BP

Portrait of an Artist

Branded Content

Portrait of an Artist

The BP Portrait Award: telling a story that was deeper than ‘branded content’.


The problem
BP’s audience were beginning to question the brand’s association with the art world. We were asked to devise a communications platform that would win back hearts and minds.

Our solution
Through research, we discovered the BP Portrait Award was the key to helping BP prove their commitment – not only to the competition itself, but also its hidden talent and the important cultural narratives and intimate relationships between artist and sitter.

The brief we gave ourselves was to unearth the kind of stories that would make even a cynic feel something for the genre. This – and the key to winning their audience over – meant we had to capture and tell genuine and authentic stories. And that BP would have to allow the story to editorially stand on its own two feet.

The film we created and produced – Portrait of an Artist – transcended the world of ‘branded content’. As the stories unfolded, it became a heartfelt love letter to the history of the competition; a story that embodies BP’s belief in their responsibility to support and invest in the communities in which it works.

Our strategy was to deliver the film in a way that enhanced the authenticity of the stories it tells.

Authentic storytelling through a credible channel.


Working closely with the BP and the National Portrait Gallery, we developed a distribution partnership with BBC World News – a media placement that drove a 39% increase in brand affinity, with 94% of BBC viewers reacted positively to the broadcasts. Close partnership with BBC World News also secured a highly efficient digital plan with distribution of the film and its supporting assets to a defined BP audience on the Arts section of BBC.com internationally, putting it in front of the right people, at the right time, in the right place.

Other broadcasters have followed suit and the film is also featured on Amazon Prime.

Over 1.5 million broadcast views and 375k digital views.


Portrait of an Artist brings together artist and sitter, who talk about their deeply personal experiences behind their paintings. Exploring the fabric of their insecurities around self-doubt, body image, depression, and identity, we learn how the process of portraiture allows both the artist and sitter to go on a journey of discovery.

Like a good painting, this film came alive through layers of stories told through beautiful images.

Charlie Schaffer

“You see each other in your most vulnerable, your most impressive, your most pathetic states. You see all of it”


Winner “Brand Documentary - long form” at the Brand Film Awards 2020; Gold award for “Best Use of Video” at the Corporate Content Awards 2020; 41st Annual Telly Award winner, multiple categories; screened at the London International Documentary Festival; screened at Sedona International Film Festival. Screened at BP offices throughout the UK to 16,000 employees..

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