When Zurich, Switzerland-based video intelligence wanted to launch its new contextual video platform, they went looking for a digital marketing agency to develop the vi stories launch campaign. And they found us. The final project included the production of an animated explainer video, social media video versions, HTML newsletters, and animated display advertising.
To find out more about what made video intelligence and Moskito Design such a perfect match I called up Luc Benyon, Head of Marketing for video intelligence. Then I sat down with Luca Salvioni, the graphic designer who led the project for Moskito Design, to get his take.
What is vi stories?
LB: vi stories is a video player that publishers embed on a website. It searches and analyzes your content, matches your content to video, and runs the video with advertisements, which allows you to monetize your content. And it increases engagement by bringing video to publisher pages that might not otherwise have it.
What was the brief?
LB: vi stories is a new product and we wanted to give it a life of its own. We wanted to promote it using digital channels and espouse the benefits to our core audience: publishers and advertisers. So the brief was to create a digital campaign for the launch of the vi stories product with an animated explainer video, display advertising and HTML newsletters.
Tell me about the research behind the vi stories campaign.
LS: Research for us starts with understanding who the client is and what they want and where they are in the market. The second step is trying to consult with them their idea. Is their idea feasible? Would it work in their context? And if not, what other solutions can we find?
LB: In fact Moskito Design did some some quite nice research into the gaps in our existing approach. They came up with 4 or 5 proposals for content and advertising together.
How did you decide on the “perfect match” concept?
LS: When we were working on the concepts we discovered that what was lacking was a strong visual metaphor. We were talking about it on the way back from another client meeting and suddenly the idea of a “match” popped out ― and we started looking for other perfect matches in culture and playing around with the metaphor.
LB: In the end I think the perfect match concept appeals emotionally in an industry that can be perceived as mechanical. It really works on a number of levels.
But wasn’t it complicated to pitch the same product to two distinct audiences?
LB: That’s the trick. The breakthrough was getting a core idea that was understandable to both. We have two core audiences, publishers and advertisers. But both of them read the same trade publications and go to the same conferences so they have that in common.
LS: The project is a point of contact between these two audiences. We didn’t try to actually speak differently to either of them, but when we were writing the video script we did have to make it clear that some ideas appealed to one audience and some to the other. But the deeper we went the more the idea of two separate worlds was actually blurred.
But then you spun off the video into a number of smaller ones, right?
LS: We spun off the main video into a Valentine’s Day campaign as well as a number of other 15 second social media videos.
LB: We were lucky in that the campaign went live right before Valentine’s Day. Considering the Perfect Match concept, tying it in with the holiday was a no-brainer.
Tell me about the developing the HTML newsletters and display advertising.
LB: HTML newsletters were new for us so we needed Moskito Design’s expertise in that. The target was our publishers. We’ve got a publisher-first strategy because we need to get them on board first so we have a market for the advertisers.
LS: As Luc mentioned we’ve got some rather good experience with newsletters ― we design and deliver hundreds and hundreds of them every year and it’s something we can do easily and comfortably at this point. For the first draft of vi stories we started with the branding and look and feel of the website and then gradually incorporated a number of elements from the video.
How did you know you were putting out the right message?
LS: video intelligence ran some tests ― one with 5 variations and one with 3 variations. Not every client is willing to test a lot and invest resources in testing, but they were really great about it. It costs money to run a media campaign. So it’s worth it to try to define exactly what the best message is and then deliver it. It’s something that even with a lot of expertise and very good creative asset you can’t always be sure of without testing.
What was it like to work together on this project?
LB: Moskito Design came up with some new insights in to our business that we wouldn’t have found out ourselves. They were happy to take on board feedback and quickly incorporate it into deliverables. And they were up for trying out things they hadn’t done before, like trying out our marketing automation to see what we could do there.
LS: video intelligence is the kind of client you wish you always had. They really gave us a lot of creative freedom and let us do our job. That last part sounds obvious but it’s not to be underestimated. When you’re working with clients sometimes too many interventions can end up being counterproductive. But Luc clearly understood this and was very understanding about the work that went into delivering.
But the vi stories project isn’t finished yet, is it?
LB: Ultimately for us it’s about explaining and getting people to sign up. We wanted to create something distinctive that people recognize and remember, especially in an industry that’s not renowned for its creativity. So we’ll continue to reach out to publishers. We’re going to experiment and continue to iterate our digital marketing with social media.
LS: Not just digital marketing, because now we’re working on something completely different. Chocolate! video intelligence gives out Swiss chocolate as corporate swag at events. They want to rebrand the chocolate ― or at least have the vi stories name on it. We’re producing a set of stickers and packaging that keeps to the theme of the perfect match. And Luc was nice enough to give us a sample ourselves!
At Moskito Design we can help you develop a communication strategy that’s the perfect match to your campaign goals ― using video, digital marketing, print advertising… or even chocolate.