The purpose of brand content is to entertain and engage an audience, while promoting a brand or specific product. For some brands, and in some circumstances, a larger purpose exists, and becomes the core of the story. Such is the case with HP’s newest partnership with Not Impossible, “Don’s Voice.”
Not only did the HP team help a man suffering from ALS to communicate audibly for the first time since 1999, but the project aims to go well beyond just Don by making the technology available as freeware. As Not Impossible’s Mick Ebeling told Co.Create, “Any patients with ALS or any other paralysis that limits their motor skills to ocular movement can use this technology just like Don,” said Ebeling, who you may remember from past Not Impossible projects including Project Daniel, which produced 3-D printed prosthetics for Sudanese war amputees, and the “Eyewriter,” which allowed a paralyzed artist to communicate with eye movements. “ALS patients have the potential to regain so much independence from this technology. They will be able to email their friends, build community, and foster relationships in ways they couldn’t before.”
Read more below about this and the rest of this week’s best in brand creativity.
What: The retailer bought up an entire four-minute commercial break during The Grammys to stage a live show by Imagine Dragons, performing their new song “Shots” on the streets of downtown Las Vegas.
Who: Target, Deutsch LA
Why We Care: It would’ve been simple enough to run an exclusive music video to get fans’ attention and appreciation, but add in the live broadcast element, and the brand managed to push the boundaries of content marketing and essentially make its commercial a talking point of the show.
What: One of the Flower Council of Holland’s consumer brands took to the air over Verona, Italy to deliver some romantic surprises with a modern twist.
Who: Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk, Kingsday
Why We Care: Too often we see drones as the first sign of the robot apocalypse. Or just something to fly over Burning Man. Here, just in time for Valentine’s Day, the brand turns its flying little fella into something that’s more Wall-E than War Games.
What: To celebrate the final stretch of the series, the network wants to harness the collaborative creativity of the show’s most die-hard fans, by cutting the show’s pilot episode into 154 separate scenes, spanning eight to 58 seconds long, and challenging fans to reshoot each one to eventually create the ultimate fan cut of the episode.
Why We Care: First, supercuts rule. Second, an invitation to collaborate like this is a perfect way to say thank you to the show’s most engaged fans for their years of support. And third, we can’t wait to see babies and dogs dressed up as Don Draper.
What: ESPN shows the world what the Super Bowl halftime dancing sharks do the rest of the year.
Who: ESPN, Wieden+Kennedy New York
Why We Care: A well-timed, funny take on an Internet cultural moment, without looking like a brand trying too hard to have a take on a cultural moment. Sounds easy enough, but as far too many other marketers have proven in the past, tough to actually pull off.
What: A partnership with Not Impossible Labs that used an HP x360 Convertible PC and specially made software to help a man suffering from ALS to speak for the first time in 15 years.
Who: HP, Not Impossible
Why We Care: With likely no more money that it would cost to shoot a traditional ad, the brand used its ongoing #BendTheRules campaign to not only help someone–and create a compelling piece of branded content–but also have a hand in helping scores of other ALS sufferers by making the technology free and accessible through Not Impossible.