The FlexMR Insights Marketing Team Responds to the UN Global Call to Creatives
Editor's Note: This live stream has now taken place. You can still watch the recording via YouTube and read updates from the now closed live blog below.
On March 27th, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations issued a global call to creatives for help in “translating critical public health messages into different languages, communities and platforms, reaching everyone, everywhere”. This first-ever open brief aims to spread key public health messages in a way that is open, effective and accessible. The document highlights that unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, and rather than producing a single campaign, seeks to amplify creative work that broadcasts vital information to an audience that spans cultures, age groups, geographies and more.
As an insights marketing team, we couldn't let this call for help pass us by. It is our day-to-day role to transform data, information & knowledge into both campaigns and reporting formats that resonate with audiences, inspire action and influence behaviour. Our 2019 (and soon to return) Insight as Art project was designed to demonstrate precisely this; just how important creative presentation of data can be.
So we've taken this open brief as a challenge to put our skills to the test - and one which will enable us to contribute to the global crisis response, even if in just a small way. After all, as the United Nations puts it: "No-one can do everything, but everyone can do something."
This is our something. We'll be spending our entire day on March 31st (9:30am - 5:00pm BST), working on assets, ideas and campaigns to communicate important public health messages that drive home the personal behaviours and societal support needed today. We also want to make our contributions as open as possible, in the hope of inspiring more of the creative minds in the insights industry to answer the call. To that end, we'll be live streaming our entire (remote) creative process on YouTube and live blogging here throughout the day. Feel free to drop into the YouTube stream at any point to watch us work, join the conversation or help shape our ideas.
And if you'd like to take part in the open brief, the full call to creatives can be accessed here.
Our insights marketing team have a broad range of experience across creative disciplines. Usually, this enables the team to build creative, impactful activations of insight for our research clients. However, in response to the United Nations open call to creative, the team's expertise will be put to use in a very different way. The team consists of:
Emily James - The Copywriter. A graduate of creative writing, Emily is the wordsmith of the team. She is skilled at translating technical and business content into engaging, memorable copy that drives behaviour.
Sophie Grieve-Williams - The Designer. As an experienced and passionate illustrator, Sophie brings brands, ideas and visuals to life. Her skillset encompasses a broad base of digital and physical mediums, in addition to video editing.
Sarah O'Neill - The Communicator. Sarah has a huge wealth of business experience across a range of industries, but most importantly, a penchant for people. She is our go to for building lasting and fulfilling client relationships.
Chris Martin - The Planner. A senior marketer with hands-on experience of developing successful brand strategies, Chris fulfils the role of planner; guiding the team's methodical and structured approach to creative development.
The Live Blog
The video below will be live from 9:30am BST on March 31st until 5:00pm on the same day. Once our day of live-streamed creativity has concluded, the recorded stream will be accessible instead. You can also watch and comment directly on YouTube using this link.
9:30am - And so the day begins. For the first hour of this day, we'll be discussing and dissecting the brief issued by the United Nations. We are breaking down each of the six key messages that the UN are seeking to promote from the perspective of our own skills, experience and the value we might be able to bring to each.
10:30am - We have decided to focus in on two messages in particular; myth busting and do more - donate. For the first half of our day we will focus on how to create visual graphics for social media that bust myths and encourage sharing. Afterwards, we will apply ourselves to driving the donation call to action in a empathetic and understanding way.
11:00am - The first concept of the day has been nailed down. We will be pairing factual information that counteracts common myths with secondary facts that plays on the growing trend of wholesomeness. While we gather facts and work on MVP graphics to review, here's a link to the subreddit that inspired the idea: https://www.reddit.com/r/wholesomememes/
12:00 noon - We have started creating the motivational graphics, and are now brainstorming ways in which we can represent the more challenging myths, such as: there's no medicine thus far to prevent or treat the coronavirus, and spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body WILL NOT kill viruses that have already entered your body.
12:30pm - Typographical imagery seems to be the best way to represent the more challenging myths, and concepts. These are being created as we speak! We will be focussing on the more serious medical myths that could pose a threat to those who believe it. We are currently trying out different ideas to find the best way to illustrate these concerns.
13:00pm - A little quieter as we take a short break for lunch. However, a plan has emerged. We have taken 6 myths and are producing illustrative graphics for each, sized perfectly for sharing on social media broadcast and private channels such as snapchat. We completed our first, live on stream and have a further three in a mockup phase. The final two are ready to be put through the production process also. We will complete and share these off-stream in the next few days.
Here's the first full graphic we have produced:
13:30pm - Time to move on. Next we'll be looking at the donation message, and identifying ways in which we can put our communication skills to use around this challenge. We start with a quick refresher on the topic, tone and key points before jumping straight into a lively and varied brainstorming session.
14:30pm - After approximately an hour of brainstorming and creative ideas, we've settled on The Right Good British Brew Round. This campaign will tap into national identities and the collective British spirit, inviting everybody to join together at a set time each week to take part in a country-wide (remote) brew round, take a 5 minute break and donate the cost of their beverage to the COVID-19 Solidarity Relief Fund.
16:00pm - Preparations are thoroughly underway in the creation of the assets we're submitting for our The Right Good British Brew Round idea. So far we've completed the copy, and we're currently creating a logo, a couple of social media ads, an example photo with a profile picture overlay, and a pre-roll video!
16:30pm - After a fun discussion around a few draft logos, we're coming closer to the finalisation of our Right Good British Brew Round campaign idea! With the right font, logo, and colour scheme nailed down, the mockup of the rest of the assets can be completed more easily.
17:00pm - As the day draws to a close, we recap what we have achieved today and the final actions to take forward over the next few days. Sophie is going to produce the remaining five editorial graphics formatted for social media. Emily, Sarah and I meanwhile will continue working on the Right Good British Brew Round - producing two social media graphics, one example photo, a six second pre-roll advert and a campaign guidance document. In total that will bring us to twelve assets covering two of the United Nations key messages across two campaigns.
Not bad for a day's work. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the journey, took part in the live stream and encouraged us throughout. We've had a blast and have relished the chance to apply our skills to a global crisis - even if just a small way. I hope we may have inspired a few others to do the same along the way.
Chris is experienced in marketing strategy and brand development, which he uses to skilfully guide the FlexMR brand to its full potential. Chris works hard maximising opportunities and ensuring the brand’s offering is relevant and appealing to insights professionals. You can follow Chris on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.