Commercial Production Adjusts To The WFH Era

A recent BBDO San Francisco ad shoot for client ServiceNow illustrates how commercial production is adapting to the work-from-home era.  

“Our job has always been to help solve problems for our clients,” says Matt Miller, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO SF. “Sometimes it’s a massive brand communication problem. Other times it’s a ‘producing-in-a-time-of-no-production’ problem.”

The new TV spot serves as an extension to an earlier campaign — launched in January — that showed one worker being pelted with confetti by his colleague in a traditional office space. The new creative opens on a split-screen with these same two co-workers now at their home offices as they chat about how they are adjusting to working remotely.

The spot ends on a comic note: somehow confetti still manages to break through their digital worlds.

“The spot provides a moment of levity, but it also conveys that ServiceNow’s technology enables people to stay connected and productive, anywhere in any environment,” explains Alan Marks, Chief Marketing/Communications Officer, ServiceNow.

The production itself was managed 100% remotely and the agency reports they abided by the “highest safety standards.” The final spot was shot on an iPhone 11s, shooting 4K through the front-facing camera.

The director took virtual tours of the LA-based actors’ homes and closets via FaceTime, picking out the best locations and outfits. For additional support, the agency says family members of the actors — under quarantine with them — helped with wardrobe, background dressing, and tech issues.

And, for the few items that needed to be delivered to the actors, such as microphones or external hard-drives, a producer fully sanitized each one and left them on each actor’s doorstep for no-contact delivery.

The actors set up their cameras and managed the recording, cutting, and uploading of footage to iCloud.  Built-in laptop cameras dialed into video conferencing were also used to create a low-res live preview, which allowed for fast reviews and communication. The entire process from brief to live date was about a week. The work will run on TV channels like CNBC and the Golf Network, and online.

“This unorthodox shoot is a great example of what can happen when agency, client and production partners come together and apply a little nimble creativity to whatever obstacles come our way,” says Miller.


1 comment about "Commercial Production Adjusts To The WFH Era".
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  1. Maxine Peterson from Minnesota Department of Education, April 17, 2020 at 4:53 p.m.

    Chores are a great predictor of success.  Home Economics is still around.  It is called Family and Consumer Science (FCS) available in many middle and high school programs across the United States.  The main mission is still "Creating and Sustaining Healthy Families".  It should be a requirement in schools.  Students need personal finance skills, foods and nutrition skills, communication and interpersonal skills, coping strategies, parenting and Early Childhhod education skills, clothing maintenence skills, and more "adulting" skills students today struggle with.  All these skills are in the spotlight with COVID and families living in close contact.  Yes, let's put value on FCS as much as we do CORE academics.  Our students would be much more successful in life. 

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