Working with Slack: A New Way to Concept

Our reimagined process allows for more collaboration, sprint-style iteration, and stronger client-agency alignment.

We use, love, adore the team collaboration platform, Slack. So for their ad campaign set to air during the World Cup, we wanted both the campaign and the process of making it to be as powerful as Slack itself. By bringing together our innovation lab process and the fluid idea sharing that is at the heart of Slack, we built a unique new way to quickly develop and explore concepts in partnership with our client.

Iterate and Go

To ensure the ads spoke to our audience, we leveraged the iterative process from our innovation lab to develop the campaign. Rather than starting with a concept then developing executions, we started where our audience does — with the ads. Two multidisciplinary teams, consisting of a videographer, illustrator, copywriter and art director, each spent a week creating three or more rough videos. The next week, they started on a new batch. Each team member brought their own unique perspective and creativity to the ideas while working closely together to build on the concepts, while the team lead ensured that the concepts stayed on brand and the process kept moving. This let us explore all kinds of ideas, and the client got to experience each idea coming to life before narrowing anything down.

Appropriating Proven Innovation Practices

Using a framework similar to our innovation lab process helped the teams stay focused and develop impactful ideas quickly. Each exercise consisted of a period of individual work followed by coming together to share the work and push each idea further together.

We started on Monday by grounding ourselves in the brand and the project, then collecting pieces of inspiration. Next, we did lightning demos, where each team member shared what they found and everyone else responded to the inspiration.

Next, we created solution sketches. First, each team member turned the ideas sparked by the lightning demos into a page full of notes. Then they translated those notes into a simplified three-panel storyboard. By limiting the storyboards to three panels, they had to focus on the key elements of the story.

Once finished, we then began the art museum exercise. Here, the other team members silently critiqued the ideas using sticky notes. After reviewing the ideas and feedback as a team, each team member silently voted on their favorites. By Tuesday afternoon, we had done three rounds of the solution sketches/art museum process, and we had nine solid, vetted ideas.

Wednesday, the creative team pitched their ideas to the larger redpepper team and everyone voted on the ideas. Each team then took their three highest-rated ideas, developed full storyboards, and began turning the ideas into concept videos. We illustrated, animated, recorded voice tracks, shot footage and anything else we could do to bring the ideas to life. By Friday afternoon, each team had three finished videos to share with the client.

Simply Communicating a Complex Idea

One of the campaign’s top goals was to help explain Slack to those who haven’t experienced it. Our favorite idea — and the one the client picked — lets people experience a bit of Slack. We go inside a simplified interface, where sliding rooms dramatize Slack channels and reactions are acted out. Specific examples show how Slack streamlines workplace collaboration. The visual style, music and interactions are all as refreshing and downright pleasant as using Slack.

A Perfect Match of Project and Process

Slack has changed how teams connect and work gets done. It’s only fitting that they inspired us to create a new way to develop campaigns. And just like using Slack — it’s a great way to do great work.

Wanna learn how we made this concept a reality? Check out our Slack case study here.

A few cool things we've done

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