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FTW: Media and Creative Teams Collaborate

Check this out: Jarritos Mural Unveiling, Venice Beach CA

It’s the first unveiling of our new feel/tagline for Jarritos via a wall mural in Los Angeles.  Our clients are happy because it looks fantastic, but as a media planner, I’m extra proud of this project because it took a lot of people at the agency working together to get it done.

Let’s face it: more often than we care to admit, it’s difficult to collaborate, specifically between media and creative.  It’s hard to get everyone in the same room at the same time.  The creatives are late.  The media people have calculators.  The creatives are making jokes.  Media people are interjecting with ‘reality’ and ‘efficiency’ and ‘composition and coverage.’  Sigh.

But when actual collaboration does happen, it’s magic.  Here’s how this particular project went down, and how we all pulled together to make it happen:

**

CREATIVE: This campaign needs to feel down-to-earth, artistic, and credible.  Jarritos isn’t ‘big soda’ so we need to avoid doing anything that ‘big soda’ does with their millions of dollars and slick marketing. We don’t see this on billboards or bus wraps.  Paid media isn’t very cool for this brand.

MEDIA: (CHOKING SOBS) Agreed.  There are some non-traditional tactics, though – such as wall murals – that could work with the tone of this campaign.

CREATIVE: Hmmmm.  There’s an artist here in Austin that has the style we’ve got in mind.  Let’s get him to design and actually paint our mural.  We can film it and make an event out of the painting.  It will be glorious and people will feel things.

MEDIA TEAM: We will obtain desired locations that reach our hip youth demographic in an efficient way.  We may or may not feel anything, because we may or may not be robots.

TWO DAYS LATER…

MEDIA TEAM: Crap.  It’s not gonna be as simple as we thought.  Turns out, most ‘street art’ like this is actually done by 3rd party companies that replicate art on buildings, since there are a TON of legal and insurance concerns tied to the physical location and the vendors have partnerships that cover all of this.  They say we can’t use our artist, but they have an expert company they work with who will faithfully reproduce his art.

CREATIVE TEAM: ……   !*%# Not what we envisioned.  It’s really important that we get him to do it.  Remember the feelings, and stuff?

***

Over the next several days (weeks?) the media team/creative team/legal team/account team/out of home vendor/the artist/my cat were involved in a furious storm of phone calls and emails.  General Petraeus hopped on one of the calls for a few minutes.  There were contracts.  Revisions to contracts.  Hold up from legal.  Addendums.  Support groups.  Triumphantly, all parties worked together to do what it took to enable our artist to paint the mural.

Sometimes, you shouldn’t compromise a vision.  Jobs (and life) can get difficult when refuse to compromise something important.  There are a lot of ‘outs’ that promise to ease the pain of pressing forward, lots of points where you or someone else can say, “You know what?  This is too hard, it’s taking too many labor hours, it just can’t be done.”  Our out of home vendor could have done it, one of the 10 people here at the agency could have done it.  But no one did.

And it turned out to be totally worth it.

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