Avnet Silica is a semiconductor distributor that supports projects from ideation to production. The company connects customers and suppliers, providing support at every stage of the client journey, from product design to supply chain and logistics.
With a stand booked at electronica 2022 (the World’s leading trade fair and conference for electronics), Avnet needed a video that would be more eye-catching than all the other eye-catching videos. Bear in mind that the show is, ‘the entire electronics universe at a single location.’ Not surprisingly, they needed the WOW factor.
Naturally, they approached us for something a little different.
Two words: Dreamoc Diamond
To be fair, it wasn’t a random approach. We’d just done a damn fine job producing their brand film, which is a mix of live action and animation. Now they wanted to level up with holographic display technology. Imagine superimposed 3D-blueprint line illustrations, like these:
Dreamoc Diamond is a holographic display technology made by Realfiction, a Danish company specialising in mixed-reality solutions. As it turns out, we hadn’t used this hardware before, but we’re always up for a challenge and they had every confidence in us. Also, the Dreamoc team in Germany tutored and tested until before we knew it, we had produced this awesome video:
Thinking inside the box
Thing is, everything from framing and composition to dimensions and export settings is different in Dreamoc. We had to work within the constraints of the tech specs. Another key consideration was the diamond-shaped optics. Free rein to produce a 3D video with lots of environments and design elements? Nope.
The upshot was lots and lots of testing. Only once we knew the test animatics worked, did we produce a storyboard for client sign-off. We prefer not to imagine the nightmare of working on full 3D assets and scenes for them to not work with the Dreamoc tech spec.
Ticking the boxes
The brief was to:
- create a visually impressive video that would attract new and existing customers to the Avnet stand, impress delegates, and be a conversation starter.
- showcase the various areas where Avnet is making a smarter, greener and more secure impact, specifically EV charging, smart homes, factory automation, and air quality control.
- feature 3D/blueprint line illustration style matching the look and feel already set by the animated elements of the brand film.
- be engaging no matter how many times it runs as a loop, as a loop, as a loop.
And . . . did it work?
I don’t mind telling you that, despite being at the mercy of the hardware requirements, we over-delivered.
“We asked TopLine to create a holographic video for the Dreamoc Diamond as an eye-catcher on our exhibition stand at electronica 2022. They understood the brief, kept us updated throughout the project and delivered an outstanding video that captivated passers-by. The video demonstrated our technical solutions in an attractive way that engaged our target audience and even made the Bavaria TV news”.
Mission accomplished.Reapit case study: sales videos that don’t sell
As some chap* from across the pond is said to have said, “You can fool all of the people some of time, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”
Thing is, people aren’t fond of being fooled . . .unless you’re Penn or Teller or live in their fabulous fandom.
In real numbers: 75% of people don’t believe adverts. So then, how do you introduce a brand or product to a new market segment? Funny you should ask. Almost three-quarters of B2B marketers use video in their strategies because of the significant ROI.
Watch and learn, folks.
Reapit’s end-to-end technology platform is known and loved by thousands of smaller estate agencies . . . but not so much in larger enterprises circles. Reaching this audience called for video content that introduced the brand . . . and could be trusted. Clearly.
So there we were, shooting a 10-vid campaign and remembering why we love coming to work.
5 things we did.
- Be real. You can’t fool your way into building trust. Solution: Personal introductions to Reapit from real people in the company instead of actors. We’re talking about showcasing the knowledge and passionate of Reapit’s own rockstars. Yes, we needed rehearsals and coaching, but it was worth it.
- I’m not a number. Let’s get up close and personal. Solution: We had the interviewees looking down the lens and talking directly to the person watching. To keep it interesting, we had a secondary camera providing shots from different angles. It all came together beautifully in post-production.
- To infinity and beyond . . . only in Wapping, London. Solution: Choosing the right filming location is really important, so we secured large studio space with an infinity wall. That pure white, curved surface seamlessly blends the wall and the floor. Nice and clean, with no interference from a background. Worth it, if I say so myself.
- Make it short & sweet. Nuff said. Solution: Videos need to be short enough that people will watch them through to the end, but still give the whole story and sound natural. We cut the script. Cut it again. This took the longest time.
