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Vimeo Creates Brand Creative Fund to Connect Filmmakers and Marketers

Lincoln Motor Company Produces First Collection of Short Films

Vimeo announced a new resource this morning called the Brand Creative Fund that will let brands—whether in-house marketing department, creative agencies or both—collaborate with Vimeo's worldwide network of filmmakers. Serving as an agent of sorts, Vimeo's creative team will help match brands with top Vimeo users and help them customize "brand-enabled video content" for Vimeo viewers. The first collaboration is with Lincoln Motor Company, which has produced a handful of films to premiere on Vimeo within the next month.

Introductions to each of those films go online today, including one for director Eliot Rausch's "Get Back" (above), a meditation on personal connections in a digital world. Rausch's film will premiere on a customized Lincoln Motor Company brand channel on Vimeo next Tuesday, April 30. Successive films in the Lincoln series will appear on consecutive Tuesdays through May 21. A co-branded ad campaign will support the projects through display media on the Vimeo network.

The project, says Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor, has been gestating at Vimeo for some time. "We have a really robust pipeline of projects in the Brand Creative Fund, and the Lincoln collaboration is our inaugural project." The Lincoln collaboration began with the nearly century-old automaker's current “Hello, Again” campaign, which asks customers to take a fresh look at old concepts and products.

When asked if this is a way to essentially cut out the middleman and connect filmmakers directly with brands, Trainor says the opposite is actually true. "One of the misconceptions of this new venture is that this is a way to go right to clients and work with them. It's not. There is so much value that the agency community can bring to the table from a creative standpoint, from messaging, from understanding how brands work. The Fund is meant to be a very inclusive product. The more people at the table, the better. It's meant to be a product that drives extremely unique content executions, and I think including a range of creative teams in that will make that happen."

Trainor says Vimeo will work with "the cream of the crop of filmmaking talent within the Vimeo community" to make not just "brand-directed" content but "brand-enabled" content. "We're not creating a separate entity here just to work with brands. Like all good, creative things, it's a very organic, fluid process, where we have conversations with an agency or a client and understand that they have a particular message or theme — and, in Lincoln's case, a vehicle launch — and we bring back that message and theme to our creatives at Vimeo and bring those two parties together by looking out into the Vimeo community to see who we could tap to bring some exceptionally fresh, engaging and unique content to the brand." While Vimeo won't discuss the budget, Trainor says a payment for work is made to each creator.

Vimeo has plans to scale up the Fund in the next few months by reaching out to the agency, client, and PR community. For a full schedule of Lincoln Motor Company films see Vimeo's press release.

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