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Nestlé

N

Interviewee

49 Creative Director

Team Advantages

Team Disadvantages

0, 5

Project Outcome

Successful

Industry

Confectionery/sweets/gum

Location

Chicago

Team Risk Tolerance

Low

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_Turnaround

Company

Nestlé


I mean think there's ... Well, can I talk in a more broad nature? Well, okay. Yeah, you know what? We'll talk about Drumstick, which is ... We had a website which was an extremely challenging one. And the reason that it ... I feel that it clicked and came together was because we ... It was a horrible process. The client wasn't happy with things, the briefs were unclear, our process was miserable, worked late, it really drained a lot of our energy to do the project. But, I had an art director that was extremely passionate about what he wanted to deliver. I was directing animation, creative directing the project and I knew where we needed to take it based on what the client said they wanted and what they would comment on and what they had asked for originally. [3557],[3556],[3558],[3559]
The client wasn't happy with things, the briefs were unclear, our process was miserable, worked late, it really drained a lot of our energy to do the project. But, I had an art director that was extremely passionate about what he wanted to deliver. [3593],[3594],[3595]
So it was an uphill battle. Our programmer basically quit over the project, so it sounds like it was a shambles, it sounds like it was a nightmare. But in the end, we just won two awards for it this year. It's gotten greater success than anything else for this client. It was very satisfying to know that by sticking to what we understood to be our process of delivery, by being true to sort of our gut check, our internal feeling on "This is the right thing to be doing," ... The way the project clicked for me was once we launched, once we got response, once we got awards, it was like we were right. In fact, it validated our suffering. And I think having your suffering validated sometimes is more important than not suffering. I think the suffering is always going to be there in creative work. I've had friends who are screenwriters and they go through the same thing. It's the validation along the line, either by their peers, award shows, money, whatever it is that validates you, that validation helps cement the reasons to make those choices again in the future. And I think that was ... I liked that project for that reason. [3598],[3597]
We had to constantly push back and say, "Look, you really said you wanted this and we're delivering this for you." [3596]
We had to constantly push back and say, "Look, you really said you wanted this and we're delivering this for you." So it was an uphill battle. Our programmer basically quit over the project, so it sounds like it was a shambles, it sounds like it was a nightmare. But in the end, we just won two awards for it this year. It's gotten greater success than anything else for this client. It was very satisfying to know that by sticking to what we understood to be our process of delivery, by being true to sort of our gut check, our internal feeling on "This is the right thing to be doing," ... The way the project clicked for me was once we launched, once we got response, once we got awards, it was like we were right. In fact, it validated our suffering. And I think having your suffering validated sometimes is more important than not suffering. I think the suffering is always going to be there in creative work. I've had friends who are screenwriters and they go through the same thing. It's the validation along the line, either by their peers, award shows, money, whatever it is that validates you, that validation helps cement the reasons to make those choices again in the future. And I think that was ... I liked that project for that reason. [3560],[3561],[3563],[3562]
Another project that we had, a similar project was a little website that we had to create in a very short amount of time. But we were given sort of free reign. The client fought us, they hated it, they didn't understand it. It was basically for teens, it was a video game product for teens. And they were like, "We don't get this." It's like, "Great. That pleases us. You shouldn't get this. This is for them. You've asked us to deliver" ... They said, " Well, this is only going to stay up for three weeks." It was up for almost five months. So they literally left it, they left it in place. Not because it was unsuccessful, not because it was easy, but because it succeeded for them very well. So those sorts of projects are exciting to me. [3565],[3564]
Well, that was cool. And then the website for them was a failure because they ... the people that they gave it to did not understand what they were doing. There was huge disconnect for the brand. Very sad. [3599]
Well, and the idea of the website was ... I don't know, I'll give you the two second version ... the idea of the website was that people were not eating Drumstick outside of summer, so they wanted them to eat Drumstick some other time of year. So we created a place called Summerville, but then this all had to be wrapped around a baseball promotion. So they complained that people aren't eating it, yet they're promoting in the spring, right before summer. So we wrapped this baseball promotion in a place called Summerville, and it was a pixel art ... They do a lot of pixel art in British advertising too. The little teeny guys, pixel guys. So we created this pixel art world where things moved around and it was kind of goofy and you could stroll around- [3600]
In the scope of a project like this, it really should have been sort of a microsite or promotional site, and it took up a grand amount of time. It ate into lots of resources and time. [3601],[3567],[3566],[3568]
See, our budgets for digital, you would ... are probably laughable. Because they're always under a half million dollars and they're usually in the 50 to 100 thousand dollar range. So we're always working the very low margin comparatively, but- [3569]
Oh god. Probably six. Four to six. We had a lot of layers of approval. [3570]
Oh, account level manager, like account managers, brand managers, very low to mid-level account people. [3571]
And the final decision maker actually really liked our work, but navigating that stream- [3572]
... yeah, the politics of that were just horrible. [3573]
Print's an easy medium. Digital's a very new medium, so ... Because we live in it every day and we're familiar with it, they don't. They go to their Yahoo! Website, or their email, or they'll talk to their mom about what their mom likes. But it's really not the space that they're asking us to engage in, so ... Oh, I though of another project that was even better than that one. [3602]
