Branded content has come a long way since detergent manufacturers sponsored afternoon dramas on American television thereby creating that common place television term - the soap opera. From clumsy endorsements or product placements to brands being written into the script or even taking a bigger starring role, branded content has arrived. Africa is not being left behind. Reality television is huge on the continent and is proving a perfect platform for branded content, except that in Africa the brands don't play bit parts. In many events they play a starring role, and with huge success.
After a very successful season 1, Launch Factory has completed production on another successful Touching Lives
for Airtel Ghana. Season 2 has been broadcast on TV screens for 13 weeks and it has been 13 weeks of insightful stories on the truly remarkable acts of bravery, kindness, compassion, love and humanity by ordinary people. The series has thus far told what could simply be tagged as "ordinary people, doing extraordinary deeds". Airtel's Touching Lives
has received some rave reviews from viewers since it hit the screens in March. The chorus of responses from viewers has ranged from "I cried when I watched it" through "I thought my situation was bad until I watched it" to "Thank you Airtel".
The season started with the shocking story of Rebecca. Ten years ago, Rebecca took over the care of her sister's family after she 'died of frustration'. This was no normal undertaking. Of the six sons, five are severely handicapped. The three older brothers are unable to care for themselves at all but thanks to Rebecca's intervention the younger two are attending a "normal" school and are able to perform a lot of their own personal tasks. The sixth brother Vincent is on a tuition scholarship at the Catholic University in Sunyani. His grades are good. He believes he was born "normal' to help his brothers out. The key to this is a good job. The boys' father is of no help, he lives nearby and has fathered a further 11 children. He shows no interest and gives no support to his first six sons. Despite the problems this family faces, there is a happy positive feeling when spending time with them as they banter about the latest soccer results or talk about their school day. Rebecca's story brought tears to the eyes of many. Rabecca the hero Community driven:
The central concept for Airtel's Touching Lives
is community involvement. Ordinary people in Ghana are given the opportunity to single out and financially reward emarkable citizens that are making a difference to other people's lives. This creates a big drive in communities to discover local heroes that are caring for others and uplifting lives. The call to entry literally yielded thousands upon thousands of stories of people who were making a difference to local communities.Storied content:
From the absolute thousands of entries, The Launch Factory could sift through content to see which contributions were most worthy in terms of social appeal, brand fit and television content. What was significant about the 13 episodes or stories that we filmed were that they were all self-contained stories that were very emotional and placed both the brand and the local hero as the stars of a heart-warming story with a feel-good ending.Compelling human content:
People are inspired, motivated and deeply touched by stories of other human beings who triumph against all odds. These were the stories that we told in Airtel's Touching Lives
- the remarkable local narratives of people who refused to give up. Socially uplifting content:
Lastly what made the difference to Airtel' s branded content was that it was not just branded entertainment, but that the mobile company made significant financial investments to improve the lot of those featured in the series. By rewarding those local heroes Airtel in turn rewarded the communities they served. Not just branded content, the series made a positive and sustainable contribution to local development and social upliftment.About Launch Factory Experiential:
Launch Factory Experiential is a brand experience agency that bonds brands and people through the creation of peak human experiences. Launch Factory Experiential ignites happiness in people in a branded environment; entertainment; or engagement; to foster closer relationships between customers and brands. Head quartered in Sandton, South Africa, Launch Factory Experiential has offices in Cape Town and Durban, and does work throughout Africa. Clients include Samsung, Magna Carta, Airtel Africa, Vodadfone Ghana to name but a few. Launch Factory Experiential is the creator and owner of one of South Africa's most talked about events and branding platforms.
Launch Factory Experiential owns or constructs for brands to engage people so as not to interrupt, but to connect, all based on understanding human cognitive behaviour and creating peak states of experiences and happiness so that brands can interact, share and bond with people in the right environments. The company's content division produces reality television formats for leading brands throughout Africa. With a strong understanding of brands and target markets, Launch Factory Experiential imagines, invents, creates, inspires, owns, and delivers experiences that create deep memories and meaning by generating human happiness. For more information go to http://www.launchfactory.co.za