Google video case studies: Turning complex technology into relatable human stories

Google’s leading technology is transforming the business world. For eight years, we’ve been helping Google explain how, and promote that, through video: We create engaging and relatable people-led stories about how companies are using Google products to grow and succeed.


The Backstory

We all know that technology is shaping the world, disrupting industries, and transforming the way we do business. But how, exactly? To help explain the fast and complex transformations taking place in the digital age–and the technologies fuelling them–a huge dose of creativity is needed. That’s why, for the past eight years, Google has been partnering with us to help them tell stories through the power of moving image. We produce visual content to illustrate how companies all over the world, of all sizes, and in all industries, are using Google’s innovative solutions to grow and succeed.

The Insight

Our experience shows that the key to making great stories about technology is to always link them with something we all have in common: being human. So instead of just focusing on metrics-driven results, we dig deep for the human element behind each technology use-case. As a result, we connect on a deeper level with Google’s customers to craft people-led stories that hero their successes, highlighting what they’ve achieved with Google solutions, and inspire a wider audience.

The Creative

Collaboration is central to our process. By working closely with Google and its customers, we ensure that our stories remain true to each stakeholder’s brand and relevant to their industries, catering to the needs and interests of their varied audiences. At the same time, we help Google connect with a wider audience through its customer stories by developing narratives based on creativity, open-mindedness and problem-solving. Often, this means finding the bigger picture in an intimate, local, family-run business story, to make it just as appealing to bigger international businesses–and vice-versa.

Turning technology use-cases into people-led stories 

When Google for Retail asked us to illustrate how they help businesses reach their goals, we contacted one of their customers in South Africa, knitwear brand MaXhosa, whose story we wanted to help amplify. We invited its founder Laduma Ngxokolo to collaborate with us in producing a first-person narrative about his amazing journey turning his homegrown passion into a global business, with the help of our client’s innovative technology. As a result, we delivered a genuine celebration of our the role Google for Retail played in helping MaXhosa succeed as a brand, told by one of our client’s biggest fan: his thriving customer.

Making the most of new technology

Using new technology, we showcase the atmosphere of each company so that its authenticity can shine through. To capture the dynamic environment of international clothing brand GANT, for example, and show how G Suite is helping fast-track their operations by bringing their global teams closer together online, we created an immersive experience using a 360 camera. To give this story an intimate, personal touch, we invited GANT’s creative director to narrate the story himself, sharing what happens ‘behind the scenes’ of a fashion brand en route to opening its flagship store in London–and how collaboration, enabled by Google technology, played a crucial role in the process.

Immersing ourselves in the world of each story

By focusing on each company’s space, and getting to know their customers better, we’re able to meaningfully convey what’s unique and compelling about the partnership between Google and that company, and translate it to film. 

Barberology is a barber shop in Birmingham that used to rely on people passing by their door to be discovered. With the help of Google, Barberology has now carved a space online in order to grow their clientele and business. We were deeply inspired by Barberology’s unique community feel, branding and visual identity, so we used textures, lighting, camera angles, music, and editing techniques to represent them in the film. By harnessing the emotive power of Barberology’s colours, lights, sounds, and even their ‘rhythms’ (snip, snip!), we complemented this Google case study–and multiplied its audience appeal–with the customer’s authentic character.

Making complex stories more accessible

Other times, we work with Google’s customers to find the balance between respecting their visual identities and experimenting with new styles that can make their story easier to understand, and therefore accessible for wider audiences, not just their traditional one. When working with global bank BBVA, for example, we added animated graphics to visualise the Google tools they’re using at work, making BBVA’s corporate environment and the technology they’re using easier to understand even for those outside their industry or unfamiliar with their processes.

Making things easy to understand is an art–and one of our passions here at distillery. Our social GIFs are an example of how we do that through visual tools that translate seamlessly to different audiences and platforms. We take ideas that wouldn’t be easy to explain in two sentences, and show them in two seconds.

The Evidence

Our stories are continually spreading, reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers organically as a result of positive public response both on and offline, such as at Google Next, an annual conference attended by thousands of technology enthusiasts and leaders in major cities around the world. Both Google and their customers actively share our video case studies across their personal networks and on their business platforms. We take this as a sign of triumph: we aim to craft stories that address the priorities of all parties involved, represent all businesses we work with justly, and are engaging. Their response shows that we’re succeeding.

The Magic

Critical thinking is our secret ingredient. We study who our clients are and how they think, but we don’t stop there. We ask ‘how can we help this client connect with people in the wider world?’ and are never frightened to enquire, evaluate, and pursue what we think will make their story even stronger. This approach has resulted in tight partnerships of eight years and counting with Google clients such as Google Ads and Google for Retail, to bring their stories to life across a wide range of global campaigns. By distilling moving image projects through creativity, evidence and insight, we turn complex technology into compelling and relatable human stories that help Google win new fans.

To learn more about the things we can do for your brand, please get in touch.