In the early 1990s, when Joe Pan, CEO, Pansworld Television (India) Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, shut his advertising agency to pursue his passion for corporate filmmaking, little did he realize that one day he would change corporate films into a powerful tool for business promotion and corporate brand building. “I made an extensive study of industrial films from across the world and realized that most of these films, though good in photography and visual presentation, were lacking in terms of content with clarity and conviction”, explains Pan who, as a contemporary filmmaker, makes documentaries and corporate films interesting and inspiring, as against the conventional boastful audio visuals.
Like his namesake, the ancient Greek God who enticed women and goddesses with the music of his pipes, Joe Pan has brought in customers aplenty for the who’s who of the corporate world. The difference is that he does it through films and videos that put an artistic face to the nuts and bolts of the industry. And the fact that Mr. Pan is a corporate management veteran himself adds authenticity to his videos that the competition would find hard to match.
Corporate giants like the TATAs, L&T and IndianOil have placed their faith in his cinematic craft, and have been rewarded with award-winning and one-of-a-kind marketing creations.
His experience as an industry insider sets him apart from others in this rather niche space. As he puts it boldly and without any false modesty, “I have combined the art of film-crafting with in-depth knowledge of industrial subjects to make effective business promotion films. My experience with the engineering company helped me gain an in-depth knowledge of multiple industrial sectors like oil & gas, bulk chemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, polymers, cement, steel, metallurgy and allied industries. Understanding the needs of these industries helped me to make impactful communication films for several leading corporates across India.”
LEAP OF FAITH
Mr. Pan started his ad agency Pansworld all of 30 years ago. After making a name for himself in the traditional circuit of advertising campaigns, sales promotion brochures, exhibitions and PR, he decided to venture into the then newly emerging field of corporate film-making.
Among the agency’s earliest achievements was revamping the entire visual communication portfolio of L&T with 49 films, including the catchy and evocative L&T Anthem. Soon, Pansworld established itself as a high-quality yet lowcost film-maker. This explains why the agency continues to work with several public sector undertakings through the tender process by winning contracts as the lowest bidder.
IndianOil has made as many as 60 films with Pansworld. This includes several marketing films, launch films, product films, training films, CSR films and the award-winning corporate branding film, ‘Bringing Energy to Life’. In fact, the very first film Pansworld made for IndianOil, titled ‘Vision through Quality’, won an ABCI award.
When The Shipping Corporation of India wanted to engage the best film-maker it could get for its golden jubilee film, it invited reputed film-makers and ad agencies for a sales pitch. After the technical evaluation round, Pansworld was among the four short-listed parties and went on to win the contract as the lowest bidder. The SCI film, ‘Riding the Waves’, presented through a nostalgic story of three generations, was shown across the country, including a special screening for the President of India and the Prime Minister. Once again, Joe Pan had proved that the best film needn’t be the costliest!
Pansworld has been engaged by various Tata companies such as Tata Power, TCS, Tata Housing, Tata Motors, Tata Sustainability Group and Tata Sons Ltd. So far, 43 films have been made for the group on subjects like sustainability initiatives, skill development, employee engagement and training.
Besides, Joe Pan has also made films for individual clients to manage crisis situations arising from political interference or allegations of vested interests.
SELLING VIA ART
Can you imagine a product like a forklift being marketed through a synonym of the classical Kathak dance? For the sales promotion film on Godrej Lift Trucks, Mr. Pan created a comparison between the evolution of forklifts by Godrej in India and the globalization of the Indian dance form of Kathak.
In another case, a metallurgical company producing alloying products was ‘packaged’ via a specially created skill development, employee engagement and training. Besides, Joe Pan has also made films for individual clients to manage crisis situations arising from political interference or allegations of vested interests. SELLING VIA ART Can you imagine a product like a forklift being marketed through a synonym of the classical Kathak dance? For the sales promotion film on Godrej Lift Trucks, Mr. Pan created a comparison between the evolution of forklifts by Godrej in India and the globalization of the Indian dance form of Kathak. In another case, a metallurgical company producing alloying products was ‘packaged’ via a specially created musical fusion to explain metallurgical fusion effectively.
Besides L&T, Godrej, IndianOil and the Tata group, Pansworld has produced multiple films for Hindalco, Bajaj Electriclas Ltd., Welspun, the Shapoorji Pallonji group, Kirloskar, HPCL, Mahanagar Gas, UPL, Toyo Engineering, Apar Industries and Electrotherm, and for several pharmaceutical companies as well.
Notes Mr. Pan with a conviction born of experience and success, “In a digitally connected global marketplace, live action videos communicate faster. Seeing is believing and impressions, rather than information, win more customers and increase the brand value.” We’ll say touché to that!
Promoting biz thru ‘films with soul’
Joe Pan of Pansworld, in conversation with Corporate India.
Rejecting the typical self-promoting style of standard corporate videos, Joe Pan creates what he calls ‘films with soul’ – evocative audio-visuals that combine creative filmmaking with in-depth industry knowledge. A continuous video campaign can reap huge returns for clients, he tells Corporate India in an interview, Excerpts.
Corporate India: What are the challenges in corporate filmmaking?
Joe Pan: Corporate filmmaking is an evolving art. Many films are still made on a trial-and-error basis. Many agencies have islands of expertise in one or two aspects, but there are very few who can provide total solutions, from scripting to screening. Pansworld is a one-stop solution provider for all types of corporate films.
CI: What is the role of video in digital marketing?
JP: Today, the digital space is a huge opportunity for interesting videos rather than written words. Videos connect faster and engage better. Therefore, corporate marketers should explore the vast potential of digital marketing with a continuous video campaign.
In a digital marketing campaign, the scope of video extends from business promotion films to technical videos, operation and maintenance videos, customer testimonials and success stories, and corporate branding films as well.
CI: What do you mean by ‘films with soul’?
JP: Conventional corporate films provide general information in the form of a recorded commentary edited with mix-and-match visuals. Usually, these type of audio visuals appear boastful and do not impress external audiences.
A ‘film with soul’ is an inspiring visual story that engages the audience emotionally. This requires the combination of dual skills – the art of creative film crafting and in-depth knowledge of industrial subjects. Therefore, corporate filmmaking is a highly knowledge-intensive task where an impactful script makes all the difference!