“Your brand is in my content…. Now my content is broadcasting your Brand!”  This was the strategy driving our sponsorship model going into production on AnteRockstar Season 2.  ‘Branded Content’ was the hot new thing on the media scene at the time…. And in many ways it still is.  More than product placement, branded content demonstrates in context how a company intersects with the customer, telling the impact of that brand on the outcome of that customer’s story.  What better endorsement of the truth of an advertising platform, slogan, or marketing campaign?  What truer testimonial of a corporation’s collective standard of performance than an actual in situ service demonstration?   Surely such an endorsement would be worth its weight in gold.

From our article originally published Thursday, ‎April ‎19, ‎2007,

The future of brand equity will no longer be reach and frequency but rather honesty. With so many consumers exercising their right to an opinion in the ever growing expanse of rhetoric that is the internet, companies will not only need to propagate their brand, but also produce a quality product as an offering to the consumers.

The article was titled to play on the old marketing gimmick retelling the creation of Reeses peanut butter cups when; inadvertently; a bar of chocolate and a jar of peanut butter collide to produce a new sensation in snacking food.  We hoped AnteRockstar would prove to be a sensational demonstration of collaboration…Or so we thought at the time.  We intersected with several “brands” who had a vested interest in the success of the AnteRockstar, seriesand solicited their collaboration.  Most of these ‘brands’ are bands whose enthusiasm for sharing their art, and keen understanding of their impact on their audience amazed us, and taught us more than we thought was humanly possible about how to impact people on a deep, long, and wide level.  Their intersection with us was the fuel that drove the story forward…they played their ‘rock’n’roll’ role.

Some of these brands are public entities, government agencies, and other bodies politic.  We captured their role too.  The body politic has little interest in understanding its impact on its customer, they’re focused on their metric measure of performance.  Their ‘collective’ understanding of their impact on their customers is limited to a statistical analysis that they buy and pay for.  This wasn’t surprising to us, given our experience in the marketing research field.  There’s an art to telling the truth…. You can only tell as much as people will believe, otherwise you get accused of lying.  Statistics on the other hand;  those are damnable lies.  From the professional researchers perspective, clients only pay to hear what they’re doing right… they largely ignore what they’re doing wrong, unless it blows up on them, then it becomes a fire to put out.

Courting the body politic resulted in more than one fire in the Anterockstar storyline, though being a professional production promoting a reality series, each corporate entity with whom we intersected, who had a demonstrated interest in our success, were contacted and presented with our proposal and advertising model.  They chose their involvement from there.  Some of these ‘brands’ are represented by private individuals who shall remain nameless and faceless to protect their privacy, though their actions on behalf of the Corporations they serve stand as testament to the standards to which those Corporations aspire… or not.

Then there’s the public characters in our story, in all their glory, who knew what they were doing the whole time….or should have cause we told them what we were doing from the beginning….

Some of them just didn’t believe us.