IBM Watson Talent
IBM Watson Talent wanted a new and fresh video for their landing page – something to intrigue customers and generate sales for their AI-powered HR software.
To illustrate the process of candidates vying for the perfect job, we constructed a tabletop video of ping pong balls bouncing, spinning and sorting themselves. A playful metaphor for the age of automated technology.
We all know someone like Director Spike Hoban. He was the kid taking radios apart just to put them back together again, and the adult building a LEGO Lunar Lander set at the office. None of us were surprised to hear hammering and tinkering when this project got underway.
As Spike researched IBM Watson’s website, he had his eureka moment: Ping pong balls.
Ping pong balls bouncing through obstacle after obstacle; it reflects both Watson’s brand and the challenges encountered during the job search process. There are bumps and blocks, but eventually each ball lands exactly where it’s supposed to. That’s what IBM Watson Talent can help HR do – find the perfect candidate for the perfect role.
And naturally, Spike was ready to build the entire thing.
“The whole creation is in his head. If he needs help, he’ll ask for it, but I have full trust that he’s got this.” – Sean Riddle, Producer
Executing the simple concept required a heavy amount of lifting in the beginning. Spike found a brainstorming counterpart in Britton Peck. Brittain let his mind go wild with ideas while Spike imagined the execution. Then we brought in Adam Cohen to marry copy with the intricate visual contraptions.
For a full week Spike was glued to his computer, designing contraptions in his drafting program to bring the ping pong balls to life.
What you see, for example, are ping pong balls circling in a funnel. Easy, right? What you don’t see is the precise cutting of a specific sheet of plastic in order to build a funnel with the perfect circular motion.
“Every single contraption was a mountain of questions and problems to solve.” – Spike Hoban, Director
And the problem-solving didn’t end when the set was built. During the shoot our office became an active engineering space.
When one contraption wouldn’t work as expected, we tilted boards, did some rearranging, and played with frame rates to ensure everything looked good on camera.
It was the kind of set where there were no titles or dividing lines. We all just worked together and did whatever we had to do to make this a great piece. – Melissa Douglas, 1st AC
Even if that meant doing 180 takes. That’s right. 180. The scene with the ping pong ball bouncing off the wall and falling through a hole on the bottom wall was done practically by Max Zampieri in approximately 180 takes. When one finally looked right, everyone crowded the monitor to watch and enjoy the moment of accomplishment.
There’s a satisfaction in watching an object do something crazy and then find its home. There’s an entire subreddit devoted to it. Spike and the team tapped into that aesthetic to tell a striking HR technology story.
It’s a wild world out there – just you and millions of other people competing to get one position. And at the end of the day, with guidance from Watson Talent and AI, it can help you find the right person for the job. – Spike Hoban, Director