Designing the future and innovating industry with WSP

  • Advertising
  • Digital
  • Content Marketing
  • Photography
  • Social Media
  • Video
Campaign trailer

Background

WSP Global is one of the world’s leading engineering services companies, with over 40,000 employees in 500 offices, working to devise innovative solutions to complex challenges across the built and natural environments.

They use their unrivalled expertise and bold thinking to see the future more clearly through key trends in climate change, society, technology and resources, working alongside their clients to advise on solutions that are both ready for today, and for the future – solutions that are truly Future Ready.

So, what does that mean exactly? Well, it’s clear from WSP’s extensive research that current design and infrastructure plans don’t account for the future we’re anticipating – socially, economically or environmentally.

With their Future Ready programme, WSP’s experts are able to help their clients prepare for future realities, whether that’s with self-driving cars, digital transformations, extreme weather adaptation or creating connected, more resilient and smarter communities.

And with a strong and recently developed brand identity and vision, WSP Middle East needed an equally bold and innovative digital presence to raise brand awareness across the UAE – an area undergoing a rapid period of growth and emerging as a world leader in the engineering sector – and beyond, whilst empowering and exciting colleagues and clients with their Future Ready vision.

Challenge

WSP Middle East is focused on the future. Their solutions are shaping the communities of today and tomorrow and helping societies thrive. These solutions come from extensive research that informs and shapes everything they do and positions their people as the ultimate industry authorities – mould breakers, innovators, thought leaders.

Our challenge was to develop a creative vision and campaign that promoted this and was as innovative and daring as their own.

As an organisation that embraces change, WSP allowed us to grow and mould their initial brief and objectives as we began to work together. Their core objectives were to engage their key audiences – existing and potential clients, industry experts and potential employees – showcase their technical expertise and explain what Future Ready means. And we needed to make sure we told their story in a credible and authentic way that would stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Approach

After conducting extensive research, we realised that WSP’s key sector influencers and main audiences were active on social media, namely on LinkedIn. Our goal was to leverage this existing audience and use them to connect to new people, driving awareness and engagement with WSP and their Future Ready vision.

We decided to create a thought leadership campaign around four future-focused films and a new website around the themes of Technology, Placemaking & Society, Climate & Resources and Mobility – issues that pose challenges and opportunities for our people and places. As experts in devising creative and innovative solutions, WSP representatives are formulating the answers to these issues, and these films and website give them a platform to share their approach and insights in an engaging and distinctive way.

Roughly three minutes each in length, the films feature interviews with WSP employees talking about their various subjects, with edited versions for social media that signpost users to the website hub where they can explore the various topics in more detail through specific articles, white papers and reports.

This approach serves not only to demonstrate WSP’s knowledge, expertise and innovative thinking, but the website / microsite we designed and built – WSP Anticipate – gives the client a long-term tool that can be updated and used to showcase their insights and drive ongoing engagement.

Key to this campaign is ensuring that everything feels connected and consistent. From the videos to the microsite, every element needs to demonstrate WSP’s unflinching thinking and vision.

It was also clear from our research of the sector and competitors that a large portion of overseas engineering companies were operating in the UAE to take advantage of the substantial growth there. But what most businesses seemed to be lacking was a real UAE focused agenda/proposition that showed compassion and genuine care for the future of the region, which made WSP’s Future Ready campaign a real opportunity to be the first to do this effectively – with heart.

WSP are committed to the region for the long-term and want to do things the right way for the benefit of existing people and communities, and those yet to come.

Watch the first film on Technology:

Technology film

Video production

It’s been important that the creative execution of the films and social edits challenges and defies what is typical of videos from the engineering sector.

We recorded the footage on location in the UAE, interviewing WSP experts from all over the Middle East and recording 22 separate, 40-minute interviews.

Our challenge was to condense this content into a coherent structure with a consistent and engaging narrative over the four main films: Technology, Placemaking & Society, Climate & Resources and Mobility.

WSP is a people-focused organisation and we wanted to showcase and celebrate their engineers, consultants and experts in an authentic way to create content that is fast paced, eye catching and thought provoking.

The video content is daring and sees subjects confidently exploring fascinating and complex issues with conviction. This is then interspersed with aspirational lifestyle shots that bring the interviews to life through engaging, kinetic sequences.

The inclusion of music and SFX then adds connectivity and emotion to the footage.

The biggest creative challenge has been realising and bringing to life a future which does not yet exist. In responding to this we have permeated the creative with the idea of how the future might feel, as opposed to how it might look, and the reality of how it will affect people and places.

Telling the story of the future with so much raw interview footage meant that we had to be very particular about who’s words we chose. The interview style we directed allowed all of the subjects to speak at length about their fields. We didn’t want stock answers about what the future held, we wanted honest answers that the interviewees, and anyone listening, can really believe in.

Social Media

Using the main longer-form films, we’re also developing a variety of shorter, hard-hitting social media edits for the WSP social channels, ranging from 10 to 40 seconds in length, that convey all of the relevant subject matter through a series of different creative executions.

Part of the wider brand equity building campaign, these teaser edits hook viewers in, encouraging them to visit the microsite, watch the full films and read supporting content.

In contrast to this highly stylized content, we’re also creating edits depicting interviewees in natural moments before and after their interviews – being mic’ed up and chatting to the film crew etc, in order to demonstrate their human side and encourage viewers to connect with WSP on an emotional level.

For the 10-second content we’re taking some of the big ideas discussed during the interviews and condensing them into short sound bites with engaging text graphics that communicate the bright future ahead for the Middle East. We’re also developing snappy edits using the concept of on-screen speed reading to communicate statements, questions and the subject matter of the films in an impactful and attention-grabbing way.

Again, consistency is key in producing these social edits. The use of different treatments ensuring that there is variety across the same issues, whilst still maintaining the feel of one all-encompassing campaign.

 

Website design

WSP Anticipate is a thought leadership hub that matches the quality of the content and visuals of the video and social campaign, to ensure that once directed there, the user feels a sense of natural progression and continuity.

Rich with insights in the form of articles, reports and thought pieces, the website features a revolutionary CMS that gives WSP staff the ability to easily modify and add content. They will be able to pick from an array of component styles to create unique page layouts, incorporate all types of media and even create infographics for articles, all within the CMS. This will help to keep the site fresh and engaging, as will the clean, minimal design, which features dynamic animations and interactions.

The result? A technically seamless and visually engaging website that integrates WSP content into an interactive website experience.

Outcome

We’ve brought WSP’s Future Ready vision to life through film and digital innovation, creating consistency across multiple channels and positioning the organisation and its employees as enigmatic experts in their industry.

WSP now has a pioneering online hub, both in terms of content and the technical skills used to build it, where employees and partners can share thought pieces and can continue to position themselves as sector-leaders long into the future they are helping to shape.

The four feature films and supporting social media edits will be released at phased intervals across the WSP-Anticipate microsite and online channels throughout the year, so make sure you’re ready, and watch this space…

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