CD-Roms allow agencies to show clients their full potential at the flick
of a switch, Claire Beale says
As an increasing number of agencies turn to CD-Rom as a credentials
format, the quality improves - and the stakes get higher.
The latest agency to use the medium is Leo Burnett. What else would you
expect from an agency with Steve Gatfield - a self-confessed anorak -
for a chief executive?
He explains why Burnetts turned to CD-Rom: ‘Leo Burnett is a rounded
agency with a multi-layered offering and we need to be able to represent
all or part of this proposition at different times, and in different
Fundamentally, the agency’s credentials presentation has to work for a
range of clients - large and small; those looking for a purely creative
solution or those seeking a full-service offering, and clients
interested only in tapping into one of Burnetts’ specialist units, such
as event marketing or brand consultancy. Not easy to do with a light
box, slides and a van load of case histories.
A CD-Rom, however, allows agencies to be detailed or selective as
required, Gatfield explains.
Every aspect of an agency can be stored on a single CD, so you can be
prepared for any question.
Because the credentials are a distillation of the agency, he was keen to
ensure that the company, its people and its work were shown to best
It was important to harness the right skills when it came to designing
the CD-Rom creds, so Gatfield brought in the interactive specialist,
Hyperinteractive, for technical input.
‘The relationship we had with Hyperinteractive was a bit like the
relationship a creative team has with a director,’ Gatfield says. ‘We
wrote the narrative and they created the interactive framework to hold
it together and guide viewers.’
Using an outside specialist was also beneficial because it gave a third-
party perspective, Gatfield adds. ‘We are close to what we want to talk
about, so it was good to have a balanced observer to say when things
The agency was keen to produce a quality, hi-tech package to enable it
to stand out from the pack at the agency/client marriage brokers, the
AAR and Agency Assessments.
Felix Velarde, a director at Hyperinteractive, says that MPEG video was
used to get the highest possible resolution for the film sections,
featuring TV and cinema work, and to provide a guided tour of the agency
and key staff.
‘MPEG gave us broadcast quality and the graphics were produced with
specific palettes so that it looks gorgeous whatever system you view it
on,’ Velarde explains.
Velarde’s partner, Richard Mellor, who helped design the on-screen look,
says that they also decided to shoot the video material in cinematic
format. ‘This helped show consumers that the cinema ads were real-life
ads and made the general footage of the agency stand out. It was much
richer and sexier.’
Mellor says that there was a focus on marrying this quality with
interesting and entertaining mat-erial on-screen. The case histories
section, which includes brand information, used front-end screens to
provide an element of fun. ‘You can drive a Mercedes, change the message
on the Bell’s bottles or play with the Gordon’s gin bubbles. These are
fun elements in the spirit of keeping the project as interactive and
entertaining as possible,’ Mellor says.
In the same vein, the main menus feature audio as well as visual
pointers and viewers can flick through on-screen brochures and stop-
start the presentation.
The idea, Gatfield says, is to keep viewers interested. Whether they
will be interested enough to put the agency on their pitch-list remains
to be seen.