Two heavy hitters in the media and marketing business are combining their talents in a new business that takes advantage of a growing interest in the role that business can play in building a better world.
Advertising and marketing guru Joey Reiman has partnered with former Turner Entertainment executive Brad Siegel to create a new Atlanta-based production company called Brand New World Studio. Their goal is to transform the messaging of a purpose-driven major corporation from a purely internal process to one that has an impact on the whole world.
The new company, started about six months ago, builds on the pioneering work of Reiman, who was an early believer in the importance of building a business enterprise around something more than just bigger profits. He counseled major Fortune 500 companies in the importance of finding a purpose within the organization that benefits society.
He headed BrightHouse consultancy for more than 20 years, working with over 200 companies and brands. Clients included American Express, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Michelin, KPMG, Nestlé, and Procter & Gamble. He sold the business in 2015.
Siegel helped build Turner Classic Movies and the Turner Entertainment Networks into a major force in the entertainment world.
Now teaming up, the duo have a new enterprise built around the idea that the storytelling techniques of show business can be harnessed to enhance the reputation of a corporation, particularly among younger consumers.
Working with focus groups composed of those in their 20s and early 30s, they discovered that corporations producing films that discussed a purpose with broad social implications enhanced their image considerably.
“Ninety-four percent of millennials and younger generations only want to do business with purpose driven companies,” Siegel said. “We think that storytelling is the best way to externalize a company or brand’s purpose.”
Nearly eight in 10 Americans say they are more loyal to purpose-driven brands than traditional brands, according to a 2018 study from Cone/Porter Novelli marketing consultants. But it’s a process that must be done with a light touch for it to succeed with young consumers, Reiman said.
“They just thought it was so cool that a company would make a film that would inspire them, enlighten them, even heal them without putting in, you know, Reese’s Pieces or product placement or brand integration. So it’s a brand new model.”
On Sunday, Brand New World Studio premiered a music video, its first project, at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The five minute production was co-produced by the Interface corporation, headquartered in Midtown. Interface, the largest designer and manufacturer of carpet tiles in the world, has, as its purpose, to become a carbon neutral corporation that benefits the environment.
The production is a fable of how Mother Earth’s daughter, Daughter Earth, leads the children of the world to rebuild after the devastation of the world’s environment. The project includes a song performed by 65-year-old pop star Chaka Khan and the 16-year-old winner of last year’s competition on NBC’s The Voice, Chevel Shepherd.
“The piece ends with the notion that the only way to create climate change is with human change. And that’s our hope, that this creates a movement,” Reiman said.
Earlier this month, Reiman also developed what was called a cultural symphony for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with a grant from The Coca Cola Co. Based on the music of the late American composer Stephen Paulus, it’s a children’s fable for adults that tells the story of a princess in search of the perfect frog to rule her kingdom.
Brand New World Studio reported that the initial reaction to its marketing efforts has been, in a word, phenomenal. Siegel said the new company has six or seven other projects in development that it believes will go to production within the next 45 days.
“It’s no longer good enough to have your purpose be an internal document or an internal saying; you need to tell the world what your purpose is. You have to show it and live it.”
And that goes for the creators of this new company as well, both longtime members and supporters of the Jewish community of Atlanta, who have a commitment to giving back to others.
“Telling meaningful stories that positively impact people’s lives is at the heart of the Judeo-Christian ethic,” Siegel said. “And if I wasn’t a person of faith and a believer, then I wouldn’t care about the human condition. But I think it’s because I am a person of faith and a practicing Jew.”