Ubiqube Case Study:
MSActivator + Freedom of Automation

Introduction

Throughout the last couple of years, video started growing to dominate the audience’s online activity, reaching new levels of importance and popularity. Being a highly effective form of content, video marketing can be used in a wide range of ways to increase sales and improve customer relationships.

In this case study, we will dive into the making-off journey of two of our most ambitious video marketing projects to this date: a 2D explainer video for UBiqube’s MSActivator Integrated Automation Platform (IAP) and a 3D+2D commercial video presenting the “Freedom of Automation” 2021 Campaign.

But first, let us give you some background. UBiqube is a global software supplier that provides vendor neutral, multi-domain end-to-end network and security orchestration solutions to service providers and large and medium enterprises. Leading the digitalization of the networking industry, UBiqube developed the MSActivator, the leading Integrated Automation Platform for the continuous design of any IT infrastructure automation process. Composed of Integration and Automation Modules, it is used by infrastructure engineers to integrate the wide spectrum of related vendors and systems involved in any given IT solution, i.e. cloud technologies, networks systems, security systems, IoT systems, and devices.

When the client first reached out to us, they were looking for a 2D explainer video that could show what MSActivator was all about in a 60 second, straight-to-the-point narrative. They needed a state-of-the-art, futuristic, yet subtle and aesthetic video that could fulfill their marketing objectives.

Pre-production

From the beginning, the client was extra clear on all the elements, sounds, and general storytelling of the project. So, in this case, ours was more of an interpretative and technical work. We needed to convert these ideas into an intelligible, dynamic, on-topic video. We worked with LOOM throughout all the different stages of scripting, design, and animation, using video as a tool to be precise in every comment or correction made.

For the first stages of the design process, we used Photoshop. Once all the elements were complete, we started animating with After Effects. We used digital 2D animation in order to achieve the dynamics and impact the client was looking for. The whole look of the project was supposed to be technological, filled with data kind icons and objects representing the constant flow of information in between different platforms. We needed to contrast difficulty with easy-going integration.

So, to this matter,  the sound design was also very important to really achieve the video’s effectiveness. The combination between music, sound effects, and animation needed to be precise and clear. Our team took specific care on the development of all these sounds.  In terms of tone, Ubiqube aimed for a kind of mysterious, suspenseful vibe. When the main problem with automation is raised at the beginning of the video, we can feel through the music and use of color that something’s wrong. But, as the video goes by, and a solution is presented, tones of blue and green make their appearance, and violins seem to bring hope to the story.

The final result was everything that we aimed for:

Even though we were already happy with how the video turned out, things got even better when the client told us about its effectiveness on their marketing campaign. As a consequence of its success, the client came back with a new proposal: they wanted a commercial video to promote their “Freedom of Automation” campaign. 

One of the most interesting facts, in this case, was that the client wanted the video to resemble the 1984 Apple’s Macintosh Commercial video, which used the classic George Orwell’s novel as a reference in order to define the general aesthetic of the story. In both cases, this style worked as a way of observing the future through the eyes of the past. A kind of nostalgic, vintage, version of how the future was supposed to look. This new approach from our client confirmed two things: video marketing was proving to be highly effective, and that we had done a good job on the first one.

In terms of visual influence, both commercials presented elements of Modernism, German Expressionism, and Steampunk Futurism. Each of these schools was known for addressing the present and near future from an industrial point of view, where humans appear to be pieces of gear working towards a precise and common objective under the eyes of a god-like figure. Moreover, for Ubiqube’s commercial video, we also included some contemporary references, combining the last-mentioned with a digital input, where codes and data flow play an important role.

Bringing Apple’s “1984” to the present was already a challenging premise. Even more, the client trusted us to take it one step forward and develop the second video with a combination of 2D and 3D technology. Having this in mind, the whole project became even more complex.
Texts for the introduction were made in 2D using layers in AfterEffects in order to create a sense of depth. The dictator, the hammer and the gears were developed in 3D, creating a powerful contrast with the rest of the elements. First, we worked on the modeling of objects, and after the client’s approval, textures and light were added to achieve the final realistic look on them. Both videos were made in English and were subsequently subtitled in Japanese and Russian, having the client target into account. The final result was exported in 4k, 16:9 relationship, with Stereo sound.

Designing and animating the dictator was one of the best parts. First, we had to give him a face, an identity. We went through lots of different face options. We did not want him to have a defined or usual face, we needed it to be generic but yet strong and particular in its expression.

We were really happy with the final result. Even though it was a huge challenge, the whole experience proved to be successful in the end. We will continue pushing our own boundaries in the search for the best and most effective outcomes.

Final comment

Because a picture speaks a thousand words, and due to the trust and proximity it arouses in the consumer, video marketing provides very high levels of credibility. Credibility is very important for companies, as it is what bonds brands with their customers and with the communities where they operate. Through video, the user is able to obtain better and more dynamic information about our product or service, presented before their eyes in a simple and attractive way. Moreover, animated explainer videos give us the possibility to convey our brand identity in a highly effective visual way, because every resource, tool, transition, and sound effect are based on the brand’s essence.

MSActivator Team:

Direction: Juanda Zuluaga

Animation: Florencia Quercia y Victoria De Genaro

Score & SFX: Victoria De Genaro

Voice over artist: Wolf Williams

Freedom of Automation team:

 3D desing and motion: Edwar Banquet

Character animation: Matias Celis 

Locution: Wolf Williams

Motion Graphics: Victoria de Genaro

Original Score & SFX: Juanda Zuluaga

MSActivator team: Victoria de Genaro

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