Why Brands Should Partner with DocuFests
4 Minute Read
· Docufests are launching their content on a variety of platforms and brands can help stand behind this movement
· Brands can use Docufests to show support for social causes they align with
· Brands looking to invest in arts and culture can use Docufests to activate and enhance the on-site viewing experience
Unlike many notable film festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, “Docufest's” (documentary based festivals) are often not as exclusive. Allowing more engagement with the public and with many Docufest's offering free admission, brands have more access to the everyday consumer. This creates the opportunity for brands to increase their awareness and create a higher impact within the market the festival is hosted. Brands can do so through a variety of tactics such as becoming a presenting sponsor, advertising pre-roll on select films or helping to fund unique initiatives developed by the festival. In light of Hot Docs, one of the largest documentary festivals in North America, kicking off in Toronto, MKTG explores 3 reasons why brands should look to partner with Docufests.
Docufests are launching their content on a variety of platforms and brands can help stand behind this movement
Hot Docs dove into a new medium with the initiative first launching in 2016 – podcasts. The Hot Docs Podcast Festival allows consumers to watch live storytelling with podcasters, live podcast recordings, industry panels and listening parties. Expanding into new platforms allows the festival and partnered brands an additional way to reach consumers – in this case specifically reaching the niche market of podcast listeners that may not have had initial interest in the festival. This also provides brands with MORE ASSETS TO SPONSOR in festivals like Hot Docs due to the opportunity to reach consumers twice in one year (the original Hot Docs occurs in Spring and the Pod Cast Festival occurs in late Fall).
Brands can use Docufests to show support for social causes they align with
Many documentaries tackle strong political issues such as sexism, racism and gender equality. Brands who are trying to develop their political identity can align themselves with documentaries presented at festivals and use a variety of tactics such as funding the project development and creating pre-roll advertising. People form relationships with brands not just because of what they sell but because of what they stand for. The majority of consumers (80 per cent) agree that companies should address social issues. (Huffington Post) The opportunity is available, but must be authentic to the brand.
Not only can brands partner and fund select films, but larger aspects of the festival. This year the annual Sundance festival which occurs in Salt Lake City, Utah, greeted festival guests (for the second year in a row) with a women`s march. DropBox was the sponsor of the on-site IndieWire Studio which supplemented this march. The IndieWire Studio interviewed celebrities and influential filmmakers to step away from the film dynamic and engage in conversation regarding women`s rights. This conversation and DropBox initative was sparked due to the highly controversial and socially engaged #MeToo movement (a movement created to stop sexual violence against women) which was occurring at the same time as Sundance.
Brands looking to invest in arts and culture can use Docufests to activate and enhance the on-site viewing experience
The CPH: DOX International Documentary Film Festival in Denmark partnered with furniture designer Normann Copenhagen to create the Social Cinema pop up. The Social Cinema leverages the notion of Docufests being a more relaxed atmosphere. This activation was installed using chic yet comfortable furniture from the brand to give festival goers a more inviting cinematic experience which allowed the brand to be responsible for bringing audiences closer together and enhancing the overall experience. The brand supplements their activation with a contest that attendees can win furniture from the line used at the Social Cinema.
This 11-day pop up was host of international documentaries, audiovisual concerts, a 5-day conference and talk shows. Due to this activation, the furniture brand Normann Copenhagen is associated with leading content from the festival and was able to integrate their branding seamlessly without distraction from the festival.
Brands can look to invest in Docufests due their broader reach with consumers in comparison to higher tiered and red carpet-esque film festivals. Documentaries also provide the opportunity to create activations that enhance the overall experience for festival goers and help develop a brands desired political identity.