PostAds Group on how the proliferation of video content is causing marketers to rethink their post production processes
Marketers today are facing a major disruption in their business as they confront an insatiable demand for fresh content. It’s clear that marketers are devoting more resources to producing more content – and that need is most obvious in video, where brand marketers are trying to keep up with the ever-growing viewership across multiple platforms and screens.
In their recent AdAge white paper, ‘From Content Creation to Value Creation’, PostAds Group delved into the often neglected realm of post production to uncover where marketers could benefit from changing their approach – garnering useful insights from leading marketers, agencies and suppliers who are all playing a role in redefining how the industry deals with the proliferation of video content.
But despite the focus on video content – and the enormous sums spent on both creative production and media buys – few marketers have established a beginning-to-end video production process or even inventoried how their brand content gets to the end viewer and what happens to that content after it runs. Not only does that lack of oversight jeopardize the hard work of brand teams, it can also create inefficiencies of time and cost.
“Marketers are highly focused on Creative, Media and Production. Those are the ‘Big 3’,” says John Lipuma, CEO of PostAds Group, the leading post production consultancy for global marketers. “But post production is an area of tremendous efficiency potential if vetted properly.”
Chris Furse, Executive Director of VML, agrees that the importance of post cannot be overstated, saying, “without a good approach to post production, you put your overall product in danger. With the way video is consumed today, you need to think about: How is this commercial or content going to perform across devices? How does it need to be cut, presented, distributed to reach customers in the best and most effective way?”
There’s a real risk of having a perfectly good idea underperform because marketers failed to understand the importance of post production. To produce something of real quality, the entire process must be approached holistically.
“You can’t always cover every contingency for every market in one ‘supershoot’; the tendency is to be hyper-focused on getting it produced – not necessarily the afterlife,” says Marcelo Gandola, EVP North America, Hogarth Worldwide. “Post production is the process by which assets can be re-purposed and made viable in the long-term.”
Global marketers in particular utilize a hybrid content creation model of producing global video that can be adapted internationally, as well as maintaining smaller budgets in-territory for producing original content relevant to local audiences.
“More and more, we are dealing with global agency groups and brands,” says Peter Kuhn, President of Oliver USA. “The No. 1 issue is how many different versions and how much additional content they need for all their markets – and how this can be done as efficiently as possible.”
Susan Steen, SVP Worldwide Marketing Services, Warner Bros. Pictures urges marketers to “make sure that whatever you’re trying in post production produces efficiencies of time as well as saving money; cost-savings alone is not a best practice in marketing.”
“If there were any area that could use a hands-on evaluation, a workflow discussion or a process improvement, it is likely post production,” concludes John Lick, Co-chairman of ANA Production Management Committee, “in part that’s because technology is moving so fast, we are doing things differently than we were six months ago.”
The white paper ends with experts offering five best-practice suggestions for marketers to consider when they approach post production:
1. The first step: Assess current state post production workflows. “With so many moving parts and stakeholders, marketers need to assess their current-state post production processes as a first step,” says John Lipuma. “Getting a full picture of where your resources are being dedicated and how dollars are being spent helps unlock efficiencies that new workflows and technologies have to offer.”
2. Think about post production needs at the beginning of the creative process. “Everyone gets so absorbed in the production effort, the strategy,” says Mr. Lick of ANA Production Management. “All too often it is not until you get there that a lot of marketers start to think about the endgame: all the different versions needed, how this version needs to differ from that one—whether that’s music, language or cultural nuances. If you wait until post production to think about those things, you will be too late and bog yourself down.”
Marketers need to think beyond TV spots to the smallest video unit. If the campaign will be on Vine, or if the ad will become a pre-roll spot, develop a plan for those as you go into production. There are only a handful of seconds on Vine to convey a message: make sure the content is available to make that work.
3. Recognize how valuable video assets are, and take stock of how you store and access that con- tent for future use. “One of the biggest things you can do is to recognize how valuable those assets are—not just for that particular production but for extended use,” says Mr. Gandola of Hogarth. “There is not enough emphasis on the long-term viability of video assets and how they can be repurposed for future use.”
That means figuring out an organized and user-friendly system to gather and store video content—including retrieving content that runs in overseas markets.
4. Make sure your efforts actually create efficiencies. Take time to find the right systems and processes for your specific needs. “Make sure potential new solutions fit your business needs,” says Ms. Steen of Warner Bros. Pictures. “We look at a lot of technology, but not all great ideas are right for your company.” She also advises shopping around before buying into any technology or software system.
As Mr. Furse of VML says, “let’s all recognize that we are not quite in a post-television world, but TV is changing; video use is changing. We need to embrace the facts. The quicker you do that, the quicker you can begin looking at your video assets to make them as effective as possible for your brand.”
5. Understand production vs. post production as separate disciplines. “The No.1 reason marketers overlook the value of post production is because they mistakenly think they’ve got it covered in the production process. Post production has become so complex, it’s really its own separate discipline requiring its own focus and expertise,” says Mr. Lipuma of PostAds Group. “If you mistakenly ignore post production as a disconnected silo and don’t understand how the sum of the parts works together with production, you’ll end up with a wasteful system of Band-Aid fixes versus an efficient, well-oiled machine.”