“Generation-Z and millennials are impacting the consumer landscape in a way we’ve not seen with previous generations,” observes Rian Bester, CEO of Amsterdam-based Insight TV. “Instead of relying on traditional, direct brand advertising to inform their purchasing decisions, they’re much more likely to turn to social media to gauge the reaction of their peers and the influencers they follow.”
Authenticity, notes Bester, is now critical currency.
Trustworthy brands with inherently strong values have the advantage. That’s certainly true when it comes to the content consumers are watching online and on TV – and that, in turn, is impacting the way in which that content is being produced. More so than ever, it’s all about capturing honest life experiences in the most transparent ways.
“I think we really understand this audience,” says Bester. “We really strive to provide unique and authentic storytelling through interesting, relatable, creative content – content that we’re able to distribute anytime, anywhere, via any device. We make shows that highlight global, topical issues and trends we think these demographics will relate to strongly.”
Insight TV has demonstrated that philosophy through partnerships with such brands as Monster Energy, which allow it to push creative boundaries in terms of unique content, locations and situations. You can see that in Insight TV shows such as Road to Gymkhana GRiD, which follows eight world-class drivers as they journey to South Africa and compete in Ken Block’s notorious drifting competition. Bester says the magic comes through weaving intimate stories of global influencers with the drama of intense competition.
“Our programs are provocative in nature, and often spark interesting debate among our viewers,” he notes. “In January, our latest series, Travel with a Goat, raised eyebrows around the world by asking a simple question: ‘Freedom or feast, what would you do?’” (In its ‘Monday Best TV’ column, the UK’s Telegraph called it “a grime-caked travelogue confronting the ethics of eating meat.”)
The show sees global foodies — including U.S. food blogger Julie Nolke (Feeling Peckish) — travel through stunning locations in South America, Europe, Asia and Africa with an animal in tow. (Think goat, alpaca, sheep, donkey or pig.) By placing foodies in close contact with animals that are destined to be slaughtered — and by handing them the ultimate power to intervene or prevent the animal’s death — Insight TV created a platform on which the circumstances of the animal’s fate can be explored. It examines the perspectives of local culture and the global meat industry, while keeping the conversation on an individual, emotional level.
Once the programs are created, then it’s down to distribution. Logically, when you’re targeting consumers who want authentic in-the-moment experiences, it makes sense to go mobile and digital — and that’s definitely been Insight TV’s approach.
“To ensure that millennials and Gen-Z can access our content globally, using simple-to-navigate app-based technology, we’ve partnered with consumer electronics companies such as Samsung and LG Electronics,” says Bester. “We recently launched a sophisticated Windows Store Application built on the latest eighth generation Intel Core processors, which allows users to stream Insight TV content on all Universal Windows Platform (UWP) devices.
“Our linear channel is available in the U.S. on Samsung’s TV Plus linear live streaming service and our UHD channel is available on RCN’s digital TV service and on Layer3 TV. “We also distribute content in UHD and HD on more than 40 broadcast platforms globally.”
And, he notes, on digital platforms that are more often known for their quick-and-dirty video production styles, Insight has prioritized viewing quality up to top-quality UHD and HDR.
“Maintaining a high production standard is important to us,” says Bester. “That’s why we create all our content in UHD and HDR. We want to give viewers an amazing experience, both editorially and visually.”