Branded Content Watch: “Robert Redford is The Redwood”

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This week in branded content, Robert Redford and celebs speak for Mother Nature, Ouija board terror and more after the jump.

The Pitch: Your Dream Date Awaits: Saturday Night Live for Mastercard
The Plot: SNL stars Bobby Moynihan and Taran Killam play daters of very different quality. All part of a special SNL-MasterCard partnership with its own microsite.
The Verdict: We’re not sure what it says that this branded bit was funnier than most recent SNL skits.[more]

The Pitch: Nitro Warriors: Dare to Connect for Hot Wheels
The Plot: Hot Wheels tracks adventurously twist through a Martian landscape of mythical ‘Megaliths’ and the treacherous terrain of Jurassic Falls.
The Verdict: How incredibly cool was that?! This is the definition of what branded content should be all about.

The Pitch: Stretch Your Limits for Replay
The Plot: A moody, techno beat scores a music video highlighting the stretch qualities of Replay’s Hyperflex line of denim. A longer set up for a series of Hyperflex shorts.
The Verdict: Can you go wrong with slow motion twerking? Probably.

The Pitch: Nature Is Speaking (with Julia Roberts and Harrison Ford) for Conservation International 
The Plot: A-listers Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Edward Norton, Penélope Cruz, and Robert Redford become the voices o the earth to increase environmental awareness.
The Verdict: Julia Roberts is Mother Nature. Harrison Ford is The Ocean. Edward Norton is The Soil. Robert Redford as The Redwood (get it?) and Kevin Spacey brings his special sound of duplicitousness and banal evil to The Rainforest. Or something like that. (There is also a behind the scenes.)

The Pitch: The Legend Returns for Peugeot
The Plot: To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 205 GTi, Peugeot brings in a model 208 GTi to recreate the original 1980s ad.
The Verdict: We absolutely love when brands dig deep into their narrative to both update and call attention to their respective robust histories.

The Pitch: “100” for Leica
The Plot: Speaking of recreations: Iconic photography brand Leica pulls a re-do on the history of 100 iconic photos. 
The Verdict: Bully to Leica to getting around—right upfront, no less—the most obvious question, that not all of these pictures were taken with a Leica camera. The resulting impression is that they COULD HAVE BEEN taken with a Leica.

The Pitch: Black Coffee’s Human Orchestra for Ballantine’s
The Plot: As part of the brand’s global #StayTrue Story, Ballantine’s enlisted South African DJ Black Coffee for a unique musical experiment involving dozens of Africa’s finest vocalists.
The Verdict: This starts slow and takes a while to get the the musical payoff. And we’re not entirely sure how this informs the experience of drinking Ballantine’s.

The Pitch: Ouija Psychic Terror for Ouija the Movie
The Plot: Hidden cameras caught the reactions of freaked out patrons to a staged, free Ouija board psychic reading.
The Verdict: There is viral marketing and then there is what promoters did here.

Finally, the man behind the Acura-sponsored online series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld, spoke at the Clios about why he’s now in the branded entertainment business: “I love advertising because I love lying.”

• Follow us: @brandchannel on Twitter and brandchannel on Facebook. Connect with Abe on Twitter: @abesauer

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