THE TRIBE, THE RAINFOREST AND ME
an interview with anthropologist Camille Oloa Biloa
Media release: 20/07/16
Expedition company Secret Compass today announced its official entry into the world of branded content production, with the launch of new website Secret Compass Brand Projects. This follows industry demand from brands and agencies keen to plan shoots and PR stunts in the world’s wildest places.
“We began in 2011 as an expedition company run by former British Army commanders, offering adventures in remote and high-risk locations,” explained Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass.
“In Feb this year, an FT ‘How to Spend It’ feature outlined how we and other companies run by former special forces staff are reinventing the landscape of adventure travel with our meticulously planned itineraries – we’re now applying these methodologies to brand projects.
“The BBC, CH4, Nat Geo and more saw what we were doing and started to come to us for logistical and planning expertise on tough shoots from Afghanistan to South Sudan. To manage these projects – like Levison Wood’s challenging Walking the Nile series – Secret Compass TV was born.
“With consumers of online content more discerning than ever, ambitious brand managers and those representing them – such as world-class agencies Golley Slater and Edelman – heard of our work in the expeditionary and TV worlds and sought our advice on branded content projects in unusual locations, too.”
Bodkin continued, “As an example, we run a trekking expedition in Afghanistan. Thanks to our current on-the-ground knowledge and trusted local contacts, this has since led to a BBC2 shoot with Kate Humble and to a mountain biking world-first film in the region with Sony.
“This diversification from adventure travel and exploration into filming and branded content production has been organic and industry-driven, leading to our recent decision to launch Secret Compass Brand Projects as a department in its own right.”
Kerry O’Neill, communications director with Secret Compass, explained, “We quickly realised that our specialist geographical, practical and security knowledge were unusual, and that trusted expertise in this niche was in demand by busy media executives. With the launch of our Brand Projects service, we’re applying our existing expertise to the creation of epic branded content.
“With wide-ranging capabilities, Secret Compass can manage any or all elements of a brand project’s complex needs, providing anything from a medical or risk assessment to full project management.”
Jagermeister’s music manager, Tom Carson, said, “Secret Compass manages our Ice Cold Gig series of high-risk shoots. They’ve been vital in helping us capture print press and social media attention for the brand, with epic world-firsts in Finland, Greenland, Norway and Siberia.
“The Ice Cold Gigs have won Guinness records and Pro Sound and Music Week award nominations for their innovative pairing of brand and agency, testimony to Secret Compass’s high production values despite often considerable off-screen challenges.
“Our 2016 ‘air-land-sea’ shoot in Norway – a world-first continuous gig – involved a 44-strong team plus aircraft, boats, dogs, sleds and myriad local and Secret Compass experts. It’s eye-opening what goes into three minutes of YouTube content!” added Carson.
Below: the Jagermeister Ice Cold Gig 2016 with Matt Tuck in Norway:
O’Neill continued, “As Jagermeister and other brands recognise, discerning consumers want more. Banner ads don’t cut it any more. They want jaw-dropping stunts and headline-making content that is relevant, shareable and Social Media-friendly to carry their messages further.
“As well as being a one-stop-shop for agencies on the production and logistics side, we can also handle risk assessments and medical requirements, crew travel, visa and film permit issues. Starting life as a travel company certainly has its advantages. This helps us keep things simple for busy managers, with Secret Compass Brand Projects acting as their one point of contact for an entire project.”
For further press information about Secret Compass’s brand or TV and film arms, or its team expeditions and bespoke adventures, contact communications director Kerry O’Neill on 0207 096 8428 or email today.
Visit Secret Compass Brand Projects now.
Visit Secret Compass TV now.
View or download our Factsheet (one-page PDF) outlining Secret Compass and its upcoming expeditions.
Secret Compass redefines what is possible by creating pioneering projects in the world’s wildest places. Secret Compass is built around a team of trusted experts who combine a passion for exploration with industry-leading professionalism. Secret Compass reignites your primal need for adventure, providing the catalyst for you to come alive and achieve the extraordinary. Meet Secret Compass HQ staff and a selection of its expedition professionals.
Expedition Types include Epic, Cultural Immersion, Adventure Academy and Classics Redefined. Expedition styles include mixed-terrain trekking, jungle trekking and minimalist desert traverses, to mountain-biking, rafting and horseback expeditions. Secret Compass welcomes applications from anyone with a good level of fitness who’s keen to achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places.
View current expeditions filtered by region here. Past, current and upcoming destinations include Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Bhutan, Burma/ Myanmar, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt’s southern Sinai desert, Ethiopia, Gabon, Georgia, Greenland, the Himalayas, Iceland, India (Arunachal Pradesh), Iran (Mount Damavand and the Lut Desert), Iraqi Kurdistan, Kamchatka, Kilimanjaro, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, North Korea, Panama, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Siberia, Socotra, South Sudan, Sudan (the Bayuda desert), Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and more.
Secret Compass TV and Film is trusted by production companies and brands to capture the extraordinary in remote and wild regions thanks to its unrivalled location and risk-management expertise. Credits include location-managing Channel 4’s Walking the Nile/ Himalayas and Americas series with Levison Wood, alongside projects for the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel and more.
Secret Compass Brand Projects works with brands on projects designed to create the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places. Unique branded content and other projects have to date been staged in destinations from South Sudan and the DRC to Greenland and Finnish Lapland. Clients to date include Mitsubishi, Sony, Nespresso, Giro, Xbox and Jagermeister.
For further information concerning Secret Compass bespoke and team expeditions, TV and Film, or Branded Projects:
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See you on a team soon…