entertainment property, a subscription streaming service and a broadband provider. It’s got characters from a TV show interacting with characters from an advertising campaign, in an advertising campaign for a TV show, a broadband provider and a subscription entertainment service.

Is this a new content type? We don’t know. Is it interesting? We think so, maybe simply because we can’t put it in a box.

“Why do you have to ruin everything?’ he asked. ‘Why do you have to name everything? Decide what’s real and what’s – why can’t you just enjoy things? What’s wrong with you?”

Michael Montoure, Slices

We know we haven’t discovered seven hitherto unknown species of miniature frogs, but if you have any idea how we might describe this *Frankenad*, or what we might call it, let us know in the comments.

5 Responses

  1. 21st century advertising: content. Pretty expensive content in this case. That’s ok as long as you get enough views and (most important) people buying Netflix. We’re in advertising, people. Not fine arts.

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