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Posted in :  Brain Waves

Known for engine braking for more than 50 years, Jacobs Vehicle Systems has an idea that will change how it does business. Breaking Orbit: The Story of JVS Engineering looks at how an initiative turned what had long been core competencies at Jacobs – design, process development and manufacturing – into the foundation of something completely new.

JVS Engineering Video

The video, produced by Fathom Art Director Jonathan Abel, is filmed on the manufacturing floor of the company’s facility in Bloomfield, CT. Machinery thrums in the background as the camera captures the production line. It focuses in on Jacobs Vehicle Systems President Sergio Sgarbi, who describes how JVS Engineering applies core competencies to solve customers’ practical problems.

Showing the Jacobs team on the factory floor lends an authenticity that Abel insisted on throughout the process. “Shooting in a sealed room wouldn’t have been indicative of the true work experience,” he explained. “We wanted to make the piece as honest as possible.” Seeing the designers, the manufacturing capabilities, the process development – it has a level of credibility to it that makes the initiative make sense, he adds.

Abel began the process with a story line in mind, but as the interviews unfolded, he built a new story based on their responses. “I wanted to start with creating a question in the viewers’ minds and challenging them to figure it out,” Abel explains. It’s the story of a company, who has been known for one thing for so long, plans to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world.

“The video needed to show Jacobs is a forward-thinking organization willing to take on the challenge of looking beyond engine braking,” Abel said. “It also needed to connect the capabilities of JVS Engineering and demonstrate how it builds the Jacobs Vehicle Systems story.”

“There’s a distinction between incremental innovation and breakthrough innovation,” explains Brent Robertson, as the video begins. A principal at Fathom, Robertson worked closely with Jacobs on the development of the new JVS Engineering initiative. He described the concept of breaking orbit, which became the title of the video.

As a co-branded video, it also needed to introduce Fathom’s work with Jacobs and in developing JVS Engineering. “We hear the client talking about our work in an honest way that shows the shift from seeing us as a vendor to someone who played a pivotal role in making this possible,” says Abel, adding that it brings much more credibility to the story hearing it in the client’s own words.

While many videos try to stay below two minutes, the Breaking Orbit video is nearly 4.5 minutes. “If we keep people engaged, the time will go by fast,” Abel explained. “We wanted to created something cinematographic, and you need time to build a fully developed story.”

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Posted by: Louisa Desson
Email the author: louisad@fathom.net