Damn Fine Documentary!

Real stories

Helping our clients discover and tell authentic, people-driven stories is a huge part of what we do at Gorilla Gorilla! Following in the footsteps of our popular Awesome Animation! study, we’ve scoured the digital channels of 250 of the biggest and best brands operating in the UK market to find the very best in short, documentary-style brand films. Our panel of industry judges scored content using 5 criteria.

Key findings

The short documentary is the king of brand content. However, in the main, our study showed that it’s a story of quantity over quality with just over a quarter of the brands and businesses surveyed delivering work with the narrative and visual quality to truly cut through.

Top Twenty

With a huge range of culturally relevant and engaging stories told with high production values – and an effective social strategy to boot – Google are a worthy winner of this inaugural edition of Damn Fine Documentary! and a great place to look for creative and narrative inspiration.

Best film

Our panel of judges voted Google’s ‘Daniel and the Sea of Sound’ and Microsoft’s ‘An Artist in Full Bloom’ as joint winners of our best film prize – two personal portraits that show contributors demonstrating brand values while putting tech to good use.

Social shorts

Across Twitter and Instagram in particular, we observed that brands and businesses are increasingly using short snippets of brand documentary to grab their audience’s attention and to drive them to longer-form content elsewhere.

Naughty list

Our research also means we come across work which isn’t as successful. And after watching this particular trope over and over, we got a little tired of seeing people’s heads from behind as they walk slowly (and usually to nowhere in particular). This shot is undoubtedly a valuable tool when used appropriately – but more often than not it is used with little consideration and has become something of a visual cliche for brand filmmaking.

Being damn fine

Based on our experience, and borne out by our study, there are five key ways to ensure you make your brand documentary stories an authentic success. Click on the link below to download a PDF of the study along with access to some of the best work to inspire your thinking or email if you’d like to chat about how we can help you make the most of your stories.