- Stop the boring. Focus. Solution: Each video only had one talking head talking about a single challenge. No swimming around in muddy waters. Also, we added animation for easy illustration of more complex topics.
It’s official. This is a brilliant series of no-selling sales vids with Reapit’s people telling Reapit’s story.
But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself:
* Abraham Lincoln if you must knowThe making of the Golfbidder trade-in days video
How to win at golf always and forever. Amen.
Late, great golfer Arnold Palmer said, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.” In other words, everything golf is difficult-difficult-lemon-difficult. But it doesn’t always have to be this way; a discovery we are compelled to share. So we made a video.
We wanted to call it, How To Win At Golf Always and Forever but our client had other ideas. You’ll understand why in a minute.
Lots of golfers spend lots of money on clubs. Which is a loose translation of the stats: UK manufacturers sold approximately 127.8 million GBP worth of golf clubs and golf equipment in 2020 alone.
Expensive business. If only there were another way.
Turns out Golfbidder (said client) is the originator and leading expert in buying and selling pre-owned golf clubs. The brief read like so: “We give our customers access to the best range of pre-owned golf equipment and now, with the new Golfbidder Trade-in Days, we also give the perfect opportunity to upgrade your golf clubs. Because the process differs from any website transactions, we want to give our customers all the information they need before they try out the service.”
In other words, they wanted a how-to video to introduce a new service from a well-known company.
How hard could it be?
If you must know, Golfbidder Trade-in Days work like this:
- Saunter up to the Golfbidder expert. Show them what you’ve got. Get a price for the club(s) you’re wanting to trade-in or sell.
- You know those clubs at the pro shop that you’ve had your eye on for, like, forever? Take a better look. (As if you need to.)
- If you’re happy, make the exchange and pay the difference. Play golf better than ever before.
It’s a simple 3-step process, but . . .
There’s more to it. Isn’t there always?
Besides the what-and-how of the Golfbidder Trade-In Days, “We want to convey that everyone wins, from making the sport more sustainable thanks to less golf equipment landing up in landfills, to feet in the door for your local PGA professional, to the customer who gets money off their new purchase.”
The how to about the how to
In the past Golfbidder had gone with animated explainer videos, but this project needed a big trust factor: show-and-tell with real people in a real place.
Enter The Leatherhead Club. Cue clear skies and perfect light. Follow the script, which had to be short as, but still tell the whole story in a friendly, unrushed way. All hurry up and calm down.gg
A real Trade-in Day would have been first prize, but controlling shots would get complicated, not to mention the legalities of who appeared in the video, even in the background. The Golfbidder dudes ran a mock shop; we did mock-shop shots. Also, some nice tracking shots of golfers in their natural habitat, from a hanging-out-the-side-of-a-speeding-golf-cart vantage.
The final product is 90 seconds of how to with the moniker, Golfbidder Trade-In Days are Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy.
Animation case study: Amokabel
Distribution networks bring electricity to our communities, powering homes and businesses. Traditionally, they use bare overhead power lines which can be incredibly risky. If humans, wildlife or vegetation interfere with these powerlines, it can be fatal to them and possibly cause power outages or even wildfires.
Amokabel, the leading supplier of covered conductors in Scandinavia, approached us to help them create a 2D animated video showcasing their new Covered Conductors. They wanted an animation style that was engaging, not too childish – sleek and modern – much like their technology.
Covered cables remove the risk of wildfires and increases a network’s reliability compared to its competitors and old designs. They offer a cost-effective and rapid method to increase the resilience of the world’s power networks. Amokabel’s Covered Conductors are quickly becoming the most sustainable solution for utilities around the world.
Amokabel’s brief was ‘sleek, modern, clear and concise.’ We wanted to create something that was informative, yet still visually engaging for the audience. To do this, we produced a style in keeping with the brand look and feel. However, as it’s pretty stripped back we really leant into colour shading, pretty artwork and illustration for the key scenes where we could go into detail on the environment (scene with the landscape, power cables, sky etc). We primarily used their key colour blue alongside a neutral colour palette to tie everything together.
You can watch the film here!
