BBH and Fremantle devise brand-friendly TV formats

BBH and Fremantle tie-up: Swann and Glynne
BBH and Fremantle tie-up: Swann and Glynne

Partnership will take six shows to market this summer in US and UK, including tech-focused game show.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty has teamed up with TV production company Fremantle to create a series of TV formats "with brand relevance baked in".

The two companies held a two-and-a-half-day development workshop in which creative talent from both worked together to develop ideas for TV and digital entertainment formats that could involve "top-tier" brands across a range of product and service categories. 

The participants developed a slate of formats, with ideas generated based on cultural trends from BBH’s strategy team and the needs of networks and platforms as defined by Fremantle.

While the formats are intended to complement particular brand categories, they are designed to work with one or more brand partners or even without one. 

The workshop produced 60 topline ideas that were condensed into six formats, which the two businesses are now taking to market in both the US and the UK. Three of these are described as:

  • A studio game show with new technology at its heart
  • A cooking series with an adventurous twist
  • A brand new game show that puts first-time parenting in the spotlight

The two companies are taking a varied approach; in some cases, a brand will be brought in at an early stage to help tailor an idea to its marketing needs, while in others they are aiming to secure the interest of a network before approaching brands.

William Swann, head of entertainment at BBH Los Angeles, said: "BBH’s goal is to help brands partner with entertainment specialists to develop content that resonates with global audiences.

"This is a model that puts story first, creating top-quality non-scripted content that is not reliant on majority brand funding to be attractive to buyers. Fremantle understands the appetite for this model and have been incredible, creative partners."

Fremantle had "long been a pioneer in the branded space", its vice-president of branded entertainment, Samantha Glynne, said: "We’re delighted to partner with BBH on these workshops to explore a new approach to original format creation with baked-in brand opportunity and exciting new routes to market."

The initial workshop was the start of a global roll-out of workshops. About 16 people were involved including creatives, strategists and content specialists from BBH, and development producers and branded entertainment experts from Fremantle and its US subsidiary Original Productions.

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