Posts Tagged ‘Video’

Aviation company goes digital with new catalog


Autoplay CD-ROM sales video with PDF catalog distributed at tradeshow to business prospects

Perfect Presentation Averts Near-Disaster

Every year since 1986 Mohammed Mahmoud and his team of airline support professionals have traveled from New York City halfway around the world to attend the Africa Airlines Association’s annual convention. With their tradeshow booth stocked with novelties and colorful catalogs, Mahmoud’s company, Aero Industrial Sales (AIS), is a visible presence at these conventions, translating to new business relationships and solid revenue.

But for their 2011 conference, Mahmoud felt it was time to scrap their printed catalog of commercial airline parts and materials, opting to distribute the catalog electronically as a PDF file on a CD-ROM.

Driven by a desire to reduce costs, increase visibility and help fortify AIS’s brand image as a technology leader, AIS turned to The Presentation Team to integrate their catalog in PDF format, together with a dynamic video introduction.

Old Technology still Holds Value

When AIS first contacted The Presentation Team about the CD-ROM project, presentation designer Kevin Lerner was curiously confused.

“Why would they want an outdated technology like a CD-ROM?” he asked, encouraging them to consider a DVD or USB memory stick, confessing that “we haven’t developed a CD-ROM product since 2005.”

Mahmoud was strong-willed in his desire for a digital disc catalog. “It’s economical, easy to distribute, and tangible. Customers and prospects want something they can have and hold-on to. The disc makes sense.”

As the project was contracted and development began, it became evident that this “outdated” technology still maintained its marketing magic.

A Catalog with a Kickoff

The PDF catalog was much more than a file on a disc. Upon startup, viewers were treated to a dynamic video intro showcasing AIS’ services and products.

This intro video started showcased an AIS spokeswoman (initally developed for their website) keyed against a modern 3D earth motion video. Following the 30-second spokeswoman’s intro, a 90-second PowerPoint presentation (converted to video) featured the company’s services and solutions through a mix of text and graphics. The 2-minute production was set to contemporary rhythmic dance music. Rendered at a resolution of 800×600, the MP4 video integrated smoothly into Adobe Director. Until playback.

A Bump in the Road

To presentation designer Kevin Lerner the production “seemed simple and seamless.” Everything was on-track and within budget. But with the finish line in-sight and the client’s deadline fast approaching, the technical glitch was a harsh and unwelcome blow.

“We were having trouble getting the exe file to scale to the full size of the screen,” Lerner explained. The autoplay disc loaded the video in a fixed-size 800×600 window. “It seemed like such a simple request, but I couldn’t figure it out,” the stressed presentation expert confessed. Hours turned into days. Calls to colleagues were met with replies of “I haven’t used that antiquated application in over 10 years.”

Down with Director; Fixed in a Flash

With hours counting down til the disc duplication deadline, Lerner found his salvation with Legal Graphicworks. The Palm Beach-based company known for high-end litigation graphics, also has some multimedia mojo. Andrew McClary, Vice President of Interactive Multimedia, immediately saw that the issue was with Adobe Director. He effortlessly took the files and re-developed the interactive presentation in Adobe Flash, relying on a simple line of Action Script programming code.

“Director is a great tool…but Flash is more contemporary and is easier to achieve what the client wanted,” McClary explained.

With mere hours remaining, the final digital CD-ROMs catalogs- running at scalable full-screen resolution were duplicated and packed into a box on a flight to Africa.

Four days later, at the airline convention in Addis Abbaba, a small crowd gathered around the AIS booth, watching the video playing from the projector, and shaking hands with the Mohammed Mahmoud. The bulky catalogs of the past have been replaced with a slick digital CD-ROM catalog that that is helping propel AIS into the future.

Company Meeting Video - Pearson Education

Motivational company video inspires Pearson Education employees


Educational company employees dazzled by video that integrates dynamic stock images, animated text, motion backgrounds and 3D visual effects.

Music video shown at company sales conference generates rousing applause and builds team unity. 

The crowds were cheering…music was booming….lights were pulsing…and the “We Are” Video had everyone at the Pearson Education Sales Conference on their feet with excitement. The meeting was a great success, made more memorable and impactful by a fun and dynamic video production.

Video developed to create unity and connection

The two minute video was created to generate a level of unity and connection, underscored with a continuous on-screen message of “We Are.” Set to the upbeat melody and driving rhythm of the pop group Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling (a stylized version from a stock music library), the two-minute music-video highlighted 24 unique life styles of Pearson employees, integrating fresh stock imagery, animated text, motion backgrounds and 3D visual effects.

“We are Leaders. We are Believers. We are Mothers. We are pack-rats”

Some of the life style topics drew applause. Others drew laughs. But all helped to draw a sense of connection and unity.

Company Meeting Video - Pearson Education

“But all we want is a PowerPoint!”

The video almost wasn’t a video. Pearson Education manager Jeanne Bronson explained the goal of the project was simply to update an old PowerPoint music slideshow from 2002 (that The Presentation Team originally created). Simply updating a few photos in the latest version of PowerPoint seemed to be an efficient and cost-effective solution. But Kevin Lerner pushed the point for dropping PowerPoint.

