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How The Croc Helped Sohonet 'Realise Your Vision'

Trends and Insight 97 Add to collection

The Croc CD Nick Watmough and Sohonet CEO Chuck Parker on moving B2B campaign ideas into the realms of high-end cinematic quality content

How The Croc Helped Sohonet 'Realise Your Vision'

As the pandemic hit, the film and TV production landscape went into a crisis tailspin with an entire industry scrabbling around for a way to keep the cameras rolling in a safe and secure way. 

And into that mess came Sohonet’s ClearView remote collaboration software to save the day.  

Designed to be able to stream live, encrypted video from any source, to any device ClearView enables production teams to enjoy 'over the shoulder' reviewing and editing from anywhere in the world. 

This effectively allowed an entire industry to continue creating pre-pandemic content despite lockdown restrictions. Suddenly demand for the tool exploded. So much so that Sohonet was awarded an Emmy. 

To double down on this opportunity Chuck Parker, CEO of Sohonet, realised he needed a new approach to his advertising knowing that whatever creative the business put out had to match the quality of the product that producers and editors were working on themselves. 

The Croc worked together to devise a whole new strategy, called Realise Your Vision, moving the original basic B2B work into the realms of high-end cinematic quality content. You can watch the hero ad here

We spoke to Nick Watmough, creative director at The Croc and Chuck Parker, CEO of Sohonet about the campaign. 


Q> What did you want to achieve with this campaign? 

Chuck> There were two main goals with the campaign; a long term impact on our community around their awareness and ability to lean in and trust our brand and then short term impact of increasing velocity of product interest and sales. 


Q> Why did you need a change of marketing strategy? 

Chuck> The context of the market was different. We wanted to make a fundamental shift in our strategy by inviting potential users of the product to check out the creative and the features and then, only when they are ready, ask for a demo or ask for sales. Previously in a lead gen era we were looking for people who wanted to buy, and put buy signals in front of them. The big difference now, in demand gen, we want customers to come and explore our service and then communicate to us on their own timeline and intent to buy. We don’t want them to feel like they are in a pressured sales environment. It’s better for the customer and it gives us better reach. We are talking to four times as many prospects as we were before and we’re having a more constructive journey with people. 


Q> This isn’t your usual B2B campaign. What made you agree to/want to go beyond and create such a high-quality piece of work? 

Chuck> We are a unique industry where all of our customers make amazing content. It’s very difficult if you don't have a high-quality creative for them to look at you seriously. We are asking them to take our tools and do their magic for some of the biggest series and commercials, and trying to convince them to do that with a creative that is anything less than in line with their expectation to how they do their work is critical. In the early stages with these products we would have gone after the tech buyer, they have different needs and they consume data, whereas our creative customers are concerned with how this performs for 8+ hours a day.


Q> It sounds like the Pandemic was a particularly interesting time for you. 

Chuck> How did it change your business and how did you change your business to adapt? 

The Pandemic created a forced function of collaboration. Everyone had to choose some form of digital means to make remote working possible. Now we are a year on and people are asking if they picked the right tool, are there better tools? So we think the right way to have the conversation is to have a poignant conversation around the workflow with specific artists and understand their specific needs. 

In a non pandemic world the majority of the campaign messaging would have been around why remote work flows can work and why they are better for e.g. cost, environment, work/life balance and now we are not having that conversation anymore. Because everyone has had to work remotely for a while, it's now a conversation more focused around if you are going work remotely 8 hours a day with a tool it should be something that works really well for you as an artist. 


Q> You won an Emmy. What did that feel like? 

Chuck> It was great, we have an Emmy and a Lumiere we just won. It's a real honour to be recognised by the industry. It makes the long hours our developers put into the products, and our support people's time managing customers worth it when the industry turns around and says hey you did a good job. 


Q> Where did the idea for Realise Your Vision come from?

Nick> In filmmaking, the director’s original vision can often get lost in the complexity of the process. With real-time remote collaboration, Sohonet ClearView helps make a director’s vision a reality, free from compromise. So, we wanted to create a campaign that could dramatise the benefits of the software, not simply at a tech level, but in terms that meant something to our audience by shining a light on the people normally behind the scenes.


Q> Why was it important to move away from the existing strategy? 

Nick> Extensively talking to the industry’s most influential players allowed us to get under the skin of the filmmaking business, discovering what makes it tick. Our central finding was that industry fame was the number one factor when assessing new technology, so amplifying this had to be our central priority. To accomplish this, we reinvigorated Sohonet’s brand with a striking aesthetic and uplifting tone of voice that speaks directly to what its audience cares about most. With a 5x increase in campaign performance, it’s safe to say it’s working.

 

Q> Why was it important to create something so much more high-quality than other B2B work? 

Nick> Throughout B2B, there’s an enduring assumption that ‘creative’ work needs to be anything but. Practical and rational, everything is engineered to avoid offending the conservative tastes of hard-nosed stakeholders. Simply, this approach would not cut it for Sohonet. Its audience of discerning dreamers demand more. More creativity. More storytelling. More impact. By veering away from the grey communication strategy typical of the sector and taking a richly cinematic approach, we not only boosted brand recognition but also established a meaningful point of difference from ClearView competitors.

 

Q> Is this an emerging trend in the sector? 

Nick> In direct contrast to consumer advertising, in the last year, the B2B sector has undergone a meteoric rise with many agencies across the globe reporting upwards of 30% profit growth. To make this trend a lasting one, B2B can’t be business as usual anymore. We need to move away from our obsession with commodity messaging – faster, cheaper, better etc. – in order to build a lasting emotional bond with our audience.

 

Q> What, if any, issues did you face pulling the ad together? 

Nick> Shot under lockdown restrictions on a fixed budget, our production left little room for manoeuvre or error. Filmed on two locations over a single day, decisive action was required at every stage to make sure we didn’t roll into overtime. Luckily, the expertise of our fantastic producer from Dirty Films: Angelica Riccardi meant any obstacles were quickly overcome with little fuss, while our spirited young director Jack Bowden was a true natural on set, bringing out the best performance from the stars and production crew alike.

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The Croc, Thu, 03 Jun 2021 13:34:00 GMT