Instagram for Small Businesses

As Instagram looked to highlight small businesses that use their advertising products, they came to HardPin for a production partner that could deliver their message. Instagram identified four small businesses in Berlin, Oxford and London, that would be a good fit for this campaign.  Alongside producers from Instagram, HardPin deployed a team with a light footprint to capture those stories over the course of a week. 

As always, we looked at how the stories of people can drive the narrative around a messaging goal. We wanted to mix narrative storytelling with a piece that accomplished Instagram's business objectives as well. 

The trick here was balance. Too much messaging, and you get a dry piece that people won't watch. Too much narrative, and you won't get the point across. 

Another important part of production, one that's not often talked about, is controlling your production footprint.  At HardPin, we got our start in the campaign world where making the most of scarce resources is the name of the game. We needed to shoot 4 stories in 8 days in 2 countries, which meant we needed to keep the production manageable and nimble enough to travel without driving up travel costs or inviting logistical problems. 

But because Instagram's identity is synonymous with beautiful imagery, we needed to keep production quality very high. By choosing our gear carefully, we fit our entire production team and gear into a rental car (minus one camera op). 

The results show the advantage of keeping your productions light and fast. We got authentic footage, knocked out in two production days per piece, with quick turnaround edits (the two stories below) that were completed start to finish in the weeks after. 

Alongside our main pieces, we cut down :15 Instagram ready versions that could publish at the same time to drive traffic back to the main edits.