Ever since the first time I set foot in the large entrance hall of Toyota Material Handling Finland, I’ve always returned with enthusiasm, a feeling of being able to make a difference. There is a simple reason for that – Toyota is a truly value-driven business.
Since 2017, I work as a Creative Producer and Director on their strategically important corporate video productions. From the very beginning, our relationship was built on trust, respect and willingness to strive for continuous improvement. I think without that, we wouldn’t be where we are today, being a trusted and respected partner. And I am darn proud about that!
Working with Toyota meant that I had to change the way we look at our productions, moving from a linear process to a continuously evolving cycle. I think that when working with lean thinking companies, it’s essential to adapt to their way of working, explore and develop the story together in an iterative way, rather than doing countless painful adaptations in post production or worst case be forced to reshoot. This new mindset to the way of working did not come easy – we learned that the hard way. At first, we thought the customer was difficult to work with, unorganised, constantly changing their mind. But in fact, it was our inflexible process which didn’t match their agile needs. To be honest, we are still in the very beginning of exploring the full potential of lean production, but we are learning, project by project.
At Toyota, all of our content is oriented towards a specific goal. It also needs to drive engagement through various channels, which needs to be crystal clear throughout the production process. Chris’s lean-approach to quality content supports our way of thinking.Jens Rantanen (Marketing Manager, TMH Finland)
In 2018, Toyota MH Finland was growing at a rapid pace and they had challenges in attracting new talent for their after-sales department. When they asked our help, I knew right away, that this is our chance to make a difference, create something memorable and most important, create something that will have lasting impact on their brand.
Knowing Toyota’s lean-approach, our concept had to be flexible. As usual, things started to happen quickly and already the following day, I visited them for the inital brief, to fully understanding their needs and goals. For me as a creative, this is the most difficult moment in a project as I have to hold back, not rush into the creative approach too early. Within a couple of days, I had a visual concept and revisited. Whenever possible, I do visual concepts even before closing deals, as I think they are vital to keep a conversation value-driven and not end up in unproductive cost-driven discussions. Our pitch lasted 30 minutes, followed by a bright smile and green-light from all key stakeholders.
But the real power of a lean production is that it allows me to discover the full potential of a story together with the customer, iterate it and not rush into production. In our case, this led to a significant cost saving right at the beginning of the project. We realized that the same concept can in fact be used both for recruitment and as a separate repair service advert. We also made sure that the story was optimized for all channels, in other words it needed to work in different formats, both as video and campaign image. After a couple of visual concept iterations, we locked down the story and produced everything in a single day.
We are always on the lookout for new talent, especially in the after-sales department where knowledgeable and experienced mechanics are needed. Chris’s recruitment video has helped us reach potential employees and improve our employer-brand across all our channels. We’ve seen an increase in both the number and quality of new applicants in the last few months.Jens Rantanen (Marketing Manager, TMH Finland)
For me, outcome is so much more than reaching tactical short term goals. It’s about working together and creating meaningful experiences that have lasting impact on brands.