Business As Unusual: Adapting To The New Normal.
In 2020, Indiana’s Unclaimed Property Division found itself in a dilemma. They had committed a great deal of time, energy and money to a statewide campaign that could potentially be interpreted as tone deaf given the pandemic.
This was a challenge The BSMNT happily accepted with a rapid reworking of the spots that illustrates just how resilient a team (and a good concept) can be.
IndianaUnclaimed.gov is an initiative of the Indiana Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Division to return money and property to its rightful owners. The “It Might Not Change Your Life, But It Just Might Change Your Day” campaign was evolving in 2020 to provide fresh, relatable, realistic scenarios in which these newly discovered funds could be spent.
You might not jet off to Paris, but you could enjoy a night out at your favorite French bistro. You might not steal away to an island retreat, but you could certainly enjoy a quick 18 holes at your favorite golf course. The key was an honest representation of the benefits that made it “worth a look” to check out IndianaUnclaimed.gov. Until, of course, going to one’s favorite restaurant or golf course were no longer in the cards.
“We were very pleased with how quickly our teams adapted to such a volatile situation,” says The Basement CEO Brian Phillips. “We were able to efficiently and effectively rework our creative to tell their story in a way that was respectful of what everyone is going through.”
While developing creative under pandemic conditions certainly wasn’t (and isn’t) ideal, we’ve long had the systems and processes in place to collaborate and work remotely. And fortunately, we developed the spots using animation instead of live action, which made it much easier to take the adaptation wherever it needed to go.
“Modularity was built into the concept and production from the beginning.” says Uriaha Foust, Creative Director. “This made it easier for us to turn on a dime. Effectively, each spot plays out in 5 parts. An intro, our character finding out they have money, a somewhat nonsensical dream sequence, and then a snap-back-to-reality that leads into a jingle and then a call to action to search for yourself. The intent all along has been to preserve the book ends of the spot and create fun and engaging new stories in the middle. Over and over. The scenarios are endless. And that’s our approach. Is it repeatable? Yes. Can we version it to engage all of our demographics? Yes. Can we test it? Of course, don’t be silly.”
“In this particular case, we really only needed to reposition the ‘back to reality’ moment. To the BSMNT and our client, this was a perfect opportunity to