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It’s no surprise that the evolution of digital has shifted the way businesses are marketing to their consumers. The rise of social media has also put pressure on major brands to publish engaging content in many different ways and fast. Faster turnarounds for big brands is always a challenge because of the complexity and layers of the approval process. With so much on the line at all times for major corporations, any time they interface with consumers, there is so much at stake and the message has to be on-point.

Executive Producer Seth Shapiro has witnessed this shift first-hand. “We used to just shoot for one purpose, whether it was a digital product release or a marketing recap,” said Shapiro. “With the explosion of the importance of all the social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, brands have to leverage the aggregate impact so now it’s figuring out how to service them all.”

Diesel delivered on this shift during the last NFL season. “One of our main clients is Nike West. They created a major three-day activation to create buzz around the Seahawks Thursday Night Football Game in Seattle,” Shapiro said. Diesel Films captured everything from an action green wrapped 1969 Chevy Malibu cruising around Seattle, to a pre-game Speakeasy Pop Up Tailgate, and into the stadium with the lucky fans who won tickets to sit in Nike’s Field Suite at the game.

Over those three days, Diesel Films created content for Nike’s US Football and Seattle social media pages including Instagram stories and a 30-second Twitter brand video. Additionally, Diesel Films produced a larger recap piece used for Nike West’s internal presentation to Nike North America on how the activation came together.


While this shift in digital has been positive, it has also presented challenges. One challenge was getting comfortable creating vertical compositions for Instagram and Snapchat that still give fans a full look at an activation or experience. “Coming from the TV world, we’re used to shooting wide-screen which is 16 by 9 horizontal. Snapchat turned that whole idea on its head when they introduced vertical-only videos,” said Shapiro. “From my background in television production, at first it was like ‘no,’ but then it was like ‘yeah’, you have to change.”’

An additional challenge is framing to deliver to all platforms. “Many of the impressive wide shots we capture need to translate for vertical, so we’ll have to use the pan and scan option or sometimes we’ll panel the shots so viewers can click through the wide shots,” said Shapiro.

Knowing the aspect ratios for each platform is just as important. “An Instagram portrait on someone’s timeline is going to look best. That’s 1080 by 1350 pixels. Instagram stories & Snapchat are 1080 by 1920 and Twitter can take up to 1900 by 1900. You always want to take up the most landscape because when someone is scrolling through and see a huge frame, it’s way more impressive,” Shapiro added.

Wide-screen jersey reveal moment at the 2017 NFL Rookie Premiere placed into a vertical split-screen for Nike LA’s Insta-Stories. Deshaun Watson & Mike Williams react to seeing their official jersey for the first time.

Even as social media continues to evolve, Diesel Films remains committed to doing everything to fulfill clients’ creative needs and bring their visions to life.

Shapiro said, “I think we definitely embrace the challenge of delivering on all of the different platforms. It’s exciting to work in new formats with all the different ways people are digesting media. As long as we keep exceeding clients’ expectations, we’re satisfied with the quality of work we’re doing.”