It’s been almost four years since PJ Pereira unleashed “The Beauty Inside” on the world. The years since that groundbreaking work of branded content-which Pereira & O’Dell made for Intel and Toshiba-have been a time of experimentation, Pereira says, with agencies testing formats and boundaries in the one advertising genre that truly likes to pretend it isn’t advertising at all.
“I don’t think we’re at a point of evolution [in branded content] yet. We’re still testing the waters and seeing what can be done, or can’t,” Pereira told Adweek here in Bali this week, where he’s been chairing the Branded Content & Branded Entertainment jury for the Clio Awards—sifting through hundreds of entries and picking the 2016 winners.
Around the time of “The Beauty Inside,” which won gold Clios in Film and Branded Entertainment in 2013, there was lots of long-form content, even things over an hour long. “I didn’t see anything this year like that,” Pereira said of the work he and his jury evaluated here at the lavish Ritz-Carlton resort.
VR is coming into play,” he said. “Super long-form is slowing down, but I’m not sure it should be. It’s more difficult to do. And now, it doesn’t have the novelty. It becomes less inviting. And if you’re going to do a feature-length thing, it has to be really good because it’s competing against other movies out there.”
That’s a challenge that might well put off many agencies these days, but not Pereira. In fact, he’s preparing for the theatrical release on Aug. 19 of Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World-a 98-minute documentary, which Pereira & O’Dell produced and documentary master Werner Herzog directed, about the past, present and future of the internet.
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