“For this meeting and purpose, the difference between creating this project in PowerPoint versus After Effects as a video is like the difference between watching a movie on an old black and white television…or watching it in IMAX,” he insisted.

Pearson said yes, and the production got started.

Getting started in After Effects

Kevin Lerner started by creating 24 separate compositions in Adobe AfterEffects, each with its own text layer and image, The images were white clipped images to allow the subtle Digital Juice Motionback background image to display behind in the main composition. Animator John Conway worked to integrate the images, and set up the compositions while adding animation entry effects and movement for text and images. Eventually, all of the 24 compositions were inserted into a main composition and properly timed. The team chose for solid cuts between each of the compositions for a more concise and precise on-screen appearance to match the beats of the upbeat music. A royalty-free non-lyric version of the song was used, and edited in Sony Sound Forge to trim the time.

 Cheers and applause at meeting

Pearson Corporate Team Video

After four days of focused but relaxed work- and repetitive renderings- the team produced a MP4 video file that integrated easily into PowerPoint and, when played at the rally, generated cheers and applause.

Pearson says their meeting was a success, made even more impactful because of the use of this video in their presentation.

“I don’t believe the PowerPoint would have generated that same level of excitement,” confessed Bronson.

A time and place for PowerPoint

Pearson-Filmstrip-300w

The bottom line: there are times to use PowerPoint, and times not to. For companies wanting for their meetings to have more emotion, connection and impact, consider creating a video production rather than a quick and easy PowerPoint.

For Pearson and their sales managers, the motivating message of “We Are” was instilled through music, motion, and visuals, all coming together to create a feeling of connection that will help Pearson to achieve its objectives with greater zeal and passion.

 
Kevin Lerner is a presentation consultant and expert on presentation design and delivery. His firm, The Presentation Team, has helped hundreds of companies and individuals to create world-class presentations.

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  • ADB
  • ADP
  • ADT
  • Accenture
  • American-Express
  • Aramark
  • Carvel
  • Comcast
  • Costa
  • Cox
  • DAI
  • GE-Healthcare
  • GTE-Financial
  • Gtt
  • Johnson-and-Johnson
  • Markem-Imaje
  • Motorola
  • NASA
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  • Verizon
  • Whirlpool
  • “We engaged The Presentation Team to do a Presentation training for our team and he did a great job. He spent time understanding our requirements and the skill level of our team members and created a course which met our expectations and goals. I highly recommend The Presentation Team as a Presentation (PowerPoint) trainer.”

    Navdeep Sidhu
    Senior Director, Software AG

  • “Kevin Lerner provided best-in-class services when hired to work on promotional materials for the launch of a key product at Motorola. The expertise and quality that he brought to the project were second to none and as a result, he delivered a top-notch presentation that was quickly adopted throughout the organization. Kevin is great to work with, delivers on time, is a great team player and is always willing to go the extra mile.”

    Maria Cardoso
    Motorola

  • “Kevin has been a working with Cox Communications to deliver world-class PowerPoint presentation visuals since 2009. His ability to meet our specific needs, timeframe, and budgets has been exceptional. His professional interaction with our team reflects his deep expertise in the industry, superior presentation design skills, and commitment to superior service.”

    Jonathan Freeland
    VP, Video Marketing at Cox Communications

  • “Kevin is an enthusiastic, creative, and passionate presentation guru. Our company was impressed and felt the value of his training in 2013 that he was invited again recently to again share his knowledge. Both times he has been energetic and addressed many areas for presentation development. From planning to follow-up Kevin is personable and easygoing, motivating our teams to take their presentations to the next level.”

    Yoshimi Kawashima
    Project Coordinator, Nissin International

  • “Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from tips & tricks to aesthetics, all with the intent of getting the message across crisply and creatively. I’ve already received praise for decks that incorporate the skills obtained from his training. I highly recommend Kevin’s services.”

    Era Prakash
    General Electric

  • “Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from “The PowerPresentations seminar opened my eyes to all the limitless possibilities in presenting.”

    Leah Gordillo
    Saint Francis Medical Center

  • “Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from “[Kevin and The Presentation Team have] always delivered 110% in terms of meeting our objectives for finished product and budget”

    Paul Price
    Watsco Corp.

  • “I had more people come up to me after I spoke, commenting on the visuals you created, than I did on the subject matter!”

    Andy Smith
    Smith & Robb Advertising

  • “As a Fortune 1000 company, we sought to produce a classy, yet conservative presentation for our shareholders. It was evident that you and your team listened to our thoughts as you developed the presentation…”

    Will Flower
    Republic Services

  • “Your expertise in the filed of PowerPoint and general presentation techniques helped elevate us to the level necessary to beat the competition.”

    Mike Geary
    James Pirtle Construction

  • “Kevin brought a high level of creativity, enthusiasm, and deep multmedia experience to our team. He worked dillegently with the team to produce an outstanding proposal which we subsequently won.

    Jeff Keller
    Accenture/L3

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