An online competition rendered 1600+ personalized videos for their winners in just 24 hours

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This particular client approached us a while back, in March of 2021, and expressed interest in Plainly. The project that they had in mind was pretty interesting, and definitely not something that we had in mind when we started Plainly but it was a pretty exciting one.

The client was a big online competition for a certain type of product. They choose award winners throughout many categories. During the 3 days, they gave out 800 awards in total. The client wanted to create a video for each of the awards winners which would then the entrants that won share on social media.

They’ve always had a way of presenting the winners, from the earliest versions of the competition. These pieces of content they created have always been good for marketing purposes, they were nicely designed and they got shared a lot which raised awareness for the competition.

They even had videos, but just for a few winners, but this year they wanted to create videos for ALL awards.

The challenge here was that there are 800 awards, and the client wanted to create videos in two dimensions, this was physically impossible to do for their team of designers so they had to opt-out for some kind of automation - and that’s where Plainly jumped in.

Project preparation

The client’s design team created the video designs. They got into After Effects and created the video which would be the starting point for all 1600 of them. Each video contained:

  • The name of the competition
  • The name of the winner
  • The country of the winner
  • Image of the product that the winner produced
  • The award that they got

Since they wanted to post the video to different places, they had to create it in two different dimensions. One was square (1080px x 1080px) and one was suited for Instagram story (so 1080px x 1920px).

The videos had a very engaging animation showing off the award-winning product, and they were 5 seconds long. The client’s design team handled all of the design, the animation, and the formatting of the video - so all of the text wrapped nicely, and all of the images of the products scaled as they should.

The client actually reached out to us, thankful for our thorough documentation which had the After Effect expressions and scripts that helped them format all of the elements in the video properly.

The videos looked like this:

Inside Plainly

After the video part got handled, it was time to move into Plainly. The client uploaded the project and choose the elements that needed to be dynamic:

  • The name of the winner
  • The country of the winner
  • Image of the winner’s product
  • The award that they got

Because this kind of automation just wasn’t possible within the Web App, they had to go with the API. Luckily the dev team of the client was ready to set up this fairly easy and straightforward integration.

With the integration finished, full automation was achieved and after a few tests, everything was ready to go.

The Final Outcome

As soon as the results came in, the client started calling the Plainly API and initiated the renders in batches of a few hundred. Within a few minutes, the videos started arriving to a Webhook that the client set up, and little by little all of the videos were rendered.

The result?

1600 videos rendered in just over 24 hours.

These videos were later linked to the respective winner’s pages and the winners were able to share them easily to Instagram feed, Facebook feed, Instagram stories, and whatever other social media they wanted

The Plainly team did a great job supporting our event in our crunch time! Their clear documentation was easy to follow and the UI was easy to implement into our workflow. The original idea was to use a service to generate static images with our parameters, however, after talking with Plainly, the only logical thing to do is make a set of short videos.

Our minimal effort paid off tenfold.

Alex Kovacevic

Founder, Creative Tree

Start automating video creation now.

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