Home / Advertisers / Can agencies make it as content factories? TMW for Impulse and BBH for Old El Paso

Can agencies make it as content factories? TMW for Impulse and BBH for Old El Paso

Agencies and others are falling over themselves (and each other) to make their mark in the burgeoning content business and here are two interesting new examples. We’ll be seeing a hell of a lot more too with London Fashion Week on the horizon.

Here’s Unilever-owned Impulse Why Not’s latest effort from TMW Unlimited. Impulse Why Not is a ‘limited edition’ variant which presumably means they don’t want to sell too much of it. Featuring vlogger Leanne Lim-Walker.

And a rather longer mini-doc from BBH for General Mills’ Old El Paso, part of a campaign to promote its new smaller-sized ‘stand ‘ stuff’ tortillas. This one features a fishmonger and a butcher from the UK sampling the joys of food down Mexico way.

And they do what it says on the content tin. Lim-Walker is unthreateningly wacky and smiles a lot. The fishmonger and the butcher tour a Mexican market and say ‘wow’ a lot – just like Rick Stein does – and eat a Mexican meal.

One of the points about branded content is that should seem to be like unbranded content: that is, the same as everything else you see. So creativity may not come into it much, it’s imitation you’re after rather than originality. Both of these deserve a 6 for doing exactly that.

Rather like a TV programme maker, you’re judging the agency’s performance (in commercial terms anyway) mostly by its ability to produce a pipeline. Never mind the quality, feel the width..

Can agencies thrive in such a world where there’s loads of competition from bona-fide programme makers, contract publishers turned YouTube factories and others?

BBH seems to see content as the way forward, setting up a facility in Hertfordshire among other things. TMW Unlimited in the biggest part of quoted marcoms outfit Creston, adding content to its traditional direct marketing offer and pulling in more than £20m revenue in the process.

Most ad agencies become department stores when they reach a certain scale; producing some brilliant stuff and lots that just gets the job done – they hope. In their new guise as content factories that certainly seems to be the case, but with less of the brilliant.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Both these pieces of content are infuriating, content-less, inane, drivel. I hereby promise never to get involved in plastering the internet with bland, purposeless shit like this. I can believe that some recently opened, grubby little digital shop could be responsible for such flannel, but not BBH. No wonder Rosie Arnold quit. An utter disgrace.

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