Clients / Case Studies / Google

New Realities of Local Retail – How Corduroy Media produced a series of videos for Google highlighting CMOs from REI, Macy’s and Sephora sharing lessons learned from omni-channel marketing.
After completing several successful projects for Google in 2013, we were approached by Emily Eberhard Pereira, Head of Solutions Marketing, to create a Google video series profiling CMOs from several US companies that were changing the face of retail. These companies, including Sephora, Macy’s and REI are not just recognizing the need for, in-store digital, mobile and on-line marketing and consumer platforms they are making it their first priority.

Developing the Story

Working closely with Google from the start we wanted to understand exactly what stories they wanted to tell about each company and how best to illustrate that through live action video. The goal was to profile each CMO and highlight the direction they were leading their company in omni-channel marketing and in-store digital. Once we identified the key messages that Google wanted to highlight, we worked with the Google team to identify a video format for the series. We knew that the client wanted to have the voice of the CMO narrate the story through dynamic interview content. We then suggested that we cast a lead and background actors for each one of the pieces to illustrate the story in documentary style. This would give us total control during video production.

Executing Production

Once we established a style and format in pre-production it was time to execute. Since these CMOs were all over the country we started local, with Sephora, to get an early win and prove the production concept. We conducted a pre-interview with Bridget Dolan, VP of Interactive Media at Sephora, to identify the real valuable insights that we wanted to highlight. We scouted and identified her interview location along with a near-by Sephora retail location where we would shoot our b-roll scenes. Since a lot of the story talks about the retail journey outside of the brick and mortar retail we also identified several exterior locations that we could use to highlight mobile. We wanted to blend both documentary and commercial aesthetics, keeping our B-Roll scenes as authentic as possible while boosting the production value. After producing our Sephora piece we then planned and executed production for REI and Macy’s. Since these companies were based outside of San Francisco we conducted the interviews out of state and then shot all of our B-Roll scenes in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. This gave us a series from diverse locations while keeping our production cost to a minimum.

Script Writing and Post-Production

Documentary filmmaking is part craft and part art. Post-production is where we match all of the planning in pre-production to the reality of what we captured during production. Although we plan each and every aspect of production including and most importantly the interview content we don’t always know exactly the verbatim narration from our interviews until we shoot them. That is why we transcribe each one of our interviews and use those transcriptions to write our script. This is where the Corduroy Media team and Google are able to craft the exact message that will be narrating our story. Once we lock a paper script with the client we create an A-Roll assembly, which only includes our narrative content. This provided Google with an opportunity to give feedback on the story arch before we spend time and resources on building out the rest of the imagery. Once they approved the A-Roll we moved forward with adding our b-roll scenes, music and color timing. Once that was complete we turn back to the client for feedback. Google was provided two revisions and once the final revision is locked we mix and master the entire project with color, sound and any final touches.

Our partnership with Google on this project has allowed our team to continue to refine our craft of documentary filmmaking. Working with a large team, such as Google, provided a great atmosphere of collaboration allowing room for many of our ideas and suggestions to rise to the top. We look forward to our continued collaboration.