Pitch deck shows how a production company whose clients include Disney, Twitch, and Airbnb is advising marketers remotely during the coronavirus lockdown


Dustin Callif

  • Production companies have been forced to shift to remote work as the coronavirus has shut down commercial shoots around the world.
  • Tool of North America, which has worked with Google, Uber, HBO, and Verizon, created a new deck pitching its ability to provide services like livestreaming, AR, and dynamic video remotely.
  • Tool said brands now care less about making projects perfect and more about getting them done.
  • The company hopes the deck will help it win new contracts when production picks up post-pandemic.
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The COVID-19 lockdown has turned advertising into an almost entirely virtual industry, and it’s especially challenging for the production companies that cast, shoot, and edit ad campaigns.

25-year-old Tool of North America has produced videos, digital tools, and events for clients from Airbnb and Planned Parenthood to HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Tool has gone through four economic downturns, and president Dustin Callif told Business Insider that experience prepared his company for the tough months ahead. Its new pitch deck, which follows below, promotes its ability to produce different kinds of work remotely.

COVID-19 shut down all commercial shoots, and the business won’t be the same after the pandemic

Production companies can no longer do in-person shoots for ads, and the pitch deck reflects Tool’s plan to keep business running until things return to normal.

Production companies are scrambling to present clients with the right mix of services, and commercial production won’t be the same when the lockdown ends.

Nancy Hacohen, Tool’s managing director, said social distancing will probably remain in place for months, which means production teams will have to be smaller and shoots more spaced out.

Callif also said clients have already grown less precious about the work; they’re more interested in completing projects and moving on than making a video look perfect.

As brands plan their post-pandemic strategies, Tool is pitching itself for the short and long term

Most brands are just beginning to plan their post-virus strategies, but production continues nonetheless, and the average time from concept to execution has shrunk from two to six months to two weeks as brands release quick-hit work to show how they’re responding to the pandemic.

Most of Tool’s efforts involve either content filmed on webcam in someone’s home or prep work for commercial shoots that will happen weeks or months from now.

Callif said Tool has many marketers and agencies reaching out for advice, and Tool is approaching business development calls with an educational rather than a sales approach.

Its deck focuses on campaigns that can be finished without shooting new footage using techniques like crowdsourcing, livestreaming, AR, and dynamic video, or repurposing existing material. It also positions Tool as a provider of everything from standard production to “celebrity integration” and legal services like FTC compliance.

When brands and agencies are ready to re-enter full production mode, Tool’s hope is that presentations like the one below will help make it stand out.

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The deck promotes short-term solutions for work produced during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Tool lists a range of services beyond standard commercial shoots, like influencer strategy and analytics.

The deck focuses on brands showing how they are “uniquely positioned to help” during the pandemic.

Tool president Dustin Callif said the pandemic would force brands to innovate in areas like interactive and AR marketing.

The deck cites research finding nearly 100% of marketers agree that interactive material is more effective.

Tool created an interactive website with Airbnb and Google that showed global activity for the listings company.

Ad agency RPA collaborated with Tool and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation to create animated films.

The company created an AR karaoke Facebook Messenger lens to promote Disney’s Pixar Fest event.

Livestreaming is another alternate remote option for clients.

Tool positions livestreaming as work that requires less overhead.

It cites research emphasizing the popularity of live video.

Amazon promoted its Thursday Night Football partnership with live gaming platform Twitch.

Planned Parenthood, another Tool client, ran the #IDefy campaign on Facebook Live to commemorate the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Dynamic video is the repurposing of existing material.

Tool positions dynamic video as a way to produce new work at low cost.

Tool said there’s research supporting the value of video, even if it’s built from pre-existing material.

Activision is another client, with Tool using dynamic video to promote the multiplayer smash Destiny.

Tool also promotes user-generated work.

Many brands have used crowdsourced content shot by users at home for their coronavirus campaigns.

A recent campaign by Tool and agency MullenLowe for baby brand Chicco targeted new mothers.