Branded, 11/09/17

AT&T vs DOJ, David Attenborough’s Storytelling Master Class, and how much Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Amazon spent on content

Ian Faison
Nov 9, 2017 · 4 min read
The GOAT Storyteller

An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment. — David Attenborough

Branded is a daily curated report of industry news designed to help executives in marketing, advertising and branding create ROI producing media, stories, and campaigns that deliver long term results.

News that Matters

A new twist to the $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner yesterday. The DOJ is reportedly requesting that AT&T sells Turner Broadcasting (which includes CNN). AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is not having it. He said yesterday, “I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing so”. Sounds like a debate I’ll be tuning into. You can read more here.

Lessons Learned

Check out our deep-dive into Lessons from 40 Years of Apple Ads.

Original Content, Series, and Shows

Apple won the bidding war for the upcoming 20-episode show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. You can read the details here.

Perhaps the beginning of the new-normal for Apple and original content? WSJ reported that that Apple is poised to spend 1 billion on content. Interesting to see if they will spend like , , and in the future.

Speaking of that, I wonder how much everyone is spending on content in 2017? Answer at the bottom of the article ;)

Storytelling (that lasts for decades)

It has been an absolute delight watching an all-time great storyteller that gets better with age.

I have been watching Natural Curiosities by David Attenborough and am blown away at how well he teaches me new things about animals I thought I knew about.

((SPOILER ALERT)). Did you know that female Komodo Dragons can give virgin births?? That Naked Mole Rats live 10x longer than all other rodents but their bodies don’t age?? Elephants grow a second set of teeth which allows them to live so long?? Sorry for the spoilers, but this stuff is amazing.

Each episode details the scientists (or amateurs!) who discovered the species and the scientific oddities surrounding the animal’s evolutionary traits.

Attenborough blends stories about secrets, history, science, and technology by putting a new spin on animals you (mostly) know.

Similar to the excellent Planet Earth, also narrated by Attenborough, Natural Curiosities has a very long shelf life. Planet Earth was intentionally shot in HD so that the high-quality videos would last for 10+ years. For perspective, Planet Earth was released in 2006 and Planet Earth 2 didn’t release until 2016, with even crazier cameras than the first season.

But what I find especially curious, is that episodes of Natural Curiosities have a floating expiration date. The stories are not finished as scientists continue to discover things about these species. While the historical accounts of the humans that explored these animals are timeless.

Admittedly, I am a huge animal enthusiast, so I freaking love this stuff.

But D.A. showcases a masterclass in Storytelling 401: Making fun entertainment where you learn something and tell your friends. We should play these in middle schools across the country and content marketing workshops.

I only hope that I am throwing 104mph fastballs into my 90s.

Highly recommend you watch on Netflix.

Marketing Q&A

Q: How much do the big dogs spend on content?

A: Netflix is way out in front with over 8 billion. You can read more here.


I spent last night with the VetForce team at . Amazing to see how this program has grown and impacted lives of all-star military veterans. Superb leadership by Ann Weeby and support of leaders and Sam Allen.

Check out this up and coming amazing designer, Haley Greco. Super impressed with her work. If your company is looking for an awesome designer… Shoot me an email.


Got an opportunity that you want me to feature? Have an open position for a marketing role? Email ian (at)

Branded is brought to you by our team at The Mission. We create original content, shows, and series for brands and distribute them to our audience of millions. To learn more, connect with us here.

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

Ian Faison

Written by

Chief Content Officer @TheMissionHQ. Co-Host of The Mission Daily. Army/OEF/West Point veteran. Helping connect companies to millions of our readers.

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

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