LOS ANGELES — After the pandemic paused many productions, actor Ben Morrison jumped at the chance to get back on set. But this isn't just any set. He was hired to write, direct, produce and act in the project.
It also allows him to flex his comedic skills.
What You Need To Know
- The YouTube comedy series "Factory Made" is actually paid for by the company FactoryFix
- Instead of just product placement, the product is integrated into the story
- Integrated content could be the way of the future, according to USC marketing professor Anthony Dukes
- He warns consumers will have concern and may push back because they will want to know if they are being pitched to
"It'll definitely feel like a piece of work that came out of my brain," Morrison said.
Not only did he have creative freedom, but Morrison also wants to be on the forefront of the future of advertising.
The YouTube comedy series "Factory Made" is actually paid for by the company FactoryFix, an online marketplace that connects companies with vetted and skilled workers. So instead of just product placement, the product is integrated into the story.
"My take, which is story-based advertising, is just not shying away from the fact that this is a branded piece, but instead just openly admitting it and weaving the product into what I consider a good comedy story," Morrison said.
The story follows a loveable, trust fund slacker who took over his dad's factory as CEO. He tries to hire employees the easy way, but the manager with experience recommends using FactoryFix to find reliable workers.
"It wound up being a very organic way to have the client be involved in the story without making it egregious. If you don't want to watch this as a show, why do you care about the name behind it?" Morrison questioned.
USC marketing professor Anthony Dukes said pre-pandemic data shows digital advertising, for example, banner ads or short snippets before content, is up 30%, and national television advertising like traditional commercials went down the same amount. So, integrated content could be the way of the future.
"I don't necessarily see this as a bad development or good development, but it's likely to be effective to get the complex message heard that might not be able to be delivered in the digital space," Dukes said.
While this new model can be effective, he warns consumers will have concern and may push back because they want to know if they are being pitched.
Morrison said he has not consumed a traditional commercial in years. He is a cord cutter and pays for the ad-free streaming services, so he sees this as an option for advertisers moving forward.
"For the next generation of branded advertising, we can return to the story-based roots of what Hollywood does, but weave in the brands that will ultimately pay for it and keep us working," Morrison said.
The series "Factory Made" will launch on YouTube on June 10.