Recruitment video case study: Central Bedfordshire Council
Peter Eriksson, Amokabel’s CEO commented: “Working with TopLine Film was an enjoyable experience. They quickly got familiar with the core arguments for our solution and were very responsive to our feedback. The project consumed very few resources on our side and we couldn’t be more happy about the result and choosing TopLine to support our B2B marketing.“
Across the United Kingdom there is currently a major shortage of people working in care. This has been caused by a number of factors including Brexit and the pandemic. But there is also a stigma attached to working in care, with many care workers seeking employment elsewhere.
Since the pandemic, the need for people working in care has increased dramatically, which is why Central Bedfordshire Council commissioned a recruitment film to help generate interest in the care industry in general and also applications for jobs.
We knew we needed to showcase both the human benefits of a job in the care industry and the career progression opportunities for care workers, and so we decided to take an interview-based approach.
We had worked with CBC before and our team (a director and a camera operator) spent the day at a care home and interviewed people within different roles. These included front line staff who support residents one on one every day, to managerial staff that help develop staff and run care homes.
The video captured honest and emotional interviews – we wanted to showcase careers in care as fulfilling and meaningful and the interviewees didn’t disappoint – it was obvious that these people love their jobs and are proud of the impact they have. It was a delight to work with them.
We shot the film handheld so we could be nimble throughout the day, capturing the special moments between staff and residents. The b-roll sequences work nicely in slow motion, so we can highlight the interaction between residents. As well as the main film, we also created 3 short social clips which would be used in targeted social recruitment campaigns.
You can watch the film here – we hope it piques your interest in a career in care.
Explainer animation case study: Aklimate
Aklimate is a technology platform that helps companies reduce carbon emissions by targeting their supply chains. The supply chain typically accounts for up to 80% of corporate emissions and Aklimate helps suppliers measure emissions and identify opportunities for reductions.
The company needed an explainer video to showcase its functionality to potential clients. The video would sit on Aklimate’s home page, so it needed to support the brand story, reflect the visuals of the site, and appeal to its varied corporate target audience – Aklimate already counts Y Combinator, Monmouth Coffee Company and the World Wildlife Fund among its clients.
The video was to replace an existing piece of content – a simple platform walkthrough that demonstrated the product, but the team didn’t feel it was engaging the viewer.
After examining Aklimate’s brief, we decided against using character animations and literal representations – we didn’t want to follow the traditional path used in the supply chain world of showing trucks, trains and ships. We thought a cleaner style would work and went for a bouncy ball as a metaphor for the client. This offered us the opportunity to keep the video visually slick without clogging it with too many assets.
We had to make sure to keep the content on-brand, with movement that is detailed and smooth – this is a very detailed exercise that produces a very simple-looking result. We then used sound effects to elevate production value.
We kept the script concise, giving the video a nice balance between being an explainer and showing what the platform does. The script also had to fit in with the language on their site: Aklimate is all about supply chain reporting made simple, and we therefore needed to convey that simplicity with every element of the video. And we chose a commercial-sounding, friendly and relateable voice over.
You can view the video here or on Aklimate’s home page:
Sian Evans, TopLine’s head of production commented: “We loved working on this explainer. Aklimate was a really easy client to work with – responsive and very clear on what they needed. The team came together nicely to produce something we are all proud of.”
“It was great working with TopLine on our video. From the outset, they got to know our business, understood our objectives and what we really needed. They worked with us collaboratively to produce a really creative video that exceeded our expectations.” – Harry Humfrey, Founder, Aklimate
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Zero100 is committed to helping organisations develop equitable, sustainable supply chains. So when they needed a video to introduce some of the new concepts they are bringing to the supply chain world, we knew an explainer animation would do the job perfectly.
The company needed a teaser video to describe the valuable content, connections and research it offers to inspire global operations leaders to reimagine the future of supply chains. And they needed it ASAP.
Our team immediately got stuck into learning about how supply chain management can impact everything from customer satisfaction to the environment to the company’s bottom line, and to understanding Zero100’s vision of a zero percent carbon, 100 percent digital supply chain. Our script writers distilled what they had learned into a script that simplified the concept for a broad audience. Once Zero100 was happy with the script, our illustrators produced a storyboard before the project moved on to our animation team.
