SAP: Searching for Salai Podcast

Brand Strategy, Content Creation

The Client

SAP is a global company that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations.

Services

Social Media Content, Visual Identity

The Opportunity

Since 2012, we’ve helped SAP create everything from infographics to video content to support their brand. But with the advent of SAP Leonardo (an SAP business unit and software platform focused on putting intelligent technologies like blockchain and IOT to use in businesses), they were looking for a different way to bring awareness to the platform through fresh, creative storytelling.

Inspired by GE’s The Message podcast, they were interested in creating a podcast series that would reframe the cultural narrative around new technologies (especially the perception that they lead to a dystopian future) and address how technology like SAP Leonardo can benefit our lives. We loved the concept and were thrilled to have an opportunity to expand our podcasting capabilities.

The Solution

Podcasts have become a powerful presence in our everyday lives for good reason: They’re an effective, easy-to-consume vehicle to deliver a compelling narrative. For this podcast, we decided to deliver a narrative through a 9-part episodic series. Each episode would be around 15 minutes—short enough to consume on a lunch break, short commute, or daily walk.

The Deliverables

  • Podcast production
  • Podcast visual identity
  • Cover art
  • Promo assets

The Execution

Over the course of 9 months, we collaborated with the SAP team to discuss creative direction while they worked to get the green light from their side. Once approved, we were ready to build out our audio capabilities, craft the narrative, and produce the podcast series.

To start, we needed to come up with the right story, one that would blend the themes of technology and humanity, include interesting characters, and captivate with a strong storyline. To find it, we turned to Writer/Director Holt Bailey, the mastermind behind Searching for Salai.

Ultimately, we wanted a story that would appeal to a large range of listeners, including both those on the tech/B2B side and consumer side. Holt came up with a story combining time travel, history, and mystery—the perfect elements to draw people in.

The Synopsis: Art history buff and podcaster Charlotte Warburton decides to investigate what seems to be a tall tale of time travel. Jack Finney, the story’s architect, claims to be the long-time apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci, Andrea Salai. What starts as a light-hearted interview turns into a tangled investigation that challenges Charlotte’s heart and mind. Jack’s stories can be explained through technology, real-life theories of time travel, and documented events in history. He claims he has traveled to this time to teach how innovation can happen when technology, people, and data are combined. Charlotte takes her listeners on an exploration of Jack’s psyche, and gains quite a bit of self-discovery throughout the process.

To augment our production capabilities (our in-house studio was set up for just one or two people in the booth), we called in a technical producer, 2 PAs, 12-person cast, 3-person sound design/editing crew, and composer for a custom score. Simultaneously, our team designed all the visual assets necessary to promote the podcast.

Ultimately, through the creative collaboration of our talented team and partners, we created a fresh, unique piece of content that earned SAP both brand awareness and accolades. (You can listen for yourself on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and SearchingforSalai.com.)

The Results

We’re proud to say Searching for Salai won twice from the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 Content Marketing Awards:

We’re especially grateful to SAP for our ongoing creative partnership and look forward to collaborating again in the future.