Bio City Commercial - “why we do what we do”

Commercial written and directed by Mono Ghose, about the start-up journey and finding the why in why we do what we do. BioCity is a health tech accelerator based at the Boots campus in Nottingham, England. Released to popular success with high online engagement on LinkedIn in Autumn 2018.

CASE STUDY

In the spring of 2018, the CEO of BioCity, AJ (yes he is that cool that he has a two letter name!) and the marketing directors, Gemma Cann and Avnish Panesar, commissioned Mavericks to produce and Mono Ghose to direct their forthcoming online video ad for their fast growing brand - BioCity. BioCity is based at the Boots Campus in Nottingham, and is a successful health tech focused accelerator that is like “Y Combinator meets WeWork” - in the CEO’s own words, and therefore an investment accelerator that in addition to funding, also provides work space for their Seed and Series-A funded startups. Their goal was simple: they wanted more startups in the health and med-tech space to know about BioCity and consider applying to their new program for funding and workspace.

THE CHALLENGE: Make a narrative commercial, in one minute, that tells a compelling story for a new medtech company, is easy to relate to, and looks like a TV commercial - but on a slightly smaller budget!

The challenge was greatly accepted by us, and, as always, we first set about trying to find the heart and character of the brand, and therefore locate the most compelling narratives. We soon came across Magda Kordon, the CEO of a fascinating and fast growing startup already at BioCity, and managed to persuade her to be our heroine for the ad. Mono who is very experienced working with both natural, real life actors, as well as professional dramatic actors from film, theatre and TV - on this occasion, wanted to use a natural actor and not a professional actor - primarily to show the journey of a real female entrepreneur in the STEM industry - which itself is under-represented by females.

In terms of the story, we wanted to find a theme that was true to Magda’s own journey but that also resonated with other startups who may be considering applying to an accelerator like BioCity. Mono having founded Mavericks himself as a startup back in 2006, remembered how hard it was (and sometimes still is) to answer the basic questions of, what his business actually does? And why he does what he does? And that was the basis for our strategy: to visualise this critical journey of finding out “why we do what we do”.

All startups and companies are asked by investors and clients, what is their USP? Their value proposition? And their brand’s voice? Also, what do they stand for? And these questions are no different for all of us human beings. It can take a lifetime to discover our calling or find “our voice”. Therefore, we set about charting a story, that in the first half of the narrative, so under 30 seconds, showed Magda struggling to find her company’s voice as she prepares for a big pitch, and then at the mid-point, receiving advice and support from the BioCity people, place and product - which help her overcome the hurdle and deliver a successful pitch. In a wonderful example of art imitating life, Magda actually made her real pitch to real investors on the shoot day and actually won the prestigious competition. Quite impressive, seeing as she was also juggling her pitch and being our star actress at the same time!

THE SHOOT

We shot the film on an ARRI ALEXA with Carl Zeiss Super Speed lenses, on a full body rig for smooth tracking and fast location moves. The DOP was the very talented Howard Mills, and the script was written and directed by Mono Ghose, with script edits and close iterative feedback by the BioCity team, who were also all on set watching the monitor over Mono’s shoulders! Having had a lot of experience working with both dramatic actors and natural actors, Mono really enjoyed creating a human connection with Magda, to ensure she was relaxed but was also ready to deliver the scenes on quite a tight schedule.

POST PRODUCTION & RESULTS

We went into post-production immediately in-house, and Mavericks edited, colour graded, sound designed and helped the client source licensed music - and we were delighted to deliver the final cut shortly afterwards. The video was released on LinkedIn ads to coincide with a website rebrand and launch in Autumn 2018. The video content marketing campaign was a success, the video gained significant traction with thousands of shares, and most importantly hit the client’s top KPI with a surge in startup applications to BioCity’s programme.

AJ, the BioCity CEO, was very impressed with our work and gave us the following appraisal:

“Mono Ghose is a visionary storyteller and film director and working with him is a serene and seamless experience from start to finish. His great skill lies in a rare ability to mold multiple creative inputs into cohesive structures and build consensus among disparate viewpoints.”