Working with Zero100, we chose a montage/cut-out style that stands out compared to other content in the supply chain space. This worked perfectly to incorporate their existing bold brand assets and look and feel. We adapted a traditional style to make it more contemporary and sophisticated. We would usually discourage our clients from voicing their own videos, but Zero100 had a few compelling reasons for taking this route: they had other content voiced by this individual, the execution was good, and it offered internal consistency.
We managed to turn this project around in record time. You can watch it here, or on Zero100’s website:
Our Head of Production, Sian, loved working with Zero100: “They came to us with a clear direction, an appetite for creativity and drive to work together to get the project done on time. We loved learning about supply chain management, working with the team at Zero100 and we are really proud of the result.”
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Interreg is one of the key instruments of the European Union supporting cooperation across borders through project funding. There are about 79 different cooperation programmes across Europe, including cross border, transnational and interregional programmes.
The Interreg France (Channel) England (FCE) is one of those cross border programmes. The 2014 -2020 FCE programme, which is managed by Norfolk County Council, has funded high quality cooperation projects between France and the UK across specific objectives for Innovation, Social Innovation, Low Carbon Technologies, Heritage and Coastal and Transitional Water Ecosystems.
the FCE programme wanted to produce several videos to showcase projects across these specific objectives in order demonstrate to a broad audience the programme aims and impact.
Once the FCE programme had selected the projects to film, we worked with their Communications Officer on interview questions for each video. As half the projects needed to be filmed in France, we needed to prep our content in both English and French before heading out to film. Prior to the planned shoots, we were also provided with background on each project, so we were fully up to speed.
We travelled around the UK and France, meeting with different project leads, conducting the onsite interviews and filming b-roll for each to capture the essence of each project. Yes, we did fly a drone over a river and yes, we did get in the water for the submerged shots of the fish.
We knew these films also needed to act as a mid-way ‘check-in’ to highlight achievements made in the first half of the project period. It was important that the videos delivered on messaging as much as the visuals. This meant having a member of the team onsite who was able to produce and direct interviews in French and liaise on the ground with the French project leads. Luckily at TopLine, we had that covered!
The FCE team was really happy with the result as were each of the individual project leads. You can watch the videos here:
Saft batteries in space – video production case study
Saft has been producing batteries for use in satellites for over 50 years. From chemical powder to electronics, Saft’s batteries are designed for use in harsh environments – if a battery fails in orbit, then the satellite fails. The company wanted to celebrate its history of designing batteries for space application with a video and turned to TopLine Film to help them.
The video needed to showcase Saft’s history in the space sector and to celebrate the company’s experience and expertise. The target audience included stakeholders, employees, current and prospective customers.
The brief required us to work with teams from both the US and French Saft offices, speaking with those involved in each stage of the space battery production process to develop and convey an understanding of this important work, and its implications for humanity.
TopLine Film handled everything from initial creative to delivery. Starting with pre-production, the first step was agreeing on a creative approach for that film. We were excited at the opportunity to utilise vintage stock footage as well as footage from NASA to include as part of the narrative. But it was important that this was interwoven with interview soundbites from the Saft teams.
To ensure authenticity, the entire video would be voiced by Saft. With that in mind, we carried out pre-shoot interviews and developed a loose script based around Q&A responses from each staff member and subject matter expert. This gave us a rough idea of the key messages, soundbites and structure we needed to follow when it came to face-face interviews.
With the look and feel decided, a loose script and a long shot list in place for our crew to shoot, we began storyboarding alongside planning shoot logistics. We needed to travel to both sites in the US and France, set up pre-shoot interviews and conduct on-site interviews in both locations and capture other shots to be included in the film. Our crew flew to both Baltimore and Poitiers to capture all live action elements of the film.
On return to the UK we hit the ground running with the post production process, starting with narrowing down our interview content. Before plugging in any visuals, we wanted to fully sign off our soundbites and interview content, effectively using this as our voiceover guide. Finally, we painted with b-roll, product shots and stock footage.
We really wanted to utilise multiple music tracks throughout this video, nodding to different message chapters and helping to keep the video feeling dynamic.
“The film crew, director, and production staff involved were professional, organised, and engaged with the project. I was very pleased with the process and the final result. This video remains my favorite of all the video projects I’ve worked on at Saft. The process was really fun and engaging, and the final product resulted in one of the best videos we’ve produced.”