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Children’s Pediatric Cancer Foundation

C

Interviewee

51 Generic Creative

Team Disadvantages

0, 1

Project Outcome

Control

Industry

Pro-bono/non-profit/government

Location

Chicago

Team Risk Tolerance

High

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_FunandProductive

Company

Children's Pediatric Cancer Foundation


because there is no money, there is no budget. Nobody is going to give you money even if you ask for it. [3829]
Here's one that's just like a totally different thing because you'd think it'd be freeing, but it's not necessarily. I'm doing a pro bono project for a children's pediatric cancer foundation. It's been a pretty good project, but it's also kind of a hard project because there is no money, there is no budget. Nobody is going to give you money even if you ask for it. [3830]
That money doesn't exist. And one of the challenges is that the client is in such a position of ... They just try to get whatever help that they can, and they'll take whatever help they can get, but they're also not very selective about what help they get, so the brand ... When it came to the agency, the brand was all over the place. It was a mess. [3834],[3831],[3835],[3836]
They just try to get whatever help that they can, and they'll take whatever help they can get, but they're also not very selective about what help they get, so the brand ... When it came to the agency, the brand was all over the place. It was a mess. [3833],[3832]
And it was a great cause, and they actually had a great structure for how they worked, and the people inside of it were completely passionate, but then when you saw their public image, their public image was just like this conglomeration of junk, and it was because if somebody offered to do a little TV spot for them, they would just take it, but they didn't have any brand image to place to it; they just had information, so we had to take that and turn all that into something. [3839],[3840],[3837],[3838],[3841]
"Oh. Well, that's great. That's so much better than what we had before," which as a creative you like hearing people compliment you, but you also have to know what the bar is. [3864]
Then after we did that, we started working on this brand video for them, but again it's like you can't go to the client with this plan. You couldn't go to the client and just take the work to them and expect them to be very critical of it because they were in such a mindset of "Oh. Well, that's great. That's so much better than what we had before," which as a creative you like hearing people compliment you, but you also have to know what the bar is. [3845],[3842],[3846],[3843],[3844]
It's like if you know that the bar is up here just because people are happy with down here, it doesn't mean that that's what you do, so you realize that they're not going to be a great benchmark. The benchmark is what you have. Then here now, there's not an executive structure here. There is nobody above me to take this to. It's just a matter of "How do you make it as good as you possibly can that they're going to like that when it comes back that JWT did it that everybody is going to be happy with it?" [3847]
So far it's been pretty good, but we're doing ... We shot the video camera stuff ourselves. We used our mikes, some of which were outdated and bad equipment, but we got the audio passable. When we showed them what to us was the rough cut that they were perfectly happy to show to everybody, they were crying. The person that runs it said she is very difficult to ... She works with this all the time, so she's incredibly difficult to make cry about this subject because this is what she does with her life. [3849],[3848]
She's talked about children's cancer every day, so the fact that we got an emotional response out of her with this thing that we patched together off of video that we had to basically all get ourselves by pushing them to figure out what we needed to find from them and get from them was ... [3866]
She's talked about children's cancer every day, so the fact that we got an emotional response out of her with this thing that we patched together off of video that we had to basically all get ourselves by pushing them to figure out what we needed to find from them and get from them was ... It was a completely different type of project. You're kind of making stuff out of thin air and then just going in knowing that your strategy really is capturing that portrait of who they are, which is a completely ... [3852],[3851],[3850]
t was a completely different type of project. You're kind of making stuff out of thin air and then just going in knowing that your strategy really is capturing that portrait of who they are, which is a completely ... [3865],[3867]
It's not the way we usually work. We usually are going towards a specific sale point, and it's like on this we're just trying to get people to help them. It's a very broad-stroked thing, especially when you've got nothing to draw from. You're just making stuff up. In the end, I mean it's coming out good. It's still not done, but we've got a five-minute piece that I think gets across who they are pretty well. And everybody seems happy with it. It's way beyond the point that I can be objective about it anymore. It's all just desensitized to me now, but it seems good. [3853]
