For premium brands, when it comes to reaching high-net-worth individuals and new and relevant customers, traditional advertising isn’t always enough. That’s why we have seen the rise of the brand documentary, one that reaches its target audience by combining a compelling story with a sense of privileged access.

26 Jan 2017

by Andrew Hearn

INSIDE LUXURY-The World of Chocolate Flyer print-1 copy

In recent months, we’ve seen BBC2’s Sold! Inside the World’s Biggest Auction House, in which Christie’s allowed cameras behind the scenes of one of the world’s leading auction houses as it reached its 250th anniversary. For Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue, also on BBC2, the film-makers were given unprecedented access for the nine months leading up to the magazine’s centenary. Viewers followed designers, models and creatives, as well as enigmatic editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman, who has incidentally just announced she is standing down after more than 25 years, as they crafted their monthly fashion bible. And Channel 4’s The MiIlion Pound Necklace: Inside Boodles followed the British jeweller’s Greenfire emerald necklace from design to launch.

Once upon a time, a brand’s relationship with customers was one-way: it told its story and customers bought into it or didn’t, but the brand remained in control. Now, with the advent of the internet, mobile technology and social networking, consumers have a right of reply through review sites such as TrustPilot and TripAdvisor, with a voice that’s very loud. If your customers don’t trust you, you’ll soon know, and so will everyone else.

Brand management now requires a new approach with brands increasingly releasing their message and trusting their customers to spread the word. When done well, this approach can result in improved products and customer services, as well as strengthening customer loyalty.

What better way to engage your customers than opening your previously closed doors and allow them to look inside? It’s an approach recently adopted by an ILN client, Godiva. As the celebrated Belgian chocolatier turned 90 last year, it allowed ILN’s luxury brand documentary filmmakers, Inside Luxury, exclusive access to their inner sanctum.

Soon, First Class airline passengers will be able to enjoy a new 30-minute documentary, The World of Chocolate: The Inside Story of Godiva Chocolates. Opening the doors to the Godiva kitchens, Inside Luxury will explore the brand’s heritage and reveal the unique stories behind the making of its creations from source to consumer through the people who know and love it best. Where better for the brand to tell its story than in such a high-flying environment?

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