In our most recent exploration of long form content creation, The Lift assisted tech giant HP in crafting a short film titled “Unlocked” – a unique step in branded content made with NBC Universal.
Guided by the power of data science, we crafted an experience in the form of an action-packed thriller which takes viewers on an exciting hunt for an elusive South American flower. Inspired by and created for data scientists, viewers will be taken on an interactive journey that unlocks the ancient mystery with the potential to cure neurological diseases – that is to say, this is not your average advertisement. With the help of “Ozark” and “The Crown” writer Laura Deeley, the teams at NBC Universal and HP employed The Lift to create a compelling story that would not could not only provide stand-alone entertainment, but promote a product as well. The story then extends outside of viewership alone, with Z by HP offering data scientists the chance to solve four different data challenges related to the film on an external site.
“We knew we had something fun in our hands, something we were going to really enjoy filming,” The Lift’s Producer Helena Medina recalled. “We made a great team from the beginning of the project: looking for the perfect locations, exploring what they contributed and how each space affected the story. From that point on, we added an incredible and talented crew who were 100% involved in the creative process of telling this story of adventure in the most exciting way.” While the locations for some of the shots were originally envisioned to take place in the United Kingdom, after Director Jonathan Pearson and Production Designer Roberto Bonelli arrived in Mexico they quickly realized our country contained all the desired location types to carry out their vision. “Mexico is the ideal destination to produce any project,” Helena continued. “The locations, both known and those yet to be discovered, are incredible – and of course, The Lift is the best company to tap into this potential and achieve a great final product.”
The project’s goal of stimulating a conversation around data science extended beyond viewership by folding into our ESG Strategy at The Lift as well. Through the production, HP donated ten screens to a high school in Ecatepec, Mexico, one of the most densely populated, complex, and controversial municipalities adjacent to Mexico City.
“Unlocked” is available to stream on Peacock, receiving the same pop-and-circumstance as non-branded content available on the platform – showing us that branded long-form media may be the future of commercial production as streaming continues to dominate media consumption. Additionally, this is not The Lift’s first time working on a project like this. In late in 2021, we assisted our friends at Prettybird in their production of a mini-series titled “Fracture”, made for the promotion of the luxury fashion house Balmain. This fascinating shift in cinematic advertisement provides an opportunity for us to lend our commercial and visual expertise to long-form content, expanding the scope of The Lift into previously untouched territories like streaming services.
“Unlocked” debuted on February 18th, 2022 and is available to stream now. Check out the trailer below and click here to watch the short film now.