Commercial for an app

Case study


In following the specifications of its parent company, the subsidiary of an internationally active financial service provider has initiated the radical simplification of all contact points with its local customers. Instead of forms and telephone calls, the majority of future customer contacts are to follow via an uncomplicated App.

The following case study is based on a real order. In order to comply with the client’s corporate policy, business units and products were anonymised.

To ensure that the circle of recipients does not only use the App sporadically, it is designed to offer the customer both the group’s core services and added value in the form of sector-unrelated services. The App is also intended to offer new cooking recipes and shopping discounts on a daily basis.  As films and webvideos are to play a decisive role in the App’s marketing, the involvement of a traditional advertising agency is foregone and a film agency evaluated during a pitch instead.


To ensure that the App can become an indispensable component in the lives of the company’s recipients, the users of Smartphones and Tablets first have to be informed of the App’s existence and understand that it offers far more than meets the eye, especially from a consignor not necessarily known for his unconventional ideas. Video-Marketing for online business is the only way to ensure that the download values in the App stores of various technology providers reach the intended volumes.


Four objectives are defined at the time of order assignment.

  1. The product itself, the App, is still in its early preparatory stage of development. The situation is similar when it comes to the nature of the additionally offered benefits, so far only roughly drafted as a construct.
  2. The App’s testing stages and the time of its go-live cannot be determined at the start of the project. This is why the client has requested that visual communication also follows the rolling wave planning principle.
  3. This is aggravated by the fact that various teams and different hierarchies have to be involved in the project on the client’s side. The project owner is the Web Product Division which is supported by a young employee from the Communications staff position on project-related basis.
  4. Announcements and rumours in Internet forums state that the technical specifications will be modified by the respective providers from the USA on all important download platforms within the next six months, which may possibly also affect the optional integration of moving image elements.

Warning Signals

  • Open deadlines,
  • undefined contents and
  • unclear distribution channels, in combination with
  • a fixed price budget,

… are not necessarily the ingredients for the project manager’s good night’s sleep, especially when the highly dynamic work processes in the development of Apps have to obey other procedures and specifications than the seemingly rather static production of film and video material.

Implementation of the commercial

Condor Films: Value Chain
Value Chain Condor Films

The idea of working with different communication modules, which can be manufactured in stages and flexibly applied, was already very convincing during the project’s preliminary phase when the assignment was tendered.  At the start, the kick-off with those involved from all sides therefore deals less with contents but rather with the definition and specification of communication and decision-making routes, and with the question regarding the significance of the rolling wave plan and the undefined specifications for quality assurance and the fixed price budget.  In order to maintain the project’s stability, it is decided to work with assumptions categorised according to their importance, while simultaneously dividing communication into two modules. Module 1 contains the imperative communicative establishment of the App, Module 2 additional optional measure to increase its effect, which will only be quantitatively defined and parameterised with benchmarks at a later stage.

A. Module #1: Establishing phase

The product advantages (the App’s abilities) and the resulting user benefits are to be illustrated during a first stage. This includes the design of two different videos which must be able to revert to identical image material. In the first webvideo, the App is to be emotionally presented and advertised in the Download Store. This is supposed to motivate the user to download and, just as important, to try out the App. In the second video, made available outside of the Download Store on a separately created landing page, the inexperienced user can access a detailed description on the use of the App, together with a description of all current and future user benefits. Because both the App and the videos have to comply with aesthetic requirements, and because the product and advertising media must be presented in an identical look and coincide with the brand, the designers of the App and the art director responsible for the videos decide are to use the same image material. In order to meet the look and user experience of the subsequent App to the greatest possible extent, the videos combine real images and people with Motion Design.

B. Module #2: Booster Phase

During a second stage, the time of which is made dependent on the App’s acceptance on the market, the download figures are to be given an additional boost by a specially created Online advertising video. Module 2 is initiated once the videos from Module 1 have been implemented and gone live without additional costs. In comparison with the videos in Phase 1, the advertising films created for Module 2 are less informative and more emotional. They serve to increase familiarity, convey sympathy and trigger the impulse to download. With their slightly exaggerated, lovingly humorous storylines, the video series therefore illustrates the advantages posed by the use of the App. The videos are concluded with a traditional call to action (“Download Now!”). The advertising videos were uploaded to Facebook and YouTube (Pre-Roll Videos).


Ranking among the Swiss Top 50 Download Charts, the App was able to successfully assert itself in its segment and against fellow competitors. Due to the positive feedback from the customer market, the videos for the booster phase originally designed for new customer acquisition were also sent to existing customers in the form of video mails. Various versions in different languages were created to this effect.

Über Philippa von Wittgenstein 7 Artikel

Philippa von Wittgenstein is Project Manager and Consultant at Condor Films.

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