Toshiba We Love Stories: Where film-making and viral content meet

We're on a bit of a high after the culmination of Toshiba We Love Stories 2011.

This innovative competition saw students from the UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) and film schools in Poland, Munich and Brussels compete to produce a viral video for Toshiba and be in the running for prizes totalling €10,000. We worked with digital agency cScape, who developed the original concept, built the accompanying website and managed the project.

Sue was brought on board by cScape after her presentation on viral content at the Social Media and Marketing Conference 2010. She looked after the Facebook page, Twitter feed and blog, sharing information about viral content and keeping people updated on the latest developments in the competition. She also did a bit of PR and worked closely with Toshiba and the NFTS to help organise the final awards ceremony.

Take a look at some of the highlights from the year-long project:

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Toshiba was very clear about the brief; the video had to entertain the viewer, engage them positively with the brand and, or course, make people more likely to purchase Toshiba products. To test the viral potential of the ideas, students had to upload their proposals to social channels such as YouTube, Flickr and Scribd and gather as many Facebook Likes, tweets and Buzzes as possible. People were also able to cast a vote for their favourites.

The 2011 submissions were clever, humorous, imaginative, beautiful and every single one promised exceptional quality. They came in many forms, such as animations, films, storyboards or even as an interactive YouTube game. A judging panel, made up of leading film directors, screenwriters and advertising experts from across Europe (and Sue Keogh!), selected the strongest ideas and five teams were given a production budget of €5,000 to make their viral.

Then we wanted to see how the videos fared in the ‘real world’ – how much they were shared on social networks and what comments they attracted – before the judges decided on their winners. These were announced by Toshiba's Jeffrey Willis and director Nik Powell at an awards ceremony at the NFTS in October 2011.

The 2011 finalists:

  • Forever: The world’s longest chain poem (1st place and pictured at the top of the page).
  • Follow The Leader: Ordinary people, brought together by Toshiba to create something spectacular (2nd place)
  • There’s A Sense Of Toshiba: Gadget lovers, look away. She’s going to switch on that blender! (3rd place, and above)
  • Sicilian Batteries: Two geeks, one Toshiba laptop and a whole lemon grove.
  • Sidewalk Picasso: A talented street artist whose entire life is a quest for beauty, perfection and inspiration.

Judges loved the way that Forever met the brief and took it a step further, delivering the concept across six videos and a special Facebook application where users were encouraged to take part in the challenge. This interactivity and playfulness is a major driver of viral content. Read the We Love Stories blog for more on the winners and the judges' decision.

The project was a joy to work on. We love quality content and the stuff sent in by the students was exceptional. What a privilege to be working with the next generation of European film-makers - a sentiment shared by our colleagues at Toshiba, whose desire to help nurture new talent was key to the development of the project.

What next? We're working on ideas for We Love Stories 2012 and building close links with cScape. And for the students involved, their work on this project will make an impressive part of their portfolio and open up new opportunities with industry. Good luck everyone - it's been a pleasure to work with you. Here's the winning video - enjoy!