Following six weeks of filming, around 48 hours of film material and a laborious post-production process, 30 how-to videos are now available online. The videos familiarize customers with setting up and using the applications on our appliances. Christopher Lacroix, Head of Gourmet Academy, offers an insight into the project and reveals why how-to videos are indispensable in this day and age.
Christopher Lacroix, how-to videos have become ubiquitous in the age of YouTube and similar platforms. Why does it make sense for V-ZUG to produce these kinds of videos as well?
At events, trade fairs and demonstrations in our showrooms, we have increasingly noticed how much our business customers, such as retailers, architects and developers, and also our private customers enthuse about our appliances, technologies and functions when we show them the details. Many people are just not aware of what our appliances can do. So it was obvious to us that we should produce explanatory videos that people can watch whenever and as often as they like.
And so unlimited availability was one of your main goals for the how-to videos?
That’s right. From the beginning, the main goal was for the end customer to take away as much information and as many tips as possible from the videos and then put them into practice in their kitchen. How-to videos are an easy way of conveying this information. Essentially, we want these videos to help customers feel more confident about using their appliances. They can learn about all of the options, from setting up the display, through to different cooking methods and even cleaning. At the same time, we are inspiring our customers and giving them the confidence to whip up fantastic meals with the appliances.
Talking of confidence, have you noticed that there are particular uncertainties among customers?
There are some, yes – in terms of both operating the appliances and the actual cooking process itself. In particular, people who might not spend much time in the kitchen are often unsure when it comes to trying out a special or complicated dish. But with our appliances and how-to videos, we show them how easy it can be. Do you need the meat to be medium roasted and on the table at 7 p.m. on the dot? This is no longer rocket science thanks to the integrated functions and our instructions.
Let’s talk about how the videos were produced. How did you prepare for this?
First, we found a good production partner. Together with the Design Committee, we then designed a set that reflects our brand. Writing the scripts took up the most time. In total, we filmed 3,500 food scenes with 72 dishes – and all within six weeks. When you implement a project of this scale, you need good team spirit and a concrete plan with clear coordination. The whole thing has to work like Swiss clockwork (laughs).
You spent six weeks filming in Germany. What was that like?
The filming days were often very long and sometimes exhausting because certain scenes had to be filmed over and over again. But we had a great team that supported each other. We are also proud of the authenticity and honesty of the videos. Everything you see in the videos is the result of what we cooked with our appliances and their programmes. In addition, it was very important to us that we generated as little food waste as possible. 95 percent of the food used in the videos was able to be reused.
We had a great team that supported each other.
Christopher Lacroix, Head of Gourmet Academy
Such a large project is sure to present some obstacles. What were the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge was keeping an overview of each individual scene. Another was the whole Covid situation. We not only had to endure 12 PCR tests over six weeks, we also had to expect that someone from the team would test positive at some point. This would have had huge consequences for the entire production. Fortunately, the tests all came back negative.
Lastly, a rather philosophical question: we’re living in the digital age. Do you think that how-to videos will replace conventional instruction manuals in the long term?
For many devices, such as GPS systems and smartphones, we no longer need instructions because they are constructed in an intuitive way. In combination with how-to videos like these, I do think that paper-based instructions will gradually disappear in future. The vast number of tutorials online are evidence of this. Regardless of whether I want to learn to play guitar or operate an appliance – how-to videos take explanations to a new level. This is why we are confident that this is the right path for our customers, too.