In the last decade, as viewers become more and more familiar and sceptical of ever present traditional forms of advertising, the value and need for branded content is on the rise.

More institutions are acknowledging branded content as an art form. In 2017 the kingpin of creative festivals, the D&AD Awards, will be celebrating this fact and they go so far as to say that “branded content is becoming recognised as the pinnacle of combining creativity and commerce”.

Blonde has recently won two Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Best of Health Awards for a brand film we made for Novartis and so here are our 5 tips on how to make an award-winning piece of branded film content:

1. Interpret the brief thoroughly but don’t be bound by it. Focus on changing behaviour and use key insights to elevate the work to its full potential.

Rather than focusing solely on the information we give primary importance to figuring out how we want people to think, feel and do differently after experiencing our work.

2. Know your audience. If you don’t know what they are interested in, then there’s a high likelihood they won’t engage with the work.  With Demi’s Story (the film we made for Novartis) we knew that health care providers had seen hundreds of run of the mill case example films before, we set out to break that mould to create something that stood out and was memorable.

3. Focus on ONE key objective, just like you should focus on one audience.  Having multiple goals for a film, many narrative threads and various audiences to cater for, will dilute your film to nothing more than dishwater.

4. A strong opening is imperative, as it draws in the viewer. The first thirty seconds must stir their emotions and compel them to keep watching. They say that humans now have an attention span of eight seconds, which is less than that of a goldfish, so if you can hook someone in the first seven seconds even better!

5. Authenticity is paramount, which is something that everyone says, or everyone should say if they don’t!  We cannot emphasise enough, that the look, feel, tone-of-voice and reason for a piece of content’s creation must remain reflective the brand or the audience will reject it, and it will do more damage than good.

If you’d like to see what award-winning content looks like, click here.