Our On-The-Run assignment included an extra level of complexity. This assignment challenged us to create messaging that speaks to a specific intersecting group of people. These groups of people are unique and very specific in what appeals to them. Appealing to this targeted demographic is much more difficult compared to our previous Build-a-Bear assignment. There were many requirements creatively and strategically our team had to satisfy in this project as we were tested like never before. This week was a week of learning. Every day at HLK our team is learning, however, this past week was different. The On-The-Run assignment demands much more from our team than what we expected. Our team had to remain on the same page if we were going to complete this assignment to the best of our abilities.
Our ability to stick together proves to be our biggest asset as we move forward completing this project…
Haley: Account Strategist
We felt good on Monday working out our ideas and diving a bit more in depth in preparation for the practice pitch. The deck fell together well, we all agreed on the concepts included and their placement, so the day felt really productive. Tuesday we had the practice pitch, which was a bit of a challenge. We started to question our ideas before we presented, which caused our confidence to waver a bit, but after talking it out with our mentors we were ready to get back to work. Wednesday looked like refining our ideas and reassessing the structure of our presentation. Lastly, Thursday was researching more support for our ideas. Overall it was a productive week that included a lot of refinement of our ideas and attention to details.
Working through this campaign I think we’ve learned a lot about each of our abilities in our roles. With the ambiguity in this project, we are all able to dive a little deeper in our individual responsibilities, while also dabbling in other opportunities to make our project better. I personally have really loved getting to see how much we all have grown overall and in our positions through this campaign.
Julia: Art Director
Our team works well together, especially while presenting. We really gel. It’s fun to bounce our ideas, research & content off of each other. This practice pitch came more naturally than the first, but I am super thankful we have a lot more time to revise before the final pitch than with our previous brief! On Monday we got our first look at the brief and we were pretty excited to start brainstorming. Tuesday we had to redirect our thinking as our brief was modified. Wednesday everyone recollected and clarified the message of our campaign. Thursday we were finally able to hit the ground running!
This process was very very helpful, and I believe it is going to make our final presentation so great! I’ve learned so much about the creative process, and in general the process of taking on a new campaign.
Elodie: Media Strategist
On Monday our task as a group was just to finish everything up and make sure that we had our presentation ready to go for Tuesday morning. We had a practice presentation before the practice pitch, and we figured out who was going to speak when, and whether we were communicating everything that we wanted to effectively. Tuesday morning was our practice pitch and our group did not enter the room very confidently, which resulted in a less successful practice pitch than the first one. While we received good, constructive criticism, we realized that we needed to change our approach to the brief and our positions as a whole. So after this, for the rest of the week, we cracked down and got to work. On Wednesday, most of us met with our mentors and got some advice. Thursday was much of the same with meetings and working. What we decided would be the most helpful would be to split off and work solo on our own parts so that we could truly own our positions and not focus too much on collaborative efforts in the beginning. At the end of Thursday though, we got back together as a group and checked in, while also deciding what we needed to work on moving forward. Overall it was a good and work-filled week!
Throughout this campaign, we have learned that it is important for us as individuals to do work on our own before we worked as a group. It was so much more effective for each of us to work on our own and truly crack down on our positions and duties. While we definitely need to work as a group to have a good end result, but our work was a lot more meaningful and good when we owned our own positions and did not let other opinions halt progression.
Josh: Content Manager
On Monday our team felt pretty good heading into our practice pitch. After we received an updated brief we finally found the direction we wanted this campaign to go. We rehearsed our pitch Monday in preparation for Tuesday. Tuesday arrived and we felt confident in our presentation until about 15 minutes prior to presenting. This was a fabulous teaching moment and is something I will never forget. It was incredible; our entire team was in complete agreement that we weren't proud of what we were about to present. I have never been in a group where everyone felt that way minutes before the actual presentation. Our ideas were not completely detailed as we lacked creative elements for many of them. What I take pride in most is that we all knew what we were capable of as a team. We obviously couldn’t scrap our plan minutes before we presented, but we all agreed once we got back to the conference room it was time to start brainstorming. Wednesday our team struggled to find a creative direction and experienced our first “challenging” day as a group. This project is complex and was brought to us with existing struggles. With extreme persistence, we finally found a worthy creative direction on Thursday! With everyone on the same page, we began to move forward through this assignment. Don’t tell my group members but I’m glad we struggled. Our ideas and creative direction flowed so effortlessly on the first project that it almost seemed too easy. Going through adversity with our On-The-Run campaign tested how talented we are and equally tested our ability to work as a team. Observing the way we felt about everything Wednesday compared to how we feel now, I’m confident in saying that there isn’t an assignment that our team can’t handle.
Initially, I was excited because we had finally found our big idea and tagline, and were starting to move forward with some understanding of the task at hand for the first time. However, I was also frustrated because we were struggling to break further ground creatively. On Tuesday I felt discouraged heading into our practice pitch with only half-baked ideas and no creative executions what so ever. Once we pitched our mentors reassured us we were heading in a solid direction and guided us to keep pushing forward. On Wednesday it really began to feel like we were going in circles creatively, Julia and I really struggled to find the perfect visual style for this campaign. Our assignment and target market are very tricky and we ran into the same holdups we'd had conceptually as we moved deeper into creative. We tried a ton of different things and received some much-needed guidance from Caroline and Troy throughout the day, but in the end, it felt like we were no further than when we came in that morning. On Thursday we finally reached a break through! Julia finally hit her creative stride and found the solution to an incredibly difficult problem. Hitting on all cylinders, we pushed forward and executed some killer ads. I've learned more in the past few days than I had in the first few weeks of my internship. Running into so many roadblocks on the way to solving an incredibly difficult, yet entirely realistic problem has taught me so much about this industry as a whole and my role within it. I've learned clients often don't know what they want and can present you with mandatory tactics in total contrast with their own described goals. I've also learned complaining will get you nowhere, and the only solution is to roll up your sleeves and flex your creative muscles. Often, the most creatively strenuous campaigns aren't the awe-inspiring, award-winning passion pieces, but the seemingly mundane solutions to deeply complicated and confusing problems.
Bo: Account Manager
This week was filled with a lot of learning. After struggling initially last week with the project we finally had something we could present on. However, when we went to do our internal review with our mentors we as a team were not the most thrilled with what we had. We knew we could do better but we didn't necessarily know how to move forward with it. However, after the pitch, we all consulted our mentors looking for direction. As a team we needed to take a step back and think through the big idea of our project. We have taken these last few days to do that and we are now on a good path, and honestly excited to go forward with the project.
I would say the biggest learning experience has been to take a step back. We were so focused on getting something on paper that we were caught up in the small details instead of creating something big and cool and working through the details that way.