Case Study: SummaCare

“I have worked with TRG for over 20 years on more projects than I can remember. During that time, they've never let me down and have always exceeded my expectations. I can count on their professionalism and attention to detail on every project. The quality of their work is exceptional, and our clients have always been thrilled with the end-result." 

Randy Godding – President & CEO Knox Marketing 

TRG Combines Video and CGI for a SummaCare Commercial

The Clients

Knox Marketing, a partner of ours for over 15 years, is a full service, integrated marketing agency that offers solutions across a broad range of industries: banking, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, insurance, non-profits, education and more. Thanks to their deep roots in NeuroMarketing and research, they understand how to connect consumers to brands and motivate action that maximizes ROI. Knox blends art and science to connect emotionally with audiences. As marketing experts with decades of experience, their creative and account teams have mastered the art of consumer motivation. They match that talent with neuroscience, using NeuroMarketing techniques to test and refine their work to be sure it is connecting with consumers’ true feelings.

SummaCare, Knox's client is headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and is one of the region's only provider-owned health insurance companies. SummaCare was formed in the early 1990s as a product offering for large, self-funded employers in Akron. Since then, they have grown regionally to meet the needs of the employers of all sizes and individuals including Medicare beneficiaries. As a regional, provider-owned health plan, SummaCare values the relationship between their members and doctors. Their regional network is comprised of over 10,000 quality healthcare providers and over 60 hospitals. Additionally, our comprehensive national system provides peace of mind to our members wherever they may travel.

The Results

A new 30-second commercial for the University Hospitals Medicare Advantage from SummaCare.

The Challenges

SummaCare wanted to get the word out about the University Hospitals Medicare Advantage from SummaCare, so Knox created a concept, then tasked us with producing a commercial using both our digital video and CGI services. This commercial featured a man talking to viewers about the University Hospitals Medicare  Advantage from SummaCare. As he speaks, the actor is flanked by a trio of CGI zeros to signify the benefits of the monthly plan premiums and co-pays. This meant that we needed to film the actor against a green screen. This can be tricky, as a green screen can create some technical issues if you are not experienced and don't shoot with an excellent plan in place. We needed to make sure that shots were captured in a way that we could create a flawless final product.

Another challenge was that this commercial needed to be done quickly. Since the ad was focused on a Medicare plan, Medicare had to approve the script before production; however, we required University Hospital's approval post-production but before the spot aired. Turnaround on this approval needed a seven-day turnaround. We were able to work within those parameters successfully and provided the video in time to air during the Medicare selling season.

How TRG Helped

One of the strengths TRG brings to the table is our organizational skills. We quickly organized the production schedule to meet the deadline. We brought the talent into our studio and filmed all aspects of the television spot. Knox's creative team provided us a storyboard, however, to ensure that every shot is captured, our philosophy is to look at the big picture and try to anticipate any shot needs beyond the storyboard and then work collaboratively with our client, to make sure there are plenty of footage options for edit.

Our editors filter all footage with a keen eye and can successfully bring footage options to the table so that the edit not only follows the storyboard but enhances it. This process makes it more effective and efficient for our clients. We also worked with Audio Concepts in Akron, OH to produce the voice track in advance so that all elements were ready for the client in the final edit.

Part of the project involved creating computer-generated imagery (CGI) elements - three large, red zeros, each accompanied by a shiny dollar sign. Our CGI team has a variety of experience in photography and CGI and can look at projects through a big-picture lens.

This project required integrating live talent with CGI images, which is a complicated process. Initially, the elements developed looked flat and didn't meet the team's standards, so they began to tweak each image to give it more character. One of the ways we did that was to introduce additional lighting effects that created more lifelike detail including color and reflections. By utilizing the skills and experience our team brings to the table, we were able to create scenarios where the live talent and the CGI elements interacted in a very realistic, natural and more exciting way.

Initially, we planned to do the 3D work in Nuke, which is a compositing program. When we were ready to finalize the look of the zeros and the dollar signs, we found that they did not have as much character as we wanted. We exported the animations from Nuke so that we had animations that the talent could lean against. This allowed us to make sure everything was in the right position for each shot. Now it was time to make the CGI elements come to life.

We started by tweaking each CGI element to give it more character, such as making the dollar signs more metallic and adding a general fill to the colors. A significant part of this process was to make sure that the lighting was right. We introduced a top light to give the elements a halo effect and added side lights that wrapped around them. Since the dollar signs were metallic, we set up extra lighting so that other you saw the reflection of other elements.

The next trick was to make it look like the talent was interacting with the CGI elements. At one point in the commercial, the actor leans against one of the zeros. To make it look more natural, we used his alpha channel—the outline of his shape—and created different layers to form a natural-looking shadow against the zero. We also added a red spill to his body when he is close to one of the zeros. These details gave the elements a more life-like look that was key to making the commercial a success.

When the client came in on the final day to review, they loved it. As always, there were a few minor changes but because we could anticipate and work collaboratively the process required minimal tweaks and created a positive experience for the client.

What Would You Say About TRG?

"The crew at TRG's is incredibly friendly and working with them is easy. They handle any last minute curve-balls and tight deadlines with grace and ease. I would highly recommend TRG!”

Randy Godding – President & CEO Knox Marketing 

Need creative solutions for your photography and video projects? Contact TRG today about how we can help your business, no matter where you are.

Check out the Video Breakdown and the Final Edit below: