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"Unlocking the Power of Video Marketing: A Case Study on Vollrath's Award-Winning SerVue Campaign"

From original concept through final execution, we took care of the details.

There are a few ways we like to differentiate ourselves in our little corner of the video production world. Client service and quality are always at the top of that list, but equally important is elevating the creativity to stop people in their tracks and make them take notice. In the case of this project, let's walk you through our creative and production process with our clients at Vollrath Manufacturing that lead to the creation of a (quite literally) award-winning video series.

SerVue, a stainless steel automatic dispensing buffet.
A look at Vollrath's product, and the hero of the video series: SerVue

When we were approached by our friends at Vollrath, the leader in commercial kitchen cookware, to help promote a new product launch we were really excited about the opportunity. We'd worked on another project with their team and loved the results. This time they were looking for a bit more; a creative team to create and develop product marketing videos for their newest offering, SerVue: a touchless buffet that refrigerates as well as dispenses salad and fresh food ingredients.

For over 150 years Vollrath has been a leader in manufacturing stainless steel and aluminum equipment like pots, pans, and other foodservice equipment. The SerVue however, is a brave and bold departure; a huge leap in technology, green principals, and post-COVID-19 thought processes. We loved the product from the start, so the next step was learning who we're marketing to.

Product Marketing video concepts from Agency Shift Visuals
Some of the original video concepts

Video Marketing 101: Concept is King, Right?

We started the SerVue project by doing a deep dive with the Vollrath team: what purpose and function does it serve? Who does it serve? We explored its features, how it works, and how to best show these details to potential buyers. We also did a internal team mood board of product marketing examples. we liked and disliked to get a sense of what direction we wanted to go. Fresh off inspiration from our discovery meeting, we put together a few rough ideas to share with their creative team.

The Winning Idea, And The Scripting Phase

Out of the concepts we pitched them one became a clear winner. This video concept focused on showcasing the sleek machine and its features, while "making food safety sexy." That meant a focus on fresh food ingredients, while adding interest and movement with stop-motion and motion control elements. Whole crisp vegetables and healthy ingredients dance across the screen, then split apart, enter SerVue canisters, and get dispensed in healthy portions - all with plenty of color and action. Those in the know, understand how difficult filming food moving through space is. On top of that some shots called for the ingredients to split apart without human intervention. This was going to be a test of all our our creativity, as well as our video equipment capabilities.

Video scripts for a product marketing video production

Once the concept was set, we jumped into the scripting phase. This phase is arguably the most important part of the video production process, because it sets the tone for the visuals, story, music, and graphics. The script itself acts as our North Star; outlining the action and allowing everyone to focus on fulfilling the same vision.

From Script To Storyboards

Storyboards are a series of sketches that transform the action laid out in the script into the visuals that will communicate our message. This translation is where we put on our directors hats to bring life to what is written, within the bounds of what's physically possible. We knew that incorporating stop-motion and so much movement was going to be a technical challenge as well as a visual one. Through storyboarding we're able to effectively plan our shots when it's time to turn on the lights and camera.

Storyboards for a product marketing video produced in Wisconsin

Testing, Testing and More Testing

Having a project that relied so heavily on stop-motion and motion control shots meant hours of testing, rigging, inventing, and run-throughs. We had to create ways of making things happen; like following a bowl as it's filled, or having a green pepper spin and split apart. We wanted to be sure that everything came together when it was time for final shots.

Video Shoot Day

The main benefit of solid pre-production and testing is that when we get to the day of the shoot we can just DO. With many helpful hands on set, including a food stylist, we were able to follow the shot list, stick to our timeframe, capture things as planned - and even had an enjoyable time while doing it. A fun day on set is the reward for thorough planning.

Edit and Color Grading

Much like our shoot day, the editing process was also smooth thanks to pre-production. A helpful action involved marking our favorite takes while we were filming, allowing the editors to move more quickly past the beginning stages of the edit to fine-tuning, creative tweaks, and color. For more of a deep dive on the video editing process our blog about it is a great place to start!

Something we find to be true time and time again is that a project goes from "good" to "great" in the final 10%, so this is the space where our focus on perfection becomes razor-sharp. Creative and storytelling can be dialed in to a pin-point through adjustments in editing, and color is refined; in this case to look high-end, commercial, and dramatic.

Award-Winning Effort

We love what we get to do for a living, and it was a pleasure to deliver this project to Vollrath. These product videos are a staple sales and marketing tool for them to feature at trade shows, and serves to accompany their in-house marketing assets in grabbing the attention of high-end clients.

Working on a high profile project and having so many creative and talented people on board is the dream scenario, and we thought this standout project and all the helpful hands that brought it to life deserved recognition. The SerVue project was entered into the ADDYs - our industry awards for creative excellence in the art of advertising - in the categories of Cinematography and Branded Content & Entertainment Campaign, and not only did it achieve Gold in both categories, it ended up taking the prize of the night: Best In Show.

American Advertising Awards won by Shift Visuals
We had a big night at the 2023 ADDY Award Show winning 3 Awards for the SerVue project including "Best In Show".

It was a rewarding capstone to a project that was fulfilling for us as a creative team, as well as for our client.

If our story has piqued your interest and you'd like to see the finished product watch the full playlist below.

If you're interested in learning more about how we can work with you to develop product video and photos click the link below to connect.

If you'd like to see more examples of Product Marketing photos and Videos follow the button below.

Though we're based in Green Bay, Wisconsin we often travel for video productions. We travel often and love working in Appleton, Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Door County and beyond!



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