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New 3M Film “Skilled” Required Some Skills from Passion Point Collective

Nicholas Strauss, Senior Manager, Passion Point Collective

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Each time Passion Point Collective produces and distributes a new brand-funded film, we are tasked by our clients with developing and delivering a 360-degree strategy that aligns with their brand ethos, communicates their core messaging and fulfills key program objectives. No project has the same exact goals, as every brand is unique. So let's break down the execution of Skilled, a brand film for 3M produced by Passion Point and Generous Films.

The series highlights four amazing individuals in the skilled trade fields and directly speaks to 3M’s objectives to build the skilled trade work force, challenge common misperceptions about the trades, and encourages more students to consider these careers. The stories speak directly to the brand's core customers and we wanted to incorporate trade workers themselves into the launch, while also garnering attention for 3M… a challenging task!

Often our strategy is to align on a launch date that is “a moment in time” and back track the marketing tactics from there. In this case, we wanted to premiere the film in Park City during the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, as it is a great way to garner premium media exposure, generate buzz and social engagement – not to mention the organic alliance with the Brand Storytelling Conference.

We then worked backward to create a cadence of media moments, including an exclusive piece in People, which premiered the trailer and featured our event host, actress Vivica A. Fox.

So what did we do differently?

With all the Sundance screenings and private events going on during the festival, we knew we needed a way to stand out. So we brokered and managed a partnership between the Sundance Institute and 3M, which allowed our premiere to be an officially sanctioned event. We also partnered with Variety Media to raise the event’s profile and thematically connect to Skilled’s episode profiling female film gaffers who are breaking barriers in a male-dominated industry.

But inviting media, celebrities, industry insiders, and those that turn out in their trendiest winter gear did not feel right without also including skilled trade workers themselves. To do this, we connected with over 20 Utah trade groups, such as the Utah chapters of SkillsUSA, Professional Women in Building, Society of Women Engineers, UT Plumbers Association and many more, and we invited their members for the red carpet treatment they truly deserve.

Did our “out-of-the-box” approach yield results?

The PR results spoke for themselves. Skilled was the only film from Sundance featured in People magazine three times and Vivica Fox’s promotion on social media proved to extend our messaging. Variety covered the event through their multiple channels and their editor Angelique Jackson moderated a post-screening discussion. Event coverage ran on E! Online, ExtraTV, MSN, Page Six, Forbes, Ebony and more, earning a total of 3.3 Billion impressions in 32 media publications.

What’s Next?

Our 360 approach continues! 3M has partnered with Teach For America on a school education program, promoting skilled trades using the docuseries with custom curriculum. Individual episodes are screening at international film festivals and an original song, commissioned for the film, was released on the day of the premiere.

In addition to being on 3M's owned channels, Skilled launched on major VOD platforms including Apple TV, Prime Video and The Roku Channel, tied to National Skilled Trades Day. Next up, Skilled will screen at the Nevada International Women's Film festival on June 24, and more to come!


About Nicholas Strauss

Nicholas Strauss (he/him) is the Senior Manager of Film Festival Strategy and Client Solutions at Passion Point Collective. Using his expertise of the film festival landscape, Nicholas is part of the team that has brought the slate of brand-funded films at PPC to festivals around the world. His love and passion for film fuels his drive to make sure festival audiences are exposed to the wonderful stories being told through brand storytelling.


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