So it's like a budget of what the agency feels like it can afford pro bono. [3854]
On the client side? There was maybe four. Really there's one main one, and it was definitely one round. You go in there and you talk to one set of people, and if they're all smiling at the end, you're okay. [3855]
I'd give it a safe medium. If I had brought them a bunch of other ideas other than this brand film, I don't know what they would have done with them. It might've been too much for them because they wouldn't have known what to do with it or they might've taken it and realized that they can't possibly accomplish it. I mean some of it at this point is ... Their expectations are so low that anything that they get makes them happy. It's more we have to police ... In the end, we're policing what their expectation and what their risk is because we actually have to be able to pull of whatever we come up with because they're not going to be able to help us. [3857],[3856]
It was literally just "Make a brand video for Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation," and they gave like five bullet points of things that they thought were important. And we just took those and incorporated that into something to try to tell who they were and their story. It was a very, very simple brief, and simple briefs ... As long as you understand their tone, super simple briefs are great. Just you got to know who the people are on the other side, on the client side of the brief. If you don't know that, then a simple brief can be disastrous. [3858]
So basically I just got whatever I could get here and there. [3868]
Time was pretty loose, and they were very forgiving with it, and it was because basically the time that I got was whenever the editor wasn't busy because it was an in-house editor, so it's like if we were working on sales films, I lose my time. If we're working on radio editing, I lose my audio time. So basically I just got whatever I could get here and there. [3859]
The biggest issue was probably, for me, managing my time because I had to spend a lot more time with it than you normally would with a project because of the nature of it. Normally when you're in production, you let the producer ... you tell them what your ideas are, you tell them what your changes are, and they make sure that they all get done, but on this I had to do a lot of sitting with the project. [3860]
I think it was just making something that ... I don't know. ... that lived up to the heart of what the topic was. It's like there's an emotional bar where it's like if somebody isn't ... I mean you're talking about inspiration, and with that it was just a matter of "In the end, am I saying something that's going to make somebody at least choke up a little bit within that because you feel like that's ..." [3861]
If you haven't, you haven't told the story right because if you're not being emotionally effected by pediatric cancer, it's like then I've completely screwed up the project. I don't think I could say that I've looked out there and found some golden thing. It was just "Here's an organization that was started because a kid with cancer thought that other kids with cancer should have an easier time than he did." That's awesome. That's enough. [3869],[3862]
Fine. I mean they're very friendly. I probably don't talk to them or have as close a conversational relationship as I do with most of my long-time brand clients. That's nothing intentional. It's just the way it worked out. I think they're busy and they don't have as many concerns. Her job is not on the line with this. She's got a job at the end of it either way, which you definitely have that as an issue with your normal client. [3863]
Oh, good. I mean again it was also loose. If the relationships weren't good, then we wouldn't have spent the time on it that we did, so yeah, I'd say that they were good. They were friendly, and everybody was ... But again, it's like, "Who's going to say no, that won't spend an extra hour or two here and there for kids with cancer?" [3870]
Reference Tags
[3829] Lack of resources,[3830] Believes one has a hopeful path,[3834] Irrational escalation,[3831] Lack of resources,[3835] Law of the instrument,[3836] Trust,[3833] Inexperience,[3832] Vague goals,[3839] Inexperience,[3840] Internal changes/challenges,[3837] Irrational escalation,[3838] Law of the instrument,[3841] Vague goals,[3864] Inexperience,[3845] Empathetic disposition,[3842] Inexperience,[3846] Insufficient Feedback,[3843] Law of the instrument,[3844] Yielding conflict about ideas,[3847] Believes one has a hopeful path,[3849] Anecdotal fallacy,[3848] Believes one has a hopeful path,[3866] Listening disposition,[3852] Believes one has a hopeful path,[3851] Identifiable victim effect,[3850] Promote autonomy & sense of ownership,[3865] Creative Confidence,[3867] Vague goals,[3853] Believes one has a hopeful path,[3854] Lack of resources,[3855] Decisive leadership,[3857] Inexperience,[3856] Insufficient Feedback,[3858] Vague goals,[3868] Lack of resources,[3859] Balanced workload pressure,[3860] Identifiable victim effect,[3861] Identifiable victim effect,[3869] Empathetic disposition,[3862] Identifiable victim effect,[3863] Empathetic disposition,[3870] Trust

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MADISON BARNETT
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