It’s been a while since we’ve featured branded content, even though we’re on the record as being big supporters in the past. For me, it’s a simple case of few films standing out. With the creative talent and budgets that big companies are able to muster, is it wrong for me to hold branded content to a higher standard than pieces by film students and indie do-it-yourselfers? I don’t think so.
This latest piece from reputable design firm Pentagram, does stand out though, and demands notice. While I love brands like Absolut who give artists free reign to make films of their choosing, I also deeply admire films like Plot Device which are great films, but function as great advertising as well. The Forty Story is the latter, as it retells the history of the firm in a very light-hearted and cheeky way, weaving Pentagram’s triumphs and iconic work into a splendid (and deeply funny) fictional biography. Ridiculous in concept, the writing uses recurring motifs (“the MOST exciting…”) to splendid effect, nailing that tricky balance between informing, advertising and entertaining. Give this one a watch and see if you agree.