I recently got married and am now someones ‘missus’. If you work at DNA you would probably already know this due to the constant wedding chatter that was coming from my pod, but not ordinary chatter (bridesmaids dresses, suits etc) this chatter was all about colour palettes, icons, look and feel – and that all important consistent thread, making sure our guests got a consistent ‘on-brand’ experience.
It dawned on me halfway through the wedding prep, that this wedding was really just a big client brief and by default I was applying the very principles that make campaign generation and activation so successful. You take for granted working in this industry, having the knowledge of all these tools and bringing something large together. So naturally I swung into suit planning mode. “Everything needs to be seamless, have that sense of integration”. (Cue awkward looks from my fiancee and bridal party) “Bridgette – briefings, mood boards, iconography?” My husband didn’t understand why it was so important that everything was integrated and planned out perfectly, the answer seemed obvious to me, but then I thought how many people really understand the importance of integration, planning and process and how it can make or break your campaign.
On even the smallest of budgets, campaign integration allows you to leverage elements – driving greater reach, and efficiency. Sound planning and process enables you to stick to the brief, and ensure things run smoothly. Sounds simple right? It is, but sometimes we fall victim to lack of time or will to follow process. So often it is easier to approach every brief in silo, put your blinkers on and get it done to the deadline. Doing so usually means you loose consistency, projects cost more and things take longer. Short term win, but long term fail.
Take my wedding for example….
When I (we) started planning the wedding I (we) had a clear vision of what we wanted. We worked up a mood board and segmented it into different categories – from this out fell the theme ‘Vintage romance with a hint of contradiction’ think dusky pink, hand written type, DIY feel, animals, big character. This became the consistent thread that brought everything together. Everything we did going forward was assessed against the mood board – did it fit? Was it conducive to the overarching look and feel? Does it add to the consistent experience – no? fail, yes? lets consider it. It took all my strength not to fall into the silo trap. Just because something is cool, and I like it, does not necessarily mean that we should include it.
Our event plan also drove integration and ensured things ticked along nicely – every element implemented at each phase of the wedding, was consistent – and again provided our guests with the same experience. Vintage furnishings, nude and pink colour palettes, hearts, bucket loads of bunting and lots of DIY loveliness. Towards the end of it, I have to admit I did get over all the paper – updating of running sheets, contact sheets, briefs. But perseverance paid off.
So what did the end result look like? The day went off without a hitch. The project plan, running sheets, briefs, moodboards, site layouts all paid off. The theme was evident throughout and people appreciated the effort and the long DIY nights that went into bringing it all together. I received a few jabs in the speeches about my lists and ‘ticking boxes’, but that’s okay they will come across to my way of doing things soon. At the end of the night my husband and I took a walk down the boat ramp and looked back at the marquee. Laughter filled the air, bunting swayed in the wind, the photobooth and pinata were going off. Chris turned around and said ‘I get it now, this was big, and everything came together and slotted in nicely, you aced it… I will never question your process again’. So this suit and new wife smiled ‘good, you have a lifetime ahead of spreadsheets, boxes and lists’.
So it just goes to show that process and the benefits of ‘the consistent thread’ and associated tools – are transferable to every day life. Why change something that is not broken? The proof is always in the pudding.
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