Video is a platform that’s evolved tremendously over the years in terms of what it can offer from a creative advertising perspective. From different formats, lengths, the deprecation of the forced 30 seconds, through to the ever popular six-second bumper ad - we’ve seen a lot of change.

YouTube’s Head of B2B Marketing, Charlotte Morton, chaired a panel of creative experts including Ogilvy UK’s own Chief Creative Officer, Emma de la Fosse alongside BBH London’s ECD, Anthony Austin and Twentieth Century Fox’s UK Marketing Director, Chris Green, to discuss modern day storytelling through video.

A few months ago, YouTube set a project to test the creative limits of the platform to see what was posisble in terms of modern day storytelling. YouTube partnered with 13 creative agencies from around the world, of which Ogilvy was one. The challenge was to reimagine the world’s most famous fairytales and see how they could be brought to life through the YouTube suite. The films were initially teased at The Sundance Film Festival and the full-length films were then shown at SXSW.

Ogilvy was given Rapunzel as their fairytale. Charlotte spoke to Emma de la Fosse to find out more about the work.

Tell us about The Pipe who created the work

Emma: The Pipe is Ogilvy’s creative internship. Our interns on The Pipe come via all different walks of life, rather than through the usual channels. Some are on their third jobs, some come via Prince’s Trust etc. The Pipe was given the YouTube brief to see what they would come up with.

So, what was the idea?

Emma: Trapunzel is based on a simple notion: “why does a bloke have to save a girl anyway?”. This thinking led to the re-telling of Rapunzel for the modern age – the idea that Rapunzel is not a damsel and she does not need saving.

Where did the name ‘Trapunzel’ come from?

Emma: The idea was to take hip-hop, which is typically a male-dominated genre, and flip it on its head by re-telling Rapunzel from a woman’s point of view. Trap is a subgenre of hip-hop. So, an interesting bridge was made between the story and the star of this story. In keeping with the Trap theme, The Pipe employed rising grime star Nadia Rose, who is already performing well on platforms like YouTube. And the name Trapunzel was born.

How have your links to data and customer experience from your previous roles informed how you think about video?

Emma: I always think of data as the information that allows you to create serendipity. People love it when they stumble across stuff that makes them think ‘this is exactly what I wanted to watch’. And that’s what data should do. Tech should never be visual – different types of tech are servants to bring you a better story and a better experience that’s just as you want it. It’s there to create relevance. The story is still king at the end of the day. Data and tech are there to serve it – to make it sharper, more defined, the right thing to the right person at the right time.

Any advice for people to go and make video work for them?

Emma: When it comes to making films with data at the back end I think data is still looking for its Scorsese. Still yet to be created is the big piece of filmic content that intertwines, inextricably, data on the one hand and filmmaking on the other.


Watch whole session on catch up here