News & Information

[Report] Morning drama star Nao Honda takes to the podium! Find out how films can be used to convey corporate philosophy. 6th June, Andaz Venue.


SSFF & ASIA 2018 has entered its second day of screening. Today’s proceedings saw more films screened and talk panel events held today at the Andaz Tokyo Venue, on the 51st floor of Toranomon Hills.
Since 2016, Short Shorts has held the Branded Shorts project to research and award “branded movies”, which promote businesses and organizations through the medium of film. Two events were held today as part of this project, titled The Power of Storytelling and Nestlé Theater Day.

While many people may be reminded of TV commercials upon hearing the phrase “video advertising”, with the widespread sharing of videos on the internet in the modern era, branded movies (films which carefully depict corporate philosophy and brand values in a short 5 to 10 minute film) have been quickly gaining attention. The movies have plots, and provide an emotional portrayal of the background behind a company’s corporate philosophy with high attention to detail. These videos are not known as advertisements, but as “short films”.

At the Power of Storytelling event, guests included the creative director of Dentsu Inc. Takatoshi Nakao, whose work involves branded movies on a daily basis, Yomiuri TV producer Jirō Nishida (Downtown DX), essayist Kamiko Inuyama (a judge at last year’s Branded Shorts event), and Tetsuya Bessho. Typical branded movies were shown at the event, and the guests discussed the methods and world perspectives used in each of the pieces, using three approaches: drawing new people in, creating fans, and spreading company philosophy.

For example, the conversational drama Spring, which depicts two high school girls as they walk home from their graduation ceremony, promotes the values of a beauty salon search engine app, using the theme of “youth and love”. The piece, which brilliantly captures the feelings of teenage girls in love, evokes a powerful emotional response in the viewer, even though they are aware that the video is an advertisement.
“They must have really done their research when making this film, interviewing teenage girls and really listening to what they have to say. This piece is loyal to the theory that ‘women seek out empathy’,” said Inuyama. “It made me want to see how the story continues,” added Nakao, “by leaving room for imagination, the film allows fans to imagine how the story continues for themselves.”
For many, the term “business” can have unwelcoming and impersonal connotations. However, by learning what kinds of values a company shares with the world, and the background story behind how the company came to be, people can start to feel the human side of corporate activities too. While the definition of a “good company” varies from person to person, it can surely be said that one condition of a “good company” is that they are able to make a branded movie that can be viewed not as an advertisement, but as a work of art.

One company that quickly honed in on branded movies like these and incorporated them into their business activities is Nestlé Japan, which is widely known for their Kit Kat and Nescafé products. The company has sponsored SSFF & Asia for each year it has been held, and has distributed short films and branded movies via a website titled Nestlé Theater.
The second event held today, Nestlé Theater Day, is provided by Nestlé Japan. The event entailed the screening of the short film Till We Meet, produced this year as a collaboration between Japan and South Korea, as well as a talk session with the co-director Naoko Tajima and leading actress Nao Honda.
Till We Meet tells the story of a South Korean musician and a Japanese chocolatier, who meet in their dreams and fall in love. The two-part short film runs for a total of 25 minutes, and filming was carried out over the course of one week in South Korea, as well as in Japan.

When asked to describe the secret for making friends with the South Korean staff, Nao replied, “I basically touched them as much as possible. South Korea is a culture with a lot of skin contact, so it helped me to get closer to them.”
The director, Tajima, described the joys of making short films, commenting “For the main character of a story, even the most mundane everyday events are drama. One of the best things about short films is that they allow you to portray ordinary, everyday life in drama form.”

Not only are branded movies used to promote business activities, but they are also a valuable opportunity for young film producers to make their mark.
At Short Shorts, where our philosophy is to nurture young creators, we act as producers bringing about the creation of new films, by matching promising young directors looking for support in film production with businesses involved in making branded movies.
If your business is interested in sharing the essential values at the heart of your work using branded movies, then please feel free to get in touch!

As well as the events described above, today’s proceedings also included the screening of the Branded 1 and Be Yourself programs, which were attended by many participants. Thank you once again to everyone who came along today.
Screening is also finally about to begin at the Space O venue in Omotesando Hills, from Thursday 7th onward. Screenings will continue to be held at the Andaz venue until Friday 8th.
For programs fully booked via Peatix, tickets will also be sold on the day where there have been cancellations. For all the latest info, check out our Twitter account.