Yeah, absolutely they do. They demand a lot of proof. And I don't if that's just ... I think a lot of it is because they don't understand the medium yet. Television's an easy medium for them. They've done it for years and years and years. Print's an easy medium. Digital's a very new medium, so ... Because we live in it every day and we're familiar with it, they don't. They go to their Yahoo! Website, or their email, or they'll talk to their mom about what their mom likes. But it's really not the space that they're asking us to engage in, so ... Oh, I though of another project that was even better than that one. [3574],[3575]
It was such a big idea which was to connect with kids who wanted to be in the Marine Corps, connected them on MySpace. And the Marine Corps is very, not stodgy, they're very stoic and the have these paths that they have to travel down, and these values. [3603]
So MySpace absolutely was not that. And we sold them off on being in that space and it was extremely successful. It was a huge project. I was very proud to be a part of that one. But as far as scope, this scope was extremely low. The return was huge. [3604]
Well, it was just MySpace for the Marine Corps, it's the first time we ever did anything for the Marine Corps. Very low on the production scale, very little to have to do, very little art direction, but the idea was huge. It was such a big idea which was to connect with kids who wanted to be in the Marine Corps, connected them on MySpace. And the Marine Corps is very, not stodgy, they're very stoic and the have these paths that they have to travel down, and these values. So MySpace absolutely was not that. And we sold them off on being in that space and it was extremely successful. It was a huge project. I was very proud to be a part of that one. But as far as scope, this scope was extremely low. The return was huge. [3576]
Muddled, I would think. I mean, it really was. Like I said, it started with, "We want a commercial website. We want a commercial website that will sell ice cream out of here. We want a commercial website that will sell ice cream out of here but we need to wrap it around a baseball promotion. Oh, by the way, we've only gotten this one guy and he's not ... just go, you guys can make that happen." [3577]
Ironically, they screamed about budget. No, I think it might have been on par with what they typically spent. But they complained about overages, which were less ... in the tens of thousands of dollars. It was really, in the grand scheme of the company and of the return on investment, it was tiny. Very, very tiny. [3578],[3579],[3605]
Horrible. Absolutely insane. But that's, again, that's a digital thing I think. Because I talked to- [3606],[3580]
No, in this case it was extremely negative. We had very little time, well, production time I should say, sorry. Concepting time was decent, production time was atrocious, so ... [3607],[3582],[3581]
I think part of it was just that sort of whimsical style of art, and it was that my group creative director, our main boss, was a huge baseball fan. And then we all loved the product, so that didn't hurt at all. Knowing that we were able to pick up Drumstick and eat it and go, "Yeah, I remember when I had a Drumstick. And yeah, that's what would be fun." There was a lot of collaboration on that one and I think that helped a lot. [3583]
Strained. Well, see, from a creative side, we had very little contact with the client. It was just our own account side. But I mean from their description, it seemed strained. We had- [3608],[3584]
From our account people. We had very ... yeah. The account people to account people was a strained relationship. But we had very little face time with that client. Which is interesting because we normally have more face time with a client. [3585]
Oh, very negative I think. Because we weren't selling our own ideas. We were sort of passing them off and saying, "Please god, don't drown my babies." And they go, "Oh, I'm sorry. We've drowned your babies." You'll need to make another one. [3586],[3609],[3587],[3610]
Awesome. Great. I mean, we would never have survived if we did just love each other. We all got along splendid. [3611],[3612],[3588]
I mean, we ... At our worst hour, at midnight or two in the morning when we're all ... the programmer's near tears and the art director hates everyone, we're laughing it up and going, "Yeah, we're going to finish this because we know we can do it." There was just a sense of comradery. I think the common enemy ... there was no enemy among us, so the common enemy became the project and we just fought against it. We were like, "We're going to win this." [3613],[3614],[3590],[3615],[3617],[3589],[3591],[3616]
Mm-hmm (affirmative), three getaways. About the previous project we were talking about, the Drumstick project. There was never, ever a debrief over that. And we begged for it, we cried for it, we screamed for it. We never got one. And that's like ... not having a debrief over a project, I think is tragic. Absolutely tragic. Debriefs are so important to help assess- [3592]
Reference Tags
[3557] Forceful conflict about ideas,[3556] Insufficient Feedback,[3558] Unbalanced workload pressure,[3559] Vague goals,[3593] Alignment,[3594] Communication issues,[3595] Unbalanced workload pressure,[3598] Believes one has a hopeful path,[3597] Believes one has high agency,[3596] Alignment,[3560] Forceful conflict about ideas,[3561] Insufficient Feedback,[3563] Resilience,[3562] Vague goals,[3565] Forceful conflict about ideas,[3564] Insufficient Feedback,[3599] Alignment,[3600] Creative Confidence,[3601] Hindsight bias,[3567] Lack of resources,[3566] Planning fallacy,[3568] Unbalanced workload pressure,[3569] Lack of resources,[3570] Indecisive leadership,[3571] Indecisive leadership,[3572] Indecisive leadership,[3573] Indecisive leadership,[3602] Inexperience,[3574] Risk compensation,[3575] Trust,[3603] Conservatism,[3604] Creative Confidence,[3576] Forceful conflict about ideas,[3577] Vague goals,[3578] Alignment,[3579] Lack of resources,[3605] Planning fallacy,[3606] Planning fallacy,[3580] Planning fallacy,[3607] Planning fallacy,[3582] Planning fallacy,[3581] Unbalanced workload pressure,[3583] Believes one has a hopeful path,[3608] Communication issues,[3584] Communication issues,[3585] Communication issues,[3586] Dismissive,[3609] Ikea effect,[3587] Insufficient Feedback,[3610] Pessimism bias,[3611] Organizing effectively,[3612] Trust,[3588] Trust,[3613] Appropriate resources,[3614] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[3590] Resilience,[3615] Risk compensation,[3617] Trust,[3589] Trust,[3591] Unbalanced workload pressure,[3616] Win-win conflict about relationships,[3592] Insufficient Feedback

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MADISON BARNETT
I get my inspiration from the fictional world. I’m a social geek. Completely exploit 24/365 catalysts for change whereas high standards in action items. Conveniently whiteboard multifunctional benefits without enabled leadership.
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