The Challenge

In the travel industry, images and video are vital. For anyone who creates travel-related content, there is a constant hunt to find good contextual media, with usage rights. Journalists, ad agencies, TV producers, writers, and travel marketers are highly dependent on visual elements to compliment their travel pieces. However, locating those high-quality procurable assets can be … tedious.

At the same time, travel and tourism organizations are often content creators, investing in production of high-quality, region-specific imagery created for broadcasters, publishers, media, etc. Coming from the content “supply side”, teams at these organizations are tasked with transcoding this content into appropriate formats and device derivatives, and finally, with management and distribution of the approved files.

This collection of digital media are a travel organization’s “brand assets”, and as such, demand the balance of protection and distribution well known to any consumer brand. Content producers in the travel industry face a Digital Asset Management challenge, with requirements around three key areas.

  1. Media transcoding for the appropriate device, format, and medium.
  2. Web-based “Findability”, with intuitive search terms known to their user base.
  3. Powerful user management: media request / approval system, usage tracking, and detailed access control options.

For Travel Alberta, a government agency tasked with promoting travel within the Alberta province, these are three key areas of focus. Managing photo and video access is a large endeavor for this award-winning agency. Travel Alberta’s objective is to enable content producers to feature Alberta as a destination, with high-quality content, whenever possible. When it began the search for a new DAM, its goal was to create a system that would allow internal staff to easily manage original source media and create associated derivatives, while coordinating user and group access to any visual presentation of content.

The team needed to create a taxonomy to enable “findability” for their broad user base, while at the same time presenting options for multiple asset formats from a single-search result. Travel Alberta had allocated a large investment into creating these assets, and needed to ensure quality and control over derivatives utilized by their constituents.
Granular control of user permissions was key in ensuring the right assets were utilized for the right projects, in accordance with Travel Alberta’s standards and brand guidelines.

The Solution

After a diligent review of digital asset management systems, the new system launched with several significant solutions in place.

First was the automation around media transcoding and derivatives. This allows the Travel Alberta staff to designate files, such as logos and videos, to have multiple variations that are “stacked” or linked to the main file. For example, logos may have different color variations and brand commercials have variations for broadcast in different markets. These variations are generated from within the system, and are linked to the parent file while being hidden from general search results. This scenario allows searchers a clean view of all available media, with a single step to preview and download explicit asset variations.

It was important to ensure the preservation of parent assets, regardless of repurposing, and also systematically link each version to it’s original. NetXposure was able to help create specific permissions around each user group, to ensure everyone involved has access to the assets and repurposing actions they need.

Travel Alberta’s was also very focused on “Findability.” The new Travel Alberta system created an environment where the internal staff could easily deploy metadata and “batch tag” assets quickly. The ease of use in deploying this taxonomy resulted in a highly intuitive search and browse experience for users. In addition, search results are presented with multiple browse/preview options, including video previews, and video keyframe galleries.

That means that each child asset can have a specific thumbnail to alert users to a specific asset. The system also pulls keyframes at set intervals and turns them into thumbnails, which allows users to preview the entire clip at a glance.

Lastly, Travel Alberta’s DAM had to address Access Control and Video Trimming. With a large user base, it’s imperative that Travel Alberta’s DAM administrators are able to easily create specific permissions and roles. Users are required to fill out a justification form to access the DAM, which allows Travel Alberta to track and monitor where and how assets are going to be used, and what type of repurposing actions the user would be allowed to conduct. The admin receives an email notifying them of the request to access assets, and can approve or deny the request via the email.

Based on usage-justification forms submitted within the system, some users levels are allowed to repurpose assets according to what type of media it will be used for (transcoding). The user will receive an email to notify them whether their request to download and/or repurpose assets was approved. Videos are easily trimmed within the system interface and formatted prior to download, and photos are easily formatted and sized for print or use on a web site.

The Result

After deploying the new digital asset management system, Travel Alberta team members have seen significant uptake in media distribution, and are utilizing tracking reports to gain insight into the media usage and preferences of their user base. Team members, journalists, and agencies have controlled access to all assets created by Travel Alberta, with none of

the risks that comes with granting access to high-resolution files and formats.
This allows Travel Alberta to take on the role that it does best, be the central hub for anyone needing professional images and other visual materials used in marketing campaigns, articles, or projects promoting Alberta. Being that NetXposure is a web application, it provides round the clock access to assets with no waiting.

Examples

After an Australian journalist wrote an article about traveling in Alberta, he contacted Travel Alberta for some photos to accompany his piece. The journalist was given an account with permissions that allowed him to view and download relevant photos. He was able to quickly search for specific topics and view each asset, create a collection of images he liked, and download them in the format he needed.

There were no emails bouncing back due to the size of the photos and no waiting. It was a simple search, select, and download. He was able to sift through thousands of photos and access them at full resolution. He easily found a number of suitable high-quality, high-resolution photos, and the article became a cover story when an editor decided one of the photos was cover worthy.
Another successful project occurred recently as the production staffs of both Live with Kelly and Jimmy Kimmel Live were given access to Travel Alberta’s system prior to their shows separately filming episodes in and about Alberta.

The staff of Live with Kelly found a wide variety of usable footage and ran Travel Alberta bumpers into and out of commercials for the live taping. In addition, the production team at Jimmy Kimmel was able to quickly search, preview and download selected clips for use on the show.
In both cases, the wide variety of repurposing options, coupled with quick ways to search and find key formats, allowed producers to easily deploy captivating video. This helped to extend the reach of Travel Alberta’s brand to 3.6 million LIVE! With Kelly viewer amounting to $90 million in earned media value.

By giving third party media producers full access to visually browse through a beautiful collection of photo and video assets, Travel Alberta is able to extend it’s brand by providing producers something they’ve traditional struggled with—time and choices.