Aug 9, 2023

13 Hollywood production companies making brand films that streamers like Netflix and Apple want to buy

It's not just Mattel — lots of big brands are turning to Hollywood-style films to reach consumers who are increasingly ignoring traditional advertising.

Marketers want to make high-quality filmed entertainment that could sell to a big streamer or other distributor, but most lack the know-how or connections with distributors. 

Enter the production companies. For brands with a few million to spend, there's a growing number of companies pitching their ability to make films worthy of a Netflix or Apple TV+. 

They run a spectrum, from producers like Ben Silverman who have been doing brand work for a decade or more, to more recent arrivals like Issa Rae's Hoorae Media and Kevin Hart's Hartbeat, which started branded content studios in the past year. Many have hired people from the ad agency world who speak the language of marketers, and some are actively courting Madison Avenue. 

"Hollywood creatives are taking more of an interest in working with brands than ever before on the development of premium content," said Julian Jacobs, UTA partner and co-head of UTA's entertainment marketing arm. "There is a recognition that great stories can be told with and inspired by a brand's purpose. 'Barbie' is another validation of this." Only a small subset of production companies have the capabilities to deliver on this promise, though, he added.

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