The Imagination Series
What we did
Imagination was an intrinsic part of the Bombay Sapphire brand story: the founder’s journey, the invention of new distilling processes through to the global search for botanicals. But this proposition had failed to land with consumers. The brand had talked imagination, but had not demonstrated it.
We sought a territory, a consumer passion, to engage with the target audience. Film was identified early as culturally democratic territory.
Short film felt ripe for reinvention: a previously niche cinema genre, new content-hungry online video channels created new opportunities to popularise the form.
To land the Imagination thought with a small opinion forming audience required very different behaviours to advertising. We needed a platform that could generate multiple connection points and reasons to believe.
This got us to a simple and powerful thought: an Oscar winning writer would write a short film script, stripped of any stage direction, to allow the readers to imagine their film off his script. The five most imaginative would go into production.
One script, five winning films. No film experience required, just imagination.
The Imagination Series was born. 5 winners were chosen by esteemed judging panel at Tribeca Film Festival and their film ideas promptly went into production, and eventually premiered at the following year’s Festival before being released online on Bombay Sapphire YouTube and Vimeo channels.
The BAFTA winning film
The short ‘Room 8’ was a standout from the beginning. Within 24 hours of its online release it was picked as a highly regarded Vimeo Staff Pick, praised on the Howard Stern show, featured on Short of the Week and won a Webby award for the Best Drama: Long Form series.
It also happened to win a BAFTA (British Academy Film & Television Awards) for Best Short Film. This is unprecedented, a defining moment for Branded Content / Entertainment, raising the bar for all. Winning against the world’s best theatrical filmmakers demonstrates brand initiated content can compete with the best.