Brand Films for Double Tree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre

Today we are holding a conversation with in-house filmmaker Juan Martos about his role as producer in the brand films Excite Your Senses and Meet Mingle Mix for Double Tree by Hilton.

Bridge IV Films. Can you elaborate in the challenge of producing two different commercials in two separate identities for a single client? Were they produced simultaneously?

Juan. One morning the marketing manager came to us and said: ‘Okay guys, everyone knows the Hilton. We have clients that stay overnight and end up using our hospitality services. However, there is potential to attract local customers too; those who do not require a room but might benefit from our bar and restaurant for work meetings, leisure time, etc. That is to say, they wanted the local public to identify their bar (Monboddo) and restaurant (Bread Street Brasserie) as separate entities. The challenge here was to create recognisable brands while maintaining the high standards of the company and, at the same time, embracing the project as a whole to optimise the resources available.

BIVF. When watching the commercials there is recognisable style that they share. Can you tell us if they were produced simultaneously and if so why?

J. The films were designed contemplating contemporary and classic themes, such as love, online dating, the business culture and ultimately with a target audience in mind; young and middle-age professionals based in the city. That is one thing in common - same target - but there is more to add. While they work as stand-alone pieces, they were also thought as twin stories. The idea is that they speak about different entities, but you can recognise one if you have seen the other and so forth. It helps to create a following. This is a marketing strategy, but also reinforces the idea of different identities under the same umbrella.

Now, if we are talking about the production, it made a lot of sense to produce them simultaneously for obvious reasons: equipment hire, securing locations, meetings with clients… It could all be done at once saving time and resources. Not to forget the fact that two deliveries at once would play in favour of a well-thought marketing plan.

BIVF. Discuss the size of the production. How did you put together a professional team that worked in the project from shooting to postproduction?

J. The shooting involved more than 16 people including crew, talent and extras during the two weekends in which it took place. In this large commercial production (on-set filming) we had to contact casting agencies, book rooms, prepare and follow talent’s contracts, release forms, call sheets, license agreements and create and work with different budgets along the way. On the meantime, Diego, as the writer/director, developed the story alongside the marketing manager of the hotel and later involved a cinematographer and his assistant to work in the mise-en-scene. We have a pool of trusted collaborators that came in very handy for a tour de force production like this one. We had an instance where, while editing, we considered the possibility of re-working the sound design. We made a few calls and it was done over the weekend. Something similar happened with the music. We knew a local band that would suit the project perfectly and asked them to tailor a couple of their new songs for us. Said and done.

BIVF. Talk about how working on an online exclusive campaign determine your approach.

J. Different audiences have different interests, but also different media work in different ways. Knowing that this would be an almost Facebook-exclusive campaign made us focus on the timespan of attention. Most Facebook users would scroll-down, find the video and move on to the next item unless they are hooked in the first 5 seconds. Hence the films had to be designed short and sweet. No more than a minute long, with no dialogue, no sound or music required and a fast-paced edit. The idea was to convey the message as quick and effective as possible in a language that is both user-friendly and engaging.

BIVF. The commercials were published in social media. Can you elaborate on which was the impact and follow up of the campaign?

J. The marketing is not entirely up to us, although we are always happy to give advice, particularly in the early stages when the design of the film is still on the decisions table. For this project, we pitched the idea of the twin films under the same umbrella and suggested similar graphism that went along with it. After that there was a marketing team with a defined strategy that published the films at certain dates and sites and invested some money in publicity across social media channels. The result were thousand of views!