A new series of film shorts produced by Media.Monks ensures you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the daily activities of the Frontier Development Lab. The lab (a partnership between NASA and the European Space Agency and hosted by the SETI Institute) must make sense of enormous amounts of data each day to tackle some of earth’s greatest challenges at greater speed and efficiency than ever before.
Backed by decades of research, scientists can predict solar flares, identify probable flood zones and search for natural resources on the moon. Powered by technology from Google Cloud and Intel, they can achieve even more, faster. The shorts offer an over-the-shoulder (and digestible) look at how FDL research affects our everyday lives, turning invisible technology that functions behind-the-scenes into tangible outcomes.
Through the films, viewers gain clarity on the invisible technology that supports FDL’s efforts—processes that formerly had to be carried out manually by scientists. With computing power from Google Cloud—whose CPU cores are provided by Intel—teams now carry out intense calculations of data faster than before.
While these technologies working in concert with one another could be perceived as fairly abstract, their effects are tangible: crunching the numbers in time makes all the difference between pre-emptively mitigating the effects of a natural disaster versus succumbing to catastrophe. “The series is a tribute to teamwork, and the optimistic message of the films show how people can come together to achieve great things, even solve out-of-this-world challenges,” says Pep Lupo, Executive Producer at Media.Monks and who leads on our work with Google.
Build Content that Inspires
Whether they aim to represent their purpose and role in society or merely want to connect more authentically with consumers, it can be tough for brands to stand out in the ways they stand up for what they believe in. But brands can cut through the noise and tear at the heartstrings through a more thoughtful approach to original content. Either entertaining, informative or a mix of both, this content should stand on its own legs—even if you were to remove the brand from it completely—with the same production value consumers would expect from content they actively seek out.
Through imagery and human-centered narration, the series, “NASA FDL – Exploring New Frontiers” aims to inspire audiences and offer a glimpse at a better future enabled by NASA, Google Cloud and Intel technologies. “This is an ode to humanity’s future, and the series lets audiences learn about the real challenges these scientists face.” says Carolina Brandao, Sr. Film Producer at Media.Monks.
Brandao’s words drive home an important distinction between premium original content and traditional messaging from brands. Original content is most effective when focusing on the brand and its impact on society. In other words, it must be relatable and entertaining—so much so that consumers would actively seek it out rather than merely have it served to them.
Bring Life to Stories Through Empowerment
Original content must focus on the human element to be impactful and authentic. Knowing this, the films center on the people who interact with these technologies each day, aiming to capture the spirit of the scientists who are solving big challenges through data and tech.
We began by conducting off-camera interviews to inform the storytelling approach. In the finished films, the scientists deliver monologues that instill beauty in their work. Focusing on day-to-day activities and the role that tech plays in solving critical challenges not only helps viewers understand the results of FDL’s work, but also inspires cooperation between people and brands to achieve great things.
With the rise of so many new visual channels, original content is the next frontier in storytelling. But to succeed in delivering it, brands must first begin with a clear point of view and message. By recognizing and understanding what resonates with their audiences, brands can tell those stories authentically, bringing a human element to the story that builds emotional impact and relevance—even telling a story that speaks to the far reaches of the solar system.
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