Hear Me Raw engaged Lightbeam Studios to develop an original short documentary that would uphold its mission to honor people by doing what's truly best for their skin, their health, and the world. Hear Me Raw, an all-natural vegan brand founded by Mike Indursky, the former CMO of Burt’s Bees, has “purpose” integrated into its DNA. It’s the perfect kind of brand partner for Lightbeam, a branded-film studio and streaming services solely focused on stories that celebrate humanity at its best.
Working closely with Hear Me Raw, Lightbeam set out to tell a portrait-style documentary that would spread the message that responsible beauty helps one’s self-esteem, consciousness, budget and environment. Our goal was to harness the power of storytelling and showcase a “hero” of the clean beauty movement who would inspire and motivate others.
Unlike other branded-content studios, the objective was not to overtly push product or be a disguised infomercial. Instead, the goal was to bring the audience along for a compelling, moving and inspiring story. We chose to profile a renegade of the beauty industry, a make-up artist who for decades has put her commitment to purpose over profit first. The resulting film Campbell Ritchie: No Compromise is an intimate portrait of a trailblazer in her industry, make-up artistry, and she is the living embodiment of Hear Me Raw’s values.
Lightbeam's unique approach is to produce brand-funded films directed by talented filmmakers with domain expertise in the subject matter of the resulting films, whereas traditional agencies leverage the same internal creatives for multiple clients.
As a first step, Lightbeam found the perfect director for the Hear Me Raw project: Tiffany Bartok (Vinyl Foote Productions). Tiffany is a former make-up artist and currently hosts a podcast, Look Behind the Look, featuring trailblazers in the make-up industry. She is also a professional filmmaker, best known for directorial debut, Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story, a feature documentary that focuses on the seminal American makeup artist, Kevyn Aucoin. Interviews include: Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Cher, Tori Amos and Christy Turlington.
With her in-depth knowledge of the make-up industry, Tiffany was able to shortlist a group of make-up artists who truly live out the philosophies of the clean beauty movement day in day out.
From there, Lightbeam and Vinyl Foote, “cast” Campbell Ritchie, a big-hearted but fierce crusader who, as a make-up artist, has been leading the charge to clean up her industry for years. Because Campbell already knew and respected Tiffany, it was a much easier “sell” for her to participate in the project. Campbell implicitly trusted Tiffany and was easily convinced this was not a disguised promotion. Campbell is not a paid influencer or ambassador for Hear Me Raw; rather, she was willing to tell her story of being a human being committed to using her megaphone and influence to inform and persuade others.
Campbell uses her social media following to educate and inform her models and beauty enthusiasts how to protect their largest organ, their skin, and also how to protect the planet through the use of conscious beauty products. She teaches about toxins and animal testing in so-called “organic products” and how to spot and avoid “greenwashing” in product marketing.
Because of her innate trust of Tiffany on camera and her authentic personal beliefs and philosophy, Campbell is authentic and comfortable on camera in a way that would not be possible with a traditional agency engagement. In Campbell Ritchie: No Compromise, she is charming, charismatic and fully herself – and we believe the end result is an inviting and special film that profiles a woman who has stood up for herself, even in the face of cancer, and even repeatedly losing big-paying jobs, to uphold her values.
The film, Campbell Ritchie: No Compromise, was distributed through Lightbeam’s social channels where it was treated as bonafide entertainment, securing coveted earned media and organic social amplification, delivering wide-reaching multi-channel brand exposure. The film generated over 100+ social media impressions and over 50K views. Lightbeam has ~200K followers across our social channels (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok) and a newsletter and its posts reach over of a million each month.
On paid media, Lightbeam channels outperformed Hear Me Raw’s social channels dramatically: Lightbeam’s posts delivered more engagement, higher quality impressions, and were more cost effective. When the film was posted to Lightbeam, the posts generated 2x more engagement than the same post on Hear Me Raw’s channels, with a 4.1% click-through-rate which is over 2.7x industry average. Lightbeam’s campaign also averaged a cost-per-click that was 44% less Hear Me Raw’s cost-per-click. When Lightbeam showcased the film within original editorial, the posts delivered 8x the engagement, a huge jump that proves the powerful advantage of distributing brand-funded films through a trusted third party distributor like Lightbeam, where its audience comes to expect and desire inspirational docu-style content.
In conclusion, Lightbeam offers brands “authentic distribution” where brand funded films are distributed alongside premium-quality independent films from a global network of talented filmmakers. The result is a “halo-effect” for brand funded films – they are consumed and appreciated as the entertainment that they are intended to be.
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