Arkadin provide a range of unified communications and audio, web and video collaboration solutions, as well as virtual events, to enterprise level businesses. They are technology agnostic, putting together packages for companies using a variety of providers, like Cisco Webex and Skype for Business.
The requirement was for a promotional video for Cisco Webex. We were asked to position Webex as a new solution to outdated IT, with the video geared towards encouraging people to use the technology. As Arkadin provide Webex as part of a managed service, it was vital to show the value that Arkadin add to the process of onboarding and managing the new technology in businesses with over 2000 employees.
Overall, we were after something human, which would speak directly to the target audience, senior IT professionals, and put them at the heart of the story. We also knew we had to balance that with making sure that the reasons for buying the product were clear, without going into loads of detail. So, we took a pretty common approach to storytelling - we introduced our lead character, we revealed a challenge, and followed that up with the solution to the challenge. That way, we ended up with a narrative structure based on resolving the pain points of our target audience.
Our IT Manager (Jason) feeling the pain
Every project is challenging in a different way. Here are a couple of big ones on this project:
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the budget available to hire a filming location for this production. So yes, what you see took place in Arkadin’s working office, with everyone around us just trying to get on with their day jobs. It became clear that this was going to be the case during pre-production, and we became concerned that the plans we had for quite deliberate, lingering shots wouldn’t look great in what was a pretty standard office (harsh roof panel lights, desk dividers, lots of white and grey).
To get around this, we made adjustments to our storyboard, making it pacier, lighter in tone, and adding shots to tell the story in a more vivid, personal way. This would put a little more focus on our actors, which brings me to my next challenge...
You guessed it, we had no budget for actors either! But, having directed a good mix of professional actors and volunteers in my career, I was confident that since there were no speaking parts, we could get the job done with a little help from the Arkadin team.
So, we planned for this from the beginning. The guys at Arkadin were great at recruiting their colleagues for the project, and a motley cast of extras was duly assembled. On the day everyone was great, especially our IT manager and star of the show, Jason.
It was a big challenge for myself and the crew to manage the whereabouts of our volunteers in a working office (people still needed to go to meetings at certain times and get various things done), especially when trying to get the shots in a sensible order and keep to schedule. Overall, although we asked our volunteers for a bit more acting than we’d originally planned, they rose to the challenge and took direction on movement, position and facial expressions really well.
Our previous project with Arkadin, a promo for their digital events service, has already resulted in an increase in the pipeline numbers for that area of the business, so I hope this one can have a similar effect. Thanks to all the Arkadin team for helping out on what was an enjoyable project.
If you're thinking about commissioning a video and are looking for ideas, check out some of our other case studies: