What would you say if asked to take part in a new series for primetime, mainstream (we’re talking millions of viewers) television? YESSSSSSSS? I’ll do anything so long as I can keep my clothes on – okay the clothes are negotiable? Would you like me to sell my grandmother?
Suffice to say we said yes, we’d love to.
Then came the punchline: could the film crew come in the following morning? As the studio was rammed with work and it was already late afternoon, our communications director played for time. Little did we know that we would have just over a week to do everything from strategic approach to finished mock-ups.
It was crazy, but in a good way. The clients, Muddy Boots, were instantly likeable and genuinely passionate about what they do, which is to make delicious, premium quality burgers. A young, just married couple who had turned their backs on well paid jobs and city living for a better life in the country, Miranda and Roland Ballard had a wonderful product and terrible packaging. We needed to act fast.
Cue early mornings, late nights and dreams of pure bred Aberdeen Angus lowing in the fields.
We had to run this project at the same time as full on, studio consuming, paid work, but we would do it again in a flash. It was a fantastic team building experience – impossible deadlines foster strong team bonding. It was a challenge, it was fun and it was incredibly motivating. The madness of the amount of time we had to work on it made everyone pull together and look after each other in a deeper, more demonstrative way than you get in the normal run of things. It also made each of us appreciate the importance of other departments, reinforcing just how significant a good account person is and the immense value of strategic planning – and, of course, creativity.
If I stop navel gazing for a moment, this sort of programme is good for the design industry as a whole. It shows how much depth there is in designing great packaging and it demonstrates the importance of a proper three-dimensional brand. We had the opportunity to show how a big idea can live beyond the pack and translate into other media. Whether it makes the final edit remains to be seen.
(The first episode of High Street Dreams airs on BBC1 9pm May 10.)