Dream Big, Act Smart: what the heck is that?

Dream Big, Act Smart – that’s the awareness campaign we’ve been working on together with SAP since early 2018. But not only. It was also the occasion for me, young recruit of to:communication, to work for the first time on such a big multimedia B2B campaign.

I must say that as to:commers, we’re used to dreaming big ourselves. So for this campaign, we decided to go beyond traditional social media and email marketing: we interviewed Belgian companies in the SME segment, along with their SAP partners, about their dream innovation project. “Yeah but…where is SAP in all of this?” Well, SAP’s role is to make those big dreams come true by helping entrepreneurs act smart.

Media-wise, the campaign consists of video interviews, radio spots, a dedicated website, and social media posts, to entice Belgian entrepreneurs to share their own big dream via the campaign’s upload page.

What I found the hardest were certainly the recording sessions – but that was also the most rewarding bit of this campaign. You know how much I like it when my copy is brought to life: this time, it was taken to a whole new level. And you’ll soon understand why.

The studio – Option Media

Let’s be honest, coordinating the agendas of about 20 people to schedule recording sessions is not exactly a delight. But I quickly realised this logistic nightmare was worth it. The moment I set foot in Option Media was like entering the world of the Care Bears. From the onset, I was offered the help and support of a benevolent team of professionals who unflinchingly catered to my every whim (like changing the recording schedule a gazillion times, for example).

Video: choose your partners wisely

As making videos is not part of our core business at to:communication, we teamed up with an external team, Comm2b, that was of course well prepared for the challenge. It was fascinating and instructive to come along and see how a professional interviewer manages to put people at ease so as to make them speak freely about their business, their dreams, and their plans for the future of their company. It was like finding a balance between out-of-your-comfort-zone speaking and the comfort of having a team of professionals around you acting as your safety net.

Radio: the added-value of a studio manager

Even though you (1) wrote the copy and/or (2) approved and corrected it, this doesn’t mean you know how your radio spot should sound. And trust me, those studio managers, they hear EVERY-THING. From sloppy word-endings to inadequate tone of voice, intonation…you name it.

During our recording sessions we were blessed with the presence of 2 studio managers who, on top of being adorable, really made a difference in the quality of the spots. Of course, I love writing copy so much that it was already a good basis to work on. But those guys made it go from stellar to intergalactic.

Would I do it again if given the chance?

Absolutely. Working in a recording studio together with professionals was a one-of-a-kind experience. First, because you get to meet new people whom you wouldn’t work with on a daily basis, but who can enrich your job (in this case content creation) by giving it a new perspective. Second, because it was thrilling to interact with B2B people in a more laidback environment, and to give them the opportunity to do something very different from their usual work. After all, business people are still people.

Björn Crul – Founder at Comm2B

How was your experience of this project?

Although making B2B videos is part of our core business, this SAP campaign was a great – shall I say a dream? – opportunity to explore content from different perspectives. Different clients, different partners, means different stories. So from that point of view it was a very enriching experience. This wasn’t our first collaboration with SAP (nor with some of the partners and clients, as a matter of fact) so we felt comfortable with the topic.
What I liked most about this project was having the opportunity to talk to a series of entrepreneurs and managers driven by their passion to make their companies better through digitization. Some of these interviews were a truly enriching experience for us.

What was the biggest challenge?

We had a high ‘concentration’ of interviews within a relatively short timeframe. Even though all video capsules revolved around the same theme, that of SAP cloud solutions, each client’s story was unique and required adequate preparation beforehand. Our expertise and familiarity with the topic at hand clearly helped us to maximize content quality despite the time constraints.

Second, this campaign also meant working with different personalities. At the same time, we wanted all movies to fit into the same style and format, in which we try to feature people speaking in the most natural way possible. Some people feel naturally at ease in front of the camera; others, a bit less. As an interviewer, psychology and understanding are an essential part of the job. You need to dig deeper and find what makes people tick. That way you can help them to speak more freely and confidently about their business. This was particularly important in the context of this campaign: we wanted to prove that switching to the cloud is a no-brainer. Therefore, we had to make videos that reflected this message and that were as fluid and natural as possible.

Option Media

Sylvie Fatermans, Project Planner

What were your impressions on the SAP Dream Big project?

Dream Big immediately felt like a compelling project and we were more than happy to help. As project planners we are used to constant last-minute changes, and we understood that this project was particularly complex due to the number of radio spots and video interviews to record. It was sometimes quite challenging for us to adapt but after all, that’s also what makes our job vivid and exciting. We were happy to do it.

Dirk De Geyndt and Dirk Theuns, Voice Directors

How was your collaboration with to:communication?

What struck us the most in the recording studio was how positive and casual the atmosphere was. Everybody put their ego aside and worked towards the same goal: obtaining high-quality radio spots. It was a team effort, really. It doesn’t happen every day that everybody in the room is so willing to be constructive! So we can confidently say that our collaboration with to:communication, SAP, and the professional voices, was a success. We had a lot of fun and would be delighted to work with them again, should the opportunity arise.

Karolien Engelen – Marketing Manager Innovation, Digital & Partners at SAP

How does it feel to see your campaign come to life?

It’s exciting! We have been working really hard on this project, from ideation to realization. Of course, working at SAP, we’re used to managing very big campaigns, but this one was particularly complex. We had to make sure that everything was consistent from A to Z and across all media channels. We collaborated closely with our partners and clients and involved them at every stage of the campaign. I think that’s also part of what makes this campaign so special: the whole process reflects SAP’s ‘philosophy’ – innovating together with our clients and partners.

Were there challenges?

Of course, as always, there were bumps on the road and last-minute changes. But that’s normal and that’s also what makes the project so exciting. I’d even say it’s necessary: I tend to always ask myself along the way “is this campaign the best version it can be?”. And working with to:communication made that possible. We have a long-lasting and trusting relationship with them, and we appreciate their flexibility and honesty.

Something you will remember from this campaign?

Definitely being in the recording studio. I was amazed by the energy and efforts everybody put in to make it work. It was team work at its finest and I am grateful to our clients, partners, and agency for their positive attitude and team spirit.

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