Cloud-based Automated Advert Versioning
Our client is the production arm of an international advertising network. They are one of the largest global adaptation, versioning, translation and production companies in the world, working on behalf of internationally-recognised household brand names. One of our client’s key offerings is that they can manage and deliver content consistently across multiple markets, languages and cultures, whilst ensuring local market relevance.
One of their largest clients is a brand with thousands of franchises across the USA. Each month, the agency is required to version around 300 videos, with individual graphics and text for each local franchise, showing locally available deals and contact information.
Historically, this complex process has been managed by a single-location creative team of three to four editors, plus two producers, working for 12 days per month on the project. The manually-intensive process involved spreadsheets and a large amount of manual compiling and editing which was complicated, time-consuming, expensive and open to error.
Support Partners worked with the client to map out existing workflows and systems, leading to the design and deployment of a bespoke, cloud-based workflow which automated the video adaptation process for the production team. The solution was built using native cloud services and event-based architecture, giving the client a scalable platform that can be used to manage the existing client work but can then also be on-boarded for versioning work for other brands.
After reviewing our client’s current workflow, infrastructure and tools we built a solution that enhanced the existing process and technologies, enabling smooth adoption by the teams and minimising disruption to the users.
A key component was Smartsheets, which was used as the master ‘make-list’, documenting each version of an advert. Support Partners used the data in this spreadsheet to drive an automated cloud workflow, taking parameters such as ‘Media’, ‘File Length’, ‘Clock’, ‘Overlays’ and ‘Text’ to auto-generate each variation of the advert.
The final output video file is generated to high definition and standard definition broadcast specifications, which is then checked for compliance using a cloud-hosted auto-quality control tool. An edit decision list (EDL) file is generated along with the video files, allowing editors to make alterations to the sequence if any refinements are required. All stages are monitored via a dashboard providing real-time insights into the cost of production.
Following the implementation of the new cloud-based video adaptation system, processing now takes less than four minutes per 30 second video, enabling all videos to be created, checked and delivered 84% faster than the previous method. A huge win for our client.
Azure Functions is the serverless computing service hosted on the Microsoft Azure public cloud. Azure Functions, and serverless computing, in general, is designed to accelerate and simplify application development.
Azure Media Services
Microsoft Azure Media Services (AMS) is an extensible cloud-based platform that enables developers to build scalable media management and delivery applications.
Smartsheet is a software as a service offering for collaboration and work management, developed and marketed by Smartsheet Inc. It is used to assign tasks, track project progress, manage calendars, share documents, and manage other work, using a tabular user interface.
Adobe Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing app developed by Adobe Systems and published as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud licensing program.
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