Square has launched a new brand campaign, a series of films highlighting small business success stories. The series is called “For Every Kind of Dream” and debuts today in Knoxville Tennessee, the home oc Yassin’s Falafel House featured in the film.
The owner, Yassin Terou, is a former Syrian refugee who came to the US in 2011. He will participate in a live discussion with Square CEO Jack Dorsey at Terou’s home after the film debuts online later today. It will be streamed on Facebook and Twitter.
The film represents the best kind of branding, though it may be seen as “political” and potentially controversial by some. The story is also extremely powerful and moving. To launch the series with this film is an extremely bold move; the company could have chosen a much “safer” local business to profile.
I also suspect the fact that Terou is a Syrian refugee and a Muslim at a time of heightened xenophobia and racism will all but guarantee this film and Square get a lot of attention. However I don’t believe that Square did this in a calculated way. If you watch the film you’ll see it’s a very strong story of small business success as well as a statement about “American values.”
I spoke to Square CMO Kevin Burke about the film series and the launch. This is the kind of material that one would think would make an extremely successful Super Bowl ad — Square should do a version of this as a Super Bowl ad. However the company is not going to distribute this through traditional TV. Instead, promotion will come from the traditional digital mix: owned, earned and paid media. There will be lots of “earned” I predict.
Square says that all the films in the series “will feature Square sellers of all types of backgrounds that are bonded by their common dream of entrepreneurship and the risks each of them have taken to become a small business owner.” The message, according to Burke, is that Square is here with small business empowerment tools to help people achieve their dreams. A website hosting the films (foreverydream.com) and related information will launch tomorrow.
I asked Burke whether the fact that the film has a “political” dimension in this climate was a concern for the company. He said that they didn’t have any concerns; telling this story as well as others to come, he said, “is very consistent with who we are.”
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