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Brand Storytelling Expeditions

A terrific benefit I enjoy as Director of Brand Storytelling at Sundance Film Festival, is meeting and speaking with people who are sourcing and creating great brand stories.

In Episode #2 of "Brand Storytelling: A Docu-Series", we ask marketers and their agencies what makes for great branded entertainment, and how do they discover and settle on the right stories to tell. Marketers from Mondelez, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Marriott International shared their insights along with Digitas and RPA – check it out if you haven’t already, insightful stuff!

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with two guys whose business is all about connecting brands with amazing stories of expedition, adventure and exploration. Jeff Blumenfeld is a Fellow of The Explorers Club and author of Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would-be World Travelers. His partner, Martin Fisher, is an award-winning producer and writer with an advertising background that started in the 80’s at J. Walter Thompson in New York.

Together, they are working with major brands to connect them with explorers and adventurers whose stories are just waiting to unfold. Over the years, they have worked with brands such as 3M Corp, DuPont, Lands’ End, Timberland, Virgin Atlantic, and Coleman, integrating them into stories of adventure and discovery. Jeff told me, “For makers of outdoor gear and clothing, energy supplements, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, electronics, communications, and a host of other products and services, expeditions provide an opportunity to demonstrate product performance in dire conditions. Put another way, if that waterproof breathable laminate works on top of the world, it will likely perform well for average human beings en route to the local grocery store.”

Their agency, RubyCraft Entertainment, is a full-production partner. Martin told me, “Adventure marketing is cost-efficient. With camera technology giving rise to today’s Explorer-Filmmaker, RubyCraft produces native programming content for its brand sponsors that benefit from rights to incredible stories of perseverance against all odds.”

As brands move dollars out of interruptive advertising and into storytelling, explorers may find themselves with more opportunity to pursue their dreams. “The need to explore is wired into human DNA,” Martin says. “However, those women and men brave enough to see what’s beyond the horizon require sponsors. Columbus needed boats, Peary needed sleds and Aldrin needed a rocketship. Today, corporate sponsors fund most expeditions. For brands, it’s more than product placement, it’s the ‘halo’ effect. Expeditions establish brand credibility in support of a historic discovery or cause.”

If you want to explore deeper into expedition opportunities, here are the storytellers that can guide you:

Martin Fisher

Jeff Blumenfeld


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Of course, if you’d like to contribute to the story, I'd love to hear from you. Email me:

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