‘You only shave a beard once…’

How do you handle the production of a campaign intelligently?

Advertising campaigns for international brands are becoming increasingly complex. Production company Wenneker.Amsterdam’s approach is smart, thorough, efficient and perfectly adapted to solve the complex nature of their clients’ content puzzles. In a series of articles, Executive Producer, Robert Verberne reveals some of his secrets.
Each phase of the customer journey requires different types of content: from a commercial to a ‘How to’ film. And, ifthe campaign is running in Asia or North America, it has to connect with individual cultures. Moreover, each platform has different technical requirements. Just think of the differences between TV, online retail channels and social media.

With just one product launch, a multinational needs a massive amount of content. And, over the years, Robert has seen major brands make a lot of content in different countries, independent of each other. He says, “A brand located in multiple territories country has tended to do things in its own way, with its own agencies and partners. So each time they have to reinvent the wheel and that costs a lot of money and time. That’s why we came up with an efficient and cost-effective method to make all the content, without it becoming uniform. We also look at how we can use the expertise and strength of the various PAKT entities to make the production even better.”

Thinking in terms of assets

Thanks to the unique modular production method, Wenneker.Amsterdam provides the client with a complete toolbox with all the content that a campaign will need. Robert says, “When you do large productions, you keep coming across all kinds of separate components. The trick is to map these out beforehand in order to find efficiencies and solve the complex content puzzle.”
“Often there is an ‘expression’ of lifestyle, or a model who uses the product and a packshot. We then think about how you can use these shots in such a way that you only have to film them once. We list all the expressions in advance, with specifications for each medium.” Robert changed the way of thinking by considering the campaign in terms of assets, rather than content. “The separate parts form the content and are therefore much more versatile. We now apply this way of thinking across all the PAKT entities.”

Commercial in 36 versions

Wenneker.Amsterdam ensures that the separate content connects with all the different moments in the customer journey, unique to their location. “By filming each scene with several models, for example, the film is immediately locally relevant. And you can also use shots from the commercial in other content. In this way, Wenneker.Amsterdam increases the production value across the content. All countries where such a multinational is active can draw from a toolbox of scenes,” Robert explains. And that can be quite large. “I once made a 30-second commercial that could be edited into 36 different versions.”
Case: Campaign for a Philips shaver

Take the campaign for a Philips shaver: Wenneker.Amsterdam collaborates with the agency to create a campaign deck, a plan of no less than one hundred and fifty pages. In it you will find all the necessary content items in a row, the commercial, the content for retail channels and all social media.

Robert says, “I print all of it out, hang it up and start putting the puzzle together. You really have to understand what’s going to be used where and know the specifications. I love that puzzle. I see where parts are the same or where they differ, and how we can use them as widely as possible. That’s very efficient and effective. The productions almost always require smart solutions. After all, you can only shave a beard once.”

If both a photo and a film are required, Robert thinks up a way to do both at the same time. Finally, it’s crucial to be able to adapt content in post-production. “You don’t want to redo an entire photo shoot for a shaver when it comes out in a new colour. Because of the way in which Wenneker.Amsterdam sets up a campaign and tracks products in software, it’s even possible to replace a product in moving images. In this way, we extend the life span of the content and get the most out of a production.”

Wenneker.Amsterdam’s comprehensive pre- and post-production modular approach is unique. In the coming period, new articles will appear in this series that will take a closer look at this method:

– The 4M’s of the modular production approach: handles for more efficiency in production
– The division of roles between production and direction: how does Wenneker.Amsterdam work with talent?
– Post-production/Daytona method: a longer lifespan for your campaign.

Written by Robert Verberne. Robert is Executive Producer at Wenneker.Amsterdam, Part of PAKT, a European ecosystem of content production companies with one vision: Creating quality content at scale!