Q&A: How a Community-Made Branded Video Won a Lovie

The #NeverSettleFilm was the 2018 Gold and People’s Lovie Winner in Experimental & Weird Video (Branded). Here’s our Winner Story with Above+Beyond, the agency behind the work.

The Extended Entry Deadline is Friday 13 September. Enter now!


“Your audience needs to be convinced to choose your video over every other online video available... How can you win their attention by offering true value and personalisation?”

Above+Beyond Team
The #NeverSettleFilm

When it came to making a campaign for a new smartphone, the OnePlus 6, the team at London-based agency Above+Beyond knew they had to engage an active community in the process. So they let the OnePlus fanbase take the lead on what went into the launch video.

That’s how the #NeverSettleFilm got made—and won a Gold and People’s Lovie Award.

Below are questions from The Lovies and answers from the Above+Beyond team on their successfully experimental work.


1. How did you come up with the idea to create a “community-made film”? What were your main concerns about this approach?

OnePlus has a huge community of fans, including 1.3 million forum members from more than 183 countries, who help guide all product development through their feedback. It’s a brand formed on co-creation, relentless development and one which has been growing rapidly across the globe.

With exceptional year-on-year growth, they were looking to do something big to launch their latest product, the OnePlus 6, but needed to satisfy their highly engaged fan-base who make it clear that they want money spent on NPD, not marketing. We knew from the client and from the community that traditional ATL advertising wasn’t going to cut it, and we saw an incredible opportunity to maximise the potential of earned media by engaging the passionate community right from the off, making the media budget stretch further.

Naturally, opening up the campaign to the internet was a risk! You don’t need to look far to find examples of how this can backfire (Boaty McBoatFace being one), so we began with a soft launch to our longest standing fans plus a select group of influencers. This trusted base helped kick off the campaign and set a precedent for further involvement.

2. What was the biggest hurdle to getting this project done and how did you solve it?

Whilst we opened this up to the web we also needed to ensure we received a consistent flow of suggestions which would help to inform and generate a piece of content that reflected the brand and worked to raise awareness of OnePlus – our ultimate objective.

All solicited ideas were carefully curated, monitored and responded to based on their merit, in line with the brand ideal of adapting products to the needs of the audience. We also staggered certain suggestions if we felt they would make a bigger impact in later films – we wanted to reach a big crescendo at launch!

We set up a robust and slick communications process with the OnePlus community managers, and ensured they were thoroughly briefed before the campaign kicked off. Throughout they were also encouraged to inspire the community suggestions with mini competitions and secret hints to areas they could ‘adapt’ in the films.

The Lovie-Winning Above+Beyond agency behind The #NeverSettleFilm.

The Lovie-Winning Above+Beyond agency behind The #NeverSettleFilm.

3. You won the Gold Lovie Award and People’s Lovie Award in Experimental & Weird (Branded). That is amazing. What did it mean to you to win the Gold and People’s Lovie, and how has winning a Lovie helped or impacted your work?

Naturally we were ecstatic! The Gold Lovie Award is a testament to the quality of the work we’re making, and we’re very proud that this campaign sits amongst the best of modern, innovative creativity across the globe. As the creative agency for the audience age, our primary focus is making work that lives in culture, and resonates with people beyond the adland bubble, so for us, the People’s Lovie Award was a particular achievement. If the general public are engaging with our work, and responding to it so positively, we can allow ourselves to feel that we’ve done a great job!

4. As a Lovie Winner, what’s your one piece of advice for anyone working on branded online video projects?

Your audience needs to be convinced to choose your video over every other online video available—so don’t judge the quality of your work against other branded video, judge it against the content that your target audience chooses to watch. How can you win their attention by offering true value and personalisation?

Don’t miss your chance to join winners like Above + Beyond in The Lovies this year. The Extended Deadline is Friday 13 September 2019. Enter now.