Project Title: ESG Video
Click2View’s working relationship with UPS has been long standing, and we have helped them produce a wide range of content; from story mining projects to warehouse virtual tours and even animated videos.
As a thought leader in sustainability in the logistics industry, UPS approached us with the intention to commission a video on the ways they approached ESG. They wanted a video which touched on issues such as environmental sustainability, social responsibility and governance sustainability, all three of which UPS proudly maintains.
This was also to be a jointly produced video with Moore’s Lore Media, who would provide strategic direction for the project, as well as the script and choice of soundtrack.
How do you curate stock footage in a way that makes them look like they were purposefully shot? It sounds very challenging, but with a relatively shorter turnaround stipulated by the client, our team had no time to cast, storyboard or shoot anything within that frame of time. In the end, they had to use stock footage as visuals to carry the narrative of the script. It seemed like to complete this job, our team had to grow some ‘Unstoppable’ instincts of their own to succeed!
Our team consisted of our Producer/Director Kartini Deffahry, Senior Editor Mkay Yap, Art Director Rainhard Susanto and Visual Effects Artist Ahmad Hafiz. With music and script already locked in place, our team scoured hundreds of stock footage across multiple websites in search of non-clichéd stock footage that reinforced the narrative flow, giving it a coherent, non-corporate feel.
“You don’t know if a particular footage is going to work until you see it in the context of the other parts.” Indeed, Mkay would check every frame to ensure that they worked cohesively and answered the question of “Does this scream Unstoppable?” with a resounding “YES!”
Mkay also noted that most of the footage couldn’t be used as is. He had to put them through extensive grading, scaling and extraction before they became the cinematic pictures in the final product. Cultural constraints meant that he would have to use different footage to represent the same part of the narrative in the Chinese version of the video. He also had to feature faces with more universal appeal to them and use footage with silhouettes. This was because most good stock available featured Western faces, which would not have worked for a campaign run in the APAC region.
Any image featuring silhouettes:
Art Director Rain and VFX artist Hafiz designed and animated the kinetic typography that would sweep and course through the real estate of the video. While Rain already had experience with UPS’s brand of what being ‘Unstoppable’ entailed, Hafiz – like Mkay – had to redefine his concept of design in order to confidently handle the project.
To choreograph Rain’s text and bring it to life, Hafiz notes, “I followed the beat or mood of the music and paid attention to the VO reading. This helps me decide whether to show the entire sentence at once, or a phrase at a time, based on the time given. From there, I add very subtle movement when transiting from text to text / scene to scene.”
Orchestrating the video was our director Kartini, who called the process “an endless fix-it-in-post.” While this is basically blasphemous to creatives, it was exactly what the project required. Every piece of stock footage from the stock library universe needed to be “fixed in post” to draw out the Unstoppable energy that resides within them! Well, save for one scene of the video which was actually shot by us. A scene which has now been immortalised in Click2View’s popular culture and is used extensively to help Kartini relive her shining moment. This challenging scene in the video came in the form of the lines, “Not because we said so; because we did so!”
It launched the team into deliberating over what kinds of visuals would be suitable for setting to such non-visual writing. In response to this, our director decided to shoot someone literally mouthing the lines beneath the voiceover talent.
Kartini had plans to shoot someone in gold lipstick, but the rest of the team wanted to try something elseWhile the first version of the shot footage was rejected for being too ‘high-fashioned’ and ‘immaculate’, our team quickly recovered and realised shooting a drag queen with gold lipstick would both capture the ‘Unstoppable’ feel our client was looking for. “We need to be nimble and creative in order to respond well to quick changes or any other kind of curveball thrown our way,” added Kartini.
VS accepted sequence:
Our client Nikki Taylor, Head of Communications at UPS, commented that the “ads performed very well and we gained a lot of “eyeballs” on our posts/ videos. In addition, overall video views, thru-pull and 100% views were good numbers.”
She also noted that “we exceeded the video view rate (considered 3sec + view) benchmark for Linkedin and Facebook, which is usually 30% and 15% respectively. We exceeded both, gaining 38% and 49% respectively. The part I like to drill down on though is the total numbers per market that actually watched the video in full. The video wasn’t short so this in my book is good engagement!”
The client loved the final product so much they commissioned us to write a book of guidelines for prospective video makers her team might commission to produce future videos.
For making an ‘Unstoppable’ video, the experience was definitely heart-stopping, and when asked for her thoughts on the long journey towards the final product, Kartini says, “It’s all about understanding how the narrative moves, and the kind of impact you need to jolt your audience with. Rain and I already had prior experience, so we just needed to break Mkay and Hafiz in. A curveball is not a dead end, and though we were thrown many of those, we got creative in the toughest of constraints and slowly grew to truly internalise the language of being ‘Unstoppable.’”
You can watch the final product here.