Quarantine content: How to approach visual content creation without a ‘shoot’

With the country adopting strict social distancing measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, many businesses have discarded the office huddle and shifted towards flexible home working. While online communications ensure that client relationships can be managed just as effectively from home as in the office, this way of working does present a challenge for brands, creatives and production teams on the ability to shoot in the real world and deliver new marketing assets.

Rachael Batley, Creative Designer

In the current crisis, it is apparent that a great deal of global marketing activity is being paused, budgets have been cut and strategies realigned. However, only 8% of consumers are expecting companies to cut advertising. As workforces, relationships, creativity and everyone’s sanity fights the pressures of isolation measures, brands are in a unique position to help consumers through this crisis.

The importance in providing solidarity and encouragement through advertising has never been clearer as brands strive to survive. OneAgency, as well as creatives up and down the country, are ready to go with alternative ways of executing marketing assets away from the traditional on-site ‘shoot’. Here, OA creative designer Rachael Batley takes a closer look at some of the alternative creative techniques being used to keep brands alive during lockdown and recommended routes to consider.

Animation / CGI

Animation can be an extremely playful tool for advertising, as it provides an opportunity to extend reality. Not only can it be created in the comfort of your own home, it is an incredibly versatile format that enables brands to tell complex stories which might otherwise not be very visually interesting.

As the creation of live-action films are now restricted, many brands have turned to animation and CGI to deliver important, topical messaging. A bonus, CGI is useful for controlling visual effects which might not be feasible in real life, offering a virtual alternative for people to experience while in isolation at home.

Jeep – Off road, in house

Film and image stock

Using pre-existing footage from stock libraries doesn’t have to feel dull or impersonal. Though some stock content has a reputation for being cheesy, there is a wealth of material available that will suit a range of brand styles and tones, including very contemporary assets. With some time dedicated to creative editing, integrating sound and text, you can ensure the message still feels powerful, personal and relevant – a priority in this time of crisis. Nike’s latest campaign, ‘Play for the world’, uses film stock as well as user generated content to encourage people all over the world to exercise inside.

Typography

Sometimes the best work is formed from the simplest idea and an impactful tagline is often at the centre of a note-worthy advertising campaign. By pairing commanding typography with bold, emotive copy, you can create sympathetic and effective content with the tap of a few keys.

Still life

Today, new photography campaigns need to be achievable on a much smaller scale. Minimal, still life photography that requires very little set up is an excellent alternative to a studio shoot. Easily done at home with limited equipment – even just a smartphone – simple still life imagery can bring ideas to life. On top of this, even the post-edit can be done on simple editing programmes, rather than require a full editing suite.

Many fashion retailers have been organising the photography of new collections in a different way to the norm. Usually shot in a studio with a full team – makeup, stylists and models – brands such as Zara and ASOS have been sending their new clothing ranges to models at home for them to photograph themselves on smartphones. The results are really quite beautiful!

Zara

Illustration

Visual art is considered one of the most universal languages in the world and at times like these it can really help send powerful messages that translate to all. Illustration is a creative process that can easily fit into isolation measures and be completed by an individual, or even a community, in their own homes. Now presents the perfect time for designers to dedicate time to these more intricate and unique creative options or even for brands to commission illustrators across the UK to get involved and bring their campaigns to life.

The British Red Cross has launched a new integrated campaign to reassure the public that though the nation is currently spending time apart, kindness will keep us together. The solely illustrated campaign not only delivers powerful messaging but also unites illustrators and artists to make a stand.

British Red Cross – Kindness will keep us together

Recycle

Brands need to remember to look in the archive and see what could be useful. Reusing existing materials, including older footage or imagery, is brilliant way to up-cycle a campaign and give it a new lease of life. Simple changes such as a fresh new font, different tagline or updated soundtrack can give a campaign a whole new personality.

User Generated Content

As well as relying on a marketing team to create new content, brands can also pass the baton on to their audiences. Thanks to social media the world is seeing a wealth of home video footage and user generated content (just look at the rise of TikTok!)

Brands can encourage the public to create tailored content to help communicate a specific message, which can be done with something as simple as a hashtag. As well as creating content it also boasts the added benefit of providing audiences with a fantastic distraction from the often stark reality we are currently all facing. Facebook’s latest marketing campaign does just this, using user generated content to celebrate resilience to the crisis and the wonder of human connection in this difficult time.

It is important that brands give themselves time to adapt to new creative processes and ideas. Many options remain open that do not require physical shoots, ensuring that we can keep making powerful creative concepts.

We must all consider that the industry is unlikely to return to ‘normal’ – at least for a while. It is crucial to prepare for the changing landscape so that marketers can continue to deliver services and provide support for clients during this unsettling and challenging time.

Change doesn’t have to be negative. Embrace it and try something new.

If you’re looking for help navigating the changing marketing landscape, here at OneAgency we are always available to assist you. Whether you would like to focus on design, digital marketing or content strategy, our fully integrated team of professionals will be able to provide support.

Get in touch today, give us a call or fill in a contact form.

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