July 13, 2020


Susan Bagley


COVID-19 has prevented the entire advertising industry from either aborting the upfronts or making them digital, pushing back production and putting autumn programming at risk. And even if the world slowly opens up again, brands, agencies and networks ask themselves again and again: How do you create premium content in an environment in which you stay at home?

When you dissolve it, everything starts with the ability and willingness to adapt. For example, ViacomCBS Shopper Marketing recently partnered with creative retail agency TPN Retail to highlight the extensive skin care line Burt & # 39; s Bees Renewal. But right at the start of the campaign, advice to stay at home began to conquer the country.

With the campaign focusing on Burt & # 39; s Bees' product expansion – including a full skin care line and makeup products like blush, eyeshadow, lip gloss and of course lip balm – we started looking for solutions. And we quickly realized that premium advertising campaigns can not only be operated via virtual content, but also exceed all expectations and at the same time offer a unique view that goes beyond traditional norms.

Here's a look behind the scenes of how we introduced remote production:

Creation of virtual content

VCBS decided to hire country singer and OneTree Hill star Jana Kramer to create a multi-faceted content campaign that included Burt & # 39; s Bees' skin care line, retail partnership, and the Self-Care Saturday program Walmart highlights. The campaign was originally supposed to be carried out in Nashville at Kramer, instead the shoot was carried out entirely via Zoom.

"I wasn't sure what to expect when we decided to take a completely distant approach to producing the campaign," said Mille Alderman, Brand Manager Shopper Marketing at Burt & # 39; s Bees. "The fact that we have been working with Jana Kramer and ViacomCBS for three years has helped build a solid foundation for the campaign and is a real testament to the importance of building long-term relationships with partners."

To achieve this, VCBS first sent devices such as a ring light and stabilizer to Kramer to give it the necessary equipment to produce premium content. The production team then set up a virtual set and a virtual video village via zoom breakout rooms, in which everyone involved could see the live production. This gives brands, agencies and talents the ability to review and approve everything from light, sound, cuts and more to mimicking what it's like on the set during a premium shoot.

In addition, VCBS set up Kramer on a cloud-based platform to upload content, and professional photographers gave her husband – in this case, the replacement photographer – real-time feedback on lighting and other factors to ensure high performance. Quality goods. The production and creative teams then went through the content in real time with the brand and talent, and even let them view part of the coverage to ensure they were happy with the result and brand consistency.

"We were all amazed at how it felt like we were actually there – we could see in real time what the set looked like and how it would come across in video and photo," said Alderman. "And Jana and the ViacomCBS team did a great job of ensuring that the team's feedback was heard and taken into account, with an emphasis on inclusiveness every step of the way."

Digital dissemination with one purpose

All in all, the effort spawned more than 20 summer, spring, fall, and winter season premium content that was deliberately designed to showcase and highlight the Burt & # 39; s Bees retail partnership with Walmart. The content is used on a variety of platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, CMT Social Promotion and Walmart.com. All assets and social promotion are passed on to the retailer. The assets are also used in IG stories that include wipe-to-buy functionality within the platform, so buyers can shop on Walmart.com.

While COVID continues to affect the advertising industry, it is up to us to adapt to the current situation and look for new solutions. Just because the "normal way" is no longer possible does not mean that we have to become complacent. In fact, this could very well mean that a whole new world of possibilities is emerging on the horizon. The only way to discover them is to step out of the norm and accept the unknown.

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