We recently completed work on an animated video for Basis Technology. One look at our website, and it’s pretty clear we haven’t done much work in the technology field. Basis could have chosen to collaborate with other production companies with tech portfolios. And this, I think, confirms a point I made in an earlier post about why video producers don’t necessarily have to be experts in their clients’ industries.
When we started to speak with Basis, we made no pretense of knowing their industry, and we told them quite clearly that our initial meetings with them would be all about discovery. In other words, trying to understand what the heck they do.
So in our first meeting with them, we let them explain their software, Rosette, and asked a lot of questions as decidedly non-tech people. At the end of the meeting, we collectively realized a couple of things. First, that their initial approach to the script for the video was too much like a direct translation from a power point presentation. Second, that using a visual metaphor to explain what Rosette does could make the video easier to understand.
The visual metaphor was useful because what Rosette does is rather abstract. In a nutshell, much of its value is based on improving searches within digital documents or databases. A couple of the metaphors we discussed included a funnel (taking a bunch of information and siphoning off the best stuff) or a net (capturing the best stuff). In the end, we realized that the best metaphor was a machine. In other words, Rosette is like a machine that makes information searches more powerful.
One could make the argument that folks like us, with zero preconceptions of what the video should be or how their technology worked, were more easily able to help them find a way to illustrate what their product does. Admittedly, this argument is self-serving! But there’s no debating that the video’s machine metaphor, used within a story of “How to Make Your Searches Better,” will simplify life for Basis’ marketing and sales teams. Instead of having to repeatedly explain what Rosette does, they have a 3-minute video to perform that job for them.