Real Talk with IBM Quantum

We always love the opportunity to collaborate with one of our favorite clients, IBM. We’ve created a lot of fun content for IBM over the years and each piece has a new approach or new distinct tone that helps them stand apart from a lot of the “technology video” noise these days. We’ve been able to create a variety of brand films, short-docs, motion graphic animation and comedy spots with a variety of teams over at IBM. So when the IBM Quantum team reached out to us about creating some fun interview-style pieces for them, we knew there was a chance to make something unique.

The IBM Quantum team had a goal to create an question-and-answer-style video dispelling common myths about quantum computing. They also wanted to show the depth of knowledge at IBM and add that personal element to the delivery. So working as a creative production partner in tandem with the IBM Quantum team, we helped with the details of project ideation, creative strategy, and concept development to find the optimal format for these videos. The team knew a sort of “ticking clock” aspect to deliver the information as quickly as possible would add a fun level of tension. This would keep us on a detailed message, but would also help keep us from getting too caught up in the vast world of quantum computing’s intricacies.

This would be a social distanced shoot over two days in two separate cities, New York City and Austin. One of our interview subjects was staying in Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic and the other subject was based in NYC. We had two separate production teams in each city to execute the shoots, while our creative team was able to remote direct across cities to ensure a continuity to the pieces. We had two terrific and knowledgeable talent from IBM: Katie Pizzolato and Kayla Lee, who are both leading experts in the field of quantum computing. Scripting our questions kept us on message, but also allowed our subjects to give relaxed and conversational answers. It was very important to both the IBM Quantum team and our Revelator creative team that Katie and Kayla be allowed to answer the prompts in their own words and give a real sense of their personality on screen. This naturalism and relatability were key ingredients in our video campaign creation and execution strategy. Each video ended up taking on it’s own personality and “feel,” based on our onscreen IBM talent. The location scout, lighting approach, and edit style ensured the videos still felt very much a piece of the same video campaign. 

On top of the long-form video pieces, the IBM Quantum team also wanted our help developing some paid-media teasers that they could use on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube preroll. The IBM team was completely trusting in our team to pitch the copywriting and scripting of the teasers, which we shot a number of variations. In the end the team decided to lean into the comedic “time-crunch” aspect of the long-form pieces and set up a simple joke where the talent doesn’t have enough time for anything. These teasers were developed with the goal of driving audiences to the long-form video pieces to find out what exactly our talent had to say about the quantum computing myths.

For production we shot in self-contained studio spaces where we were able to follow strict COVID-19 guidelines that involved minimal crew, temperature checks, masks, gloves, social distancing, and remote client review. To avoid the feeling a neutral and empty studio space, we decided to create a seamless backdrop setup with lighting accents that would inform the visual identity of the campaign. By revealing the world outside of the frame, we were able to reinforce the idea that these women are real professionals answering real quantum computing questions. We decided the most engaging visual approach for our interviews included having the talent look directly into the lens. It’s a simple and intimate way to address the audience on a face-to-face basis.

We’re incredibly happy with the final video campaign and are grateful for the opportunity to create yet another distinct series of videos with our partners at IBM. We hope you enjoy the “Real Talk,” and maybe learn a thing or two about quantum computing.