Our good friends over at Somnio approached us with an idea to bring IBM’s new insurance platform to life. The ad agency’s aim for the campaign was to bring focus to the power of IBM’s platform. We need to communicate how it offers users advanced cognitive abilities, low cost of ownership, pre-integration, security and the ability to do more for the insurer than was possible before. Revelator director Matt Muir worked with Somnio to make sure each spot was designed to emphasize how the platform makes the life of both the insurer and the insured easier with these new capabilities. A rigorous pre-production process that included extensive casting sessions, wide-reaching location scouts, and a collaborative storyboarding approach resulted in an atmospheric and grounded campaign. A campaign made up of four unique vignettes, each centering around one person, and each showcasing different applications of IBM’s platform.
Revelator producers and director Matt Muir worked with Somnio to break down the agencies goals for each spot. We discussed the idea that the world of insurance can be difficult to navigate. It’s filled with terms and policies that seem impossible to understand. We wanted the spots to communicate that these pain points are why IBM launched their own insurance platform to help. It’s a platform that uses powerful data-driven insights and AI technology to streamline the process for everyone. That’s why we wanted to shoot a campaign with a grounded, observational style. So many software-related commercials focus on the technical aspirations and solutions, and ignore the lifestyle and real-world people who benefit from those solutions.
In these :30 director’s cuts you can see we wanted to highlight how people can benefit from the platform’s ease of use, which can bring inefficient, inflexible legacy systems into the future. It can provide insurance customers with the services they need, whenever they need. Our goal for production was to create campaign content that gives each vignette a unique identity, but still keep them unified in tone. We worked with the agency creative team at Somnio to create a unified style for IBM’s campaign, maintaining a naturalistic color palette and observational camera work. Long-time collaborator and Director of Photography Mike Simpson, worked with director Matt Muir to maintain a visual language across all the spots, consisting of carefully framed closeups to capture the subtle performances from each actor. These performances, along with 4 distinct locations, communicated the unique environments and situations to tell the simple and direct story of each commercial.
Building these worlds, like the above mechanic shop for example, meant working with our DP and sound team to build an atmospheric experience. From carefully framed closeups of tools, and distant sounds of air drills in the machine shop, we invite the viewer into the world of our mechanic. It’s a simple approach, but by showing an every-day experience, we transition to the ease of integrating new group benefits through a cell phone. We want to make sure it’s a naturalistic experience when we see how intuitive and streamlined the process is. It’s a process as natural to our Mechanic as the rest of his daily work.
OK, we have to admit we got lucky on this one. The post-storm vignette was a bit of a happy accident. The original concept called for the insurer to be assessing the damage on a house with a cracked foundation. On our shoot day, we were greeted by a tremendous thunderstorm, with major rainfall. Which nine times out of ten, makes a production company and ad agency stay up all night before the shoot, wringing their hands in fear. Not this day. The torrential rain only enhanced the storm damage we were communicating in the narrative of this spot. We were able to bring in additional atmospheric sounds of the rain, the car, and a trusty umbrella to make the storm and it’s aftermath even more present in this environment.
Finally, for this spot (maybe our favorite) we kept it simple. When you have such a beautiful and historic rural cathedral…you get out of the way and shoot it for the beautiful location that it is. Adding in and casting an actor who also happens to be an accomplished organ player, also served the atmospheric and grounded sense of place for our campaign. The actor portraying the insurer exudes peace of mind, ease of service and a smooth customer experience by using the power of the platform to survey the site with a drone. The connectivity and capabilities make the provider the hero, even though there’s little fanfare—no melodrama, no sweeping orchestral score, no tragic moments—it’s that serenity that reflects the real power of the platform.
We were thrilled at the prospect of another exciting collaboration with Somnio and IBM, pulling back the curtain and putting a human face on the daunting realm of insurance. We’re glad to create something that shows how IBM’s Insurance Platform is easy to use, intuitive, and accessible for all.