April 26, 2013

Vimeo's Brand Creative Fund Gives Users an Opportunity to Collaborate with Major Brands to Make Films

Vimeo has always been a clean and clutter-free video-sharing site. There are no pre-roll advertisements and non-video ads appear much less than on YouTube or other similar sites. However, this doesn't mean that advertisements and brands are not apart of the Vimeo experience. They just recently announced their new Brand Creative Fund, which matches major brands with talented Vimeo users to create films (which aren't necessarily exclusive to that brand). With this initiative, Vimeo is handpicking users for the opportunity to partner with large companies and get paid in the process.

Check out Lincoln's official video, plus a behind the scenes look below (it doesn't look like this was part of the Brand Creative Fund, but it's definitely still interesting):



When I first became a Vimeo user almost 3 years ago, I used the site as a kind of -- primordial cloud storage system for video that I would upload as a failsafe against losing the files forever. I obviously didn't see Vimeo's potential at the time, but now more than ever Vimeo is evolving into more than just a simple video-sharing site. It has become a community of artists and independent filmmakers; close-knit and sharing in the overall Vimeo experience, which seemed devoid of advertiser influence. Responding to a recent Videomaker interview question about the role advertisements play on the site, Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor said:

Although we are very judicious with our approach to having brands in the experience, we have always believed that brands have a role to play in Vimeo. The key is inviting them to participate in a way that makes sense.

Well, the brands have now been invited to participate. With Vimeo's Brand Creative Fund, media will be sold to advertisers (The Lincoln Motor Company being the first), but that media will be produced by someone in the Vimeo community. These handpicked filmmakers will work with companies that partner with Vimeo and they will be creating their own films.

The first series, Hello, Again, which explores the notion of "reimagining," or seeing old and familiar as new again, has already launched. In a recent blog post, Vimeo shared that they have commissioned films from four of their leading creators: Eliot RauschBecky & JoeJeff Frost, and Lucy McRae. The filmmakers chosen to work with The Lincoln Motor Company were asked to create an introduction to their films and provide a sneak peek at what happened behind the scenes. Here's what filmmaking team Becky & Joe came up with, an introduction to their short film Tallest Heights:


What kind of bedfellows do independent filmmakers and automaker Lincoln make? What could each party give to one another other than a product and payment? Apparently a lot. In a recent Co.Create interview, Trainer said:

Lincoln is in a place where they’re trying to support creativity in a genuine way, and they came to us in the spirit of collaboration and asked us what we can do together -- Lincoln has been an incredible partner because they totally get the spirit of the Brand Creative Fund. They have been very trusting of the creators by saying, "This is what we want to accomplish and we’re funding you to create this for us.”

Ready to post a bunch of videos on Vimeo to try to get your hands on an opportunity like this? Hold your horses. The project with Lincoln isn't looking for any more filmmakers, and information explaining how the selection process will be handled the next time around is virtually nonexistent. 

But, here's what we do know: of the 4 filmmakers currently working with the Brand Creative Fund on the Lincoln project, 2 of them have a significant number of videos uploaded (Rausch has 70), whereas the other 2 have only 3. So, consistency isn't necessarily a factor. However, every one of them have had Vimeo Staff Picks, so quality is obviously going to be what gets you in. This is speculation of course, but if the current modus operandi gives us any indication of how things will go in the future, all you have to do is:

  • Consistently make great videos -- or make one great one -- whatever floats your boat.
  • Get a Vimeo Staff Pick.
  • Get handpicked.

Easy, right?

What do you think about Vimeo's new venture? How do you think this will affect the independent film community on Vimeo and/or elsewhere?


[via Videomaker & Co.Create]

Your Comment


Hmmmm, partnering creatives directly with the client, with no intermediaries. What a novel concept. Love it.

April 26, 2013 at 9:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


kill the account team!

April 26, 2013 at 11:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


Nothing really new to see here. Nike and others have done these Art of Blah Blah Blah for a while now:


April 26, 2013 at 11:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

Robert Thorpe

In this Age of Transparency, Loving the Opaque Process of Vimeo.

April 26, 2013 at 11:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

Robert Thorpe

"There are no pre-roll advertisements and non-video ads appear much less than on YouTube or other similar sites"

So you're not using an adblocker? Wow. That's so quaint. I've been using them for the past 4-5 years and the Internet is so clean and unpolluted for me

April 26, 2013 at 1:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

john jeffries

I don't watch enough YouTube videos to care to use one.

April 26, 2013 at 6:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

V Renée

Wow, why would you not? Unless you dont go on the internet when you go on the internet. Even stuff like facebook is so much better without ads
There is no reason to not use adblock. I guess unless you use internet explorer...

April 28, 2013 at 9:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


I can think of a couple.

May 1, 2013 at 5:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

V Renée

A good reason to not use an ad blocker is if you are interested in the creatives who make money from ads to keep getting paid. If everyone used AdBlock, the creative shape of the web as it currently is would cease to be. It's literally the only way a lot of the top folks on YouTube make money... so it would actually have some devastating effects.

Not judging you. But people using AdBlock have to remain a small percentage in order for the web to remain viable for creatives.

May 2, 2013 at 4:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


I think this is a great idea. It allows filmmakers who are already producing great content on Vimeo to build relationships with brands and take their careers to the next level.

April 26, 2013 at 2:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


Your chances are far better by buying lottery tickets. First: you depend on the Vimeo people to get a "Staff Pick", second: get selected in a totally random "process". Yeah, great career opportunities...and if you have very bad luck you get chosen by some filthy company, reject them and miss even that "lottery ticket"...

April 27, 2013 at 3:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


Hmm. I'm kinda torn on this. On one hand it's nice a handful of filmmakers are getting to work with some major brands via Vimeo, just for uploading their work. But on the surface it seems that the decision making process is going to be limited by the viewing habits of the limited number of people that work at Vimeo and what they like.

With Tongal, Poptent, and other sites filmmakers have to pitch their ideas, and then the client looks at that filmmaker's body of work, and then seems to choose the filmmaker that has the best body of work first, and the best pitch secondly.

In reality, this Vimeo news is great news for a very, very, very, very, select number of people. But cheers to those people who essentially win the lottery as well :)

April 26, 2013 at 4:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

Mr. Show

Are they paying them what they would generally pay a agency or production company or is this another way to devalue content creators?

April 26, 2013 at 5:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


Take a wild guess.

April 26, 2013 at 6:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


Perfect. Glossy video-makers inspired by car commercials, (a modern day conviction of quality), finally get to make videos for car companies. I didn't see that coming after watching a few Vimeo Staff Picks. I'm going to watch Transformers and study up on my VFX and color grading so I can be asked by Nike to shit in people's faces.

April 27, 2013 at 11:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM


Anything that gets film makers noticed is a good thing in my view. I applaud this concept.

May 2, 2013 at 4:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM