Business to business (B2B) marketing doesn’t have to be boring! This was the starting point for a new type of marketing video launched by Hocus Pocus Studio in London. In many ways, Uniled Solutions was the perfect client for such an ambitious project: a company that defines itself by redefining excellence creatively and technically.
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The focus for the next generation explanatory film was on UniLIVE, a campaign platform for digital outdoor advertising (DOOH). The audience for the film were advertisers, agencies, media buyers and owners. The main benefit was real-time, campaign-specific accountability. Indeed, transparency emerges as one of the key issues in storytelling.
A B2B audience is most often found in a desktop setting, so voiceover was the obvious tool to move the narrative forward. Using on-screen text / supers is always an option for an audio-off environment (especially for a mobile audience), but it can get very restrictive, especially if the subject is technical or nuanced.
The big problems that had to be overcome creatively were the well-known explanatory tropes that have become tired and predictable. This highly customizable 2D format has launched thousands of startups that are often voiced by the CEO and follow a very rigid structure (Problem> Solution> CTA).
So how can you change the formula and create a movie that stands out from the crowd? The first answer was to create a very special world to house the content in. It’s a very metropolitan environment, not a recognizable city, but a modern, global place where you want to live and work.
The city is a mix of 2D and 3D that allows for some interesting camera movements and transitions without turning the movie into a big technical exercise. Of course, one of the main focuses of the cool environment was to have a cool place to put the advertising itself, right in the heart of the story.
The story goes on
What to do with the ads For obvious reasons, they couldn’t be real brands or real ads – so a creative license was required. A bit like duff beer in the Simpsons, the Hocus Pocus team set out to create a number of fictional but somehow recognizable brands. In fact, a full movie identity was developed to allow a motif to be spread across the various specification screens. The result? Some are really fun to be creative.
A city without people is just an empty row of buildings, so the world needed character. The balance that had to be struck here was to have a simple shape yet a personality to shine through. Again, color and shape helped define the characters in the animation, with a few playful nods to some of the eccentricities of a contemporary creative department at an advertising agency.
The last film was well connected with a lively soundtrack and atmospheric sound design. Did the video avoid being the boring B2B explainer? Absolutely. The end result is colorful, personality-centric animation, which is exactly it Hocus Pocus Studio has become known for.