Inspiration session with Wefilm
Woedend! invited Bas and Roel Welling to come and talk about the inspiring movies and commercials they create. The founders of Wefilm first introduced themselves and told us what they do. The Welling-brothers were always passionate about film. As young boys they took their camera everywhere to make films together. Roel went to film school and became a director, Bass worked as a freelance producer alongside his economic studies. They made lots of commercials for agencies such as Comrad, but then they saw interesting opportunities in online film. They started the production company Wefilm, where they had the chance to make great movies that people wánt to see. Now it has developed into a successful company with a full trophy case.
One of Wefilms first virals was Max the Hacker, an online series of videos about a boy who breaks into a variety of technical systems. For example he hacked the announcement system of the NS and the digital signs above the highway. The movies were very popular and the project has given Wefilm a huge spurt.
But how can you make sure that your online film becomes a success? You do not have the certainty that people will see it, as in television commercials. There are certain factors that can you can influence, for example when the movies are to come online. According to Bas, it is important to keep an eye on the number of views. Once that starts to fall it’s time for a new movie, so you make sure that its popularity increases. Roel thinks your film should be controversial, so that people want to see it and share it. But he also thinks you need a bit of luck, because there are so many videos uploaded every day, it is very difficult to stand out. “We never say that we are going to make a viral. We make an online movie and afterwards we can say whether it was a viral. ”
This was also the case with Stanislav, which was shown on Hyves (a Dutch social network). The movie used the data from your personal profile. A mafia club is looking for someone, but not just anybody, they are looking for you. They know everything about you, where you live and who your friends are, your photos roll off the printer and your name is written on the board. Fortunately, it is a campaign to warn you for posting personal data on the internet. This personalized movie was obviously a technical masterpiece, but it also had the desired effect. People started thinking more about what they post online.
As you can see, it can really work well, but it remains quite difficult to convince customers of this way of advertising. We can’t guarantee them it will work and it takes a little courage to go for it. Wefilm now has a portfolio of successful projects where they can refer to, but if you don’t have that, you will have to do it otherwise. Make clear that people are watching online movies actively. That’s why these films have more impact than the TV commercials that are forced upon them.
Make sure your concept is new and nobody has done it before, then there’s greater chance of success and you can satisfy your customer without real evidence. Never try to copy a successful project, as pale imitations of earlier projects are quickly recognized.
The last project that the brothers Welling showed us is not online, but in a public space. Public service employees frequently encounter aggression and violence. On a huge billboard, the onlookers are confronted with their behavior. They see that violence is used against ambulance staff, but they do not intervene.
In the movie they talk about an interactive billboard. The audience plays a role in the film, but does not affect the events, they are passive and do nothing. Therefore, I think interactive is not the right word. It certainly is effective, the strength lies precisely in the non–activity. Tomorrow is the award show of the ADCN advertising year prizes, where this project is also nominated. Wefilm, good luck tomorrow and thanks for all the tips!