ROGER Case Study: Videos for a Modern Veteran Resource

Client: ROGER (Backpacks for Life)

Brett and Alexa are New Jersey residents paving the way for veterans to find assistance with a new and easy-to-use resource. ROGER is a revamped search platform that leads vets to helpful tools including family services, local veteran benefits, employment opportunities, and much more. The website is powered by Backpacks for Life, which is another amazing resource started by Brett and Alexa.

Brett and Alexa surrounded by Backpacks for Life

Brett and Alexa – Founders of Backpacks for Life & ROGER

Brett served in the Marine Corps for 6 years and was called for deployment to Afghanistan while he was at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Upon his return to the United States, Brett struggled to integrate back into society. While he was lucky enough to have a great family and support system, he quickly realized that many veterans didn’t have the same help.

After meeting Alexa in college, they decided to start Backpacks for Life in 2014. These bags were made to contain essentials they knew vets would need on a day-to-day basis.

At that time, Top Notch Cinema assisted them with creating an animated video to explain their efforts, purpose, and vision for Backpacks for Life. Since then, they have given out more than 7,500 backpacks across 22 states.

Brett, Alexa, and veteran Robert R. Max

Brett and Alexa with Robert R. Max

Working together again with Brett and Alexa in 2019, we interviewed a man named Robert R. Max who at the time was the only person alive who had escaped Nazi slave labor. By filming Mr. Max during our conversation, we gave him an online platform where he could share his entire story.

These details combined with aspects of Mr. Max’s book “The Long March Home” made it possible to create a documentary of his life and unique, historic experiences.

Once he was able to view the documentary himself, Mr. Max commented on it saying, “…I am so pleased with the film. You’ve not only presented and preserved a unique story, but also captured the imagination of the viewer through the visual and vocal combination…”

Robert R. Max passed away soon after he had the opportunity to see the completed documentary. The team at Top Notch Cinema will always be grateful to have worked with such an amazing man and will forever treasure this memory.

Their journey through the previous few years led Brett and Alexa to a new idea, which turned out to be their resource website known as ROGER. After already working with Top Notch Cinema to create video content for their Backpacks for Life campaigns and for Mr. Max, they felt it was a no-brainer that videos would be needed to promote ROGER as well.

Goal

Though there are a handful of resources across the internet that provide information for veterans, most of them are outdated and difficult to navigate. These old-fashioned sites also don’t make it easy for vets to be educated on what they need.

ROGER was created to be a modernized version of these sites that is easy to get around and makes it clear what resources vets have at their disposal.

The main efforts supporting ROGER are based out of New Jersey. But they work with veterans all over the country. The objective of the website is to assist veterans in finding resources and opportunities that are made to support them and their families.

Many veterans don’t know exactly what they need or what they’re looking for, which is why Brett and Alexa planned to work with Top Notch Cinema and create educational content.

Their videos would be made to help veterans know what to search for as well as where to find it. Additionally, they wanted ROGER to go even further by helping veterans know what they qualify for and assist with the need they’re looking for.

As the goals for videos were discussed, Brett and Alexa wanted to ensure the content pointed out how ROGER gives vets access to programs and solutions in one centralized location. They also wanted to show how the website search platform tailors the experience to each user’s exact needs.

Plan

Thanks to their history of working with Top Notch Cinema in the past, Brett and Alexa already had a working relationship with our team. While many other people who heard about the concept for ROGER were skeptical, our co-founder James Orfanos took them seriously and dove right in to see how we could help their site visitors clearly understand what the site is trying to accomplish.

“James and Greg put it all together in a way that sounds even better than we can describe it ourselves.”

Veterans who are already struggling can get overwhelmed if something isn’t easy to use or understand. But Brett felt like having videos on their website would make it much easier for vets than them having to sit and read directions or follow simple graphics.

Brett and Alexa filling backpacks for veterans

Brett and Alexa filling backpacks for veterans

“The common phrase says that a picture is worth a thousand words,” Brett said. “But we feel a video is worth a billion words. We knew to explain the power of ROGER, that we couldn’t simply share it with text.”

With James’s help, plans were made to address two key aspects of the ROGER experience: one to teach veterans about the site and one to help service providers add their listings to the website.

This would include various videos including:

  • A brand video to educate any site visitors about ROGER and its overall mission.
  • One explainer video to help people learn how to navigate the site and its various functions.
  • Brief tutorial videos to help services add their business or non-profit details to the ROGER lineup.

End Result

Our co-founder, Greg Parker, led Brett and Alexa through the pre-production and production of the videos to ensure they covered every necessary detail. Alexa mentioned how easy it was working with Greg, saying that he “made [them] feel really comfortable even though [they] hadn’t been in front of a camera before.”

Brett and Alexa also referenced Greg’s professionalism during the filming process. They talked about how he was “laser-focused” on helping them with minor tweaks and edits to make it perfect. They appreciated him being zoned in and paying close attention to detail.

The main video ended up being the perfect blend of their personalities mixed with the various images of Brett and Alexa serving veterans in their community.

Testimonial

“Top Notch Cinema treated the project like it was their own…they dedicated their time to it like it was their own story to tell.”

Brett and Alexa came back to work with Top Notch Cinema again because of the positive experience they had the first time. They approached us with a tight turnaround to have the content ready by their big launch and were grateful when we were able to meet the deadline. The process of creating video content for ROGER followed a clear timeline from beginning to end.

The main thing Brett and Alexa want people to know is that ROGER works. It is functional, clean, organized, and is one of the most helpful resources available to veterans. They have taken an otherwise antiquated, broken system and made it both modern and effective.

“Top Notch Cinema put faith in us when we had nothing. They are good people and we could tell they were putting their own passion into it.”

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