Taking care of business (even from home)—making a commercial in quarantine

  • ServiceNow Blog
  • Life at Now
  • Crisis Management
  • 2020
April 17, 2020

How to make commercials during quarantine


In January, we launched a commercial to celebrate work—work that flows smoothly, so employees can focus on what matters most. However, once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the ad, set in a traditional work environment, no longer fit with the current reality in which most American’s are working from home. 
 

A new world of work
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for businesses.

To reflect the changing needs of organizations around the world, we set out to create a new commercial that provides a moment of levity, but also conveys that our technology enables people to stay connected and productive no matter where they are. In order to adapt the ads to respond to COVID-19, we had to produce new commercial content while adhering to social distancing and overall health guidelines.

 


Here’s how we did it

  • First order of business: get confetti. Many deliveries were delayed so there was no telling when the props would arrive. Thankfully, leftover party supplies saved the day.
  • The video production was done 100% remotely. Wardrobe fittings and location scouting happened on video calls. The actors walked the director through their homes and closets while roommates and family members served as stand-in stylists. Teamwork makes the dreamwork!
  • Production goods like external mics, lighting and hard drives were sanitized and delivered directly to the actor’s doorsteps. Meanwhile, other equipment was MacGyvered... Fun fact: clothespins and tape make great tripods.
  • No fancy tech here. The commercial was shot using iPhone 11s and screen recordings from Zoom conference calls. The actors set up their cameras and managed the recording, cutting, and uploading of footage.


And that’s a wrap!
Check out a behind-the-scenes look at the filming process, including a family member cameo—sheltering in place means your mom gets to visit you on set!

 


Thank you to our friends at BBDO San Francisco who were ready for some out-of-the-box (or in this case, production studio) thinking!

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