Two cents blog

Is money more important than experiences?

by Paul Cornwell on 23 June 2017

When it comes to online content today’s mantra of ‘make it move and make it short’ is proven time and time again by the data. Run a 30 second video and ‘completed views’ are very low indeed.  Make it 15 seconds and the numbers get slightly better.  But make it 8 seconds, or even better 6 seconds, and engagement skyrockets. It seems that our appetite for online video content over 6-8 seconds is very limited indeed.

So, what’s going on with the video that McCann Spain created that just won the Entertainment Lions Grand Prix in Cannes?

Not only is it for a bank, but it’s 17 minutes long! Yes, that’s a long time. In 17 minutes you could cook a Jamie Oliver meal, or run 4 Ks, or you could listen to Stairway to Heaven twice!

So, what’s it all about?

McCann created a 17 minute sci-fi thriller short film that questions whether money is more important than experiences.

The film, called Beyond Money, is about a woman who sells her memories.  The film was screened at theatres in Spain and started a debate about the real value of money. It had 7.3 million views in a week and immeasurable PR and social media discussion.

Cannes Entertainment Jury president P.J. Pereira, chief creative officer of Pereira & O’Dell, said, “Beyond Money was one of those rare branded entertainment creations that are as high-quality as regular entertainment.”

“How brands can find a way to compete for consumers’ time against regular entertainment was one of the most fascinating and enlightening conversations I’ve ever had in my career,” he said of the jury deliberations. “The work that got picked as the Grand Prix is the most perfect example of that, and how a brand can make a statement about itself but also conquer and earn the precious time that consumers want to invest in it.”

Beyond Money, he said, was “category changing.”

“It was a great piece of film that integrated the brand in a truly seamless and meaningful way,” he said. “And it didn’t just move the positioning of the brand forward. It moved the whole category of financial services forward—in taking a big, brave step in getting people to really start questioning whether or not money is really more important than experiences. We thought it was incredibly well dramatized—not just a brand idea but a philosophical idea.”

Is it an indulgence set up to win awards or, as P.J Pereira says, a category changing piece of work?

For me, it is a brilliant example of the new paradigm where agencies and marketers have shifted from simply interrupting consumers with product-based messaging to creating an experience that actually does something for them. In other words adding value to their lives. This film very powerfully opens up a thought-provoking and very relevant conversation with millennials about what they value in life.

What do you think?

Paul Cornwell is a Managing Director at BCM

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