The entire spectrum of the value chain of the moving image industry with a focus on digital" - this year's moving image conference of the BVDW took place in Cologne under this somewhat brittle-sounding leitmotif. We were not deterred by this and still paid a visit to the event, as the agenda promised interesting and innovative presentations on topics that tend to have a shadowy existence in day-to-day business.

The location could not have been more suitable: The Cinenova cinema in Cologne-Ehrenfeld, with its spacious foyer with popcorn and beverage outlets and the cinema hall with its comfortable seats as a lecture room, was the ideal place for dealing with the subject of moving images. Ralph Caspers, who some of you may know from formats such as “Wissen macht Ah!” or the “Sending with the Mouse”, moderated the program.

Digital Transformation of Linear TV

After the obligatory presentation of the sponsors - all of them more or less in the moving image business - the first half of the conference began with the topic of the currently changing "television ecosystem" and a panel discussion on the question of what the digital transformation of linear television will look like . Among other things, it was about the fact that streaming services would allow personalized advertising control in the future and that there would be the possibility of placing in-content marketing. In other words, advertising that can be seen dynamically adjusted within a film or series (e.g. a poster in the background). The discussion participants identified as one of the challenges that the young target group hardly ever spends a long time in front of the television, preferring instead to watch short formats on smartphones or tablets. It is therefore more difficult to reach them via linear television than other target groups.

Moving images in the media mix

This was followed by a presentation on the subject of "User-friendly video advertising in the premium environment". The most important finding of the lecture: The "recycling" of TV advertising on other end devices is significantly less effective than the production of content that is adapted to the respective viewing habits on different (mobile) devices (shorter, faster, more concise). The subsequent panel discussion dealt with the visibility of video advertising and its measurability. The lack of a standardized KPI was noted, while the widely used "50:1" model (50% of the creative was visible for 1 second) was questioned. It is clear that this is a sensitive topic overall, especially when it comes to eye tracking, since users rightly pay more attention than ever to the use of their data and react.

Video in the age of screens

After a lunch break in the foyer, the focus shifted from commercial to creative. The keynote entitled "Theater of Seconds" was held by Oliver Rosenthal from Google Germany GmbH, in which he dealt with the orchestration of the content according to the various screens. As an introduction, he showed an award-winning Chrysler commercial from 2011.

Such a spot is no longer conceivable, since from today's perspective too much time would be used to build up the mood and atmosphere. The spot produced for the Superbowl is therefore completely unsuitable for short pre-roll spots and the like. Instead, it is essential to create content that works in a wide variety of lengths. Google divides this into three groups, which are borrowed from content marketing: - "Bite" - the shortest format of a few seconds - “Snack” – 30 seconds - “Meal” – all original content

A commercial by the handbag brand Kate Spade from 2014 served as a vivid example, which, with a running time of 2:36 minutes, falls into the “Meal” category. The same spot was also shown on television as a 30-second run without any loss of content or atmosphere. Even a 16 second and 6 second “Bite” variant for social media as a pre-roll worked with the content.

The conclusion was clear: Content must be prepared for a wide variety of formats, otherwise its usefulness is limited. In addition, the focus is on the content, labels have no (or only little) value and do not compensate for a missing video strategy.

An interesting best practice followed with Jörg Meyer from Jung von Matt, which dealt with a "lighthouse project" with BMW and Google Spotlight Stories, whose goal was to make the Visionary 100 to make the car of the future tangible for everyone. The technological basis for this was Spotlight Stories, with the help of which an interactive VR experience </a >was created. What was particularly astounding was the effort that went into the presentation concepts that ultimately did not find their way into the final version (e.g. a butterfly flight through the interior of the car).

The particular challenge of the project was that the 3D model contained many more polygons than could be displayed in Spotlight Stories. In addition, no shaders were available, which made a realistic display, e.g. with reflective surfaces, difficult. The solution lay in the joint expansion of Spotlight Stories with Google and the reduction of the polygons for the car's surroundings within the VR.

The conference ended with several keynote speeches with an outlook on future developments. Above all, the topic of VR.

The lecture by Jan Schlueter from Hashplay Inc. was particularly exciting. entitled "Virtual Reality has its own rules", which dealt with the commercial use of VR in combination with Big Data. "Immersive Big Data" was the keyword that describes the approach well. Complex processes and systems generate ever larger and unmanageable amounts of data. Through immersion, i.e. diving into the flood of data, using VR, complex data can be made easier for people to grasp. The demo case of a wind farm served as a clear example, the utilization, status and function of which can be monitored and controlled by VR.

Julia Wegeler from n-TV held another interesting, forward-looking keynote speech on the subject of “The reporters – 360° on the street”. As the title suggests, it was about a new, experimental form of Reporting in a 360 degree view, which n-TV deals with. The special feature is that the viewer feels (keyword: immersion) put in the action, which increases the subjectively felt credibility. However, the technical and time expenditure (especially in post-production) also increases, while the quality currently does not stand up to any comparison with “normal” reporting.


The conference was an interesting excursion into the world of moving images with all its many facets. Changes in media consumption, generational changes in the target groups, new (advertising) formats and new technologies have shown the direction in which the subject of moving images will develop in the future. The sometimes very different opinions in the panel discussions gave an idea that there will be different approaches to dealing with this development, which will certainly have different degrees of success.

Above all, the creative topics and the future outlook of the event left a lasting impression on me. And that was not only due to the entertaining demo cases such as The Void and Birdly. New technologies in combination with creative ideas that are not just limited to entertainment but also pursue practical benefits, as Jan Schlueter's presentation showed, will find their way into our everyday lives in the future. It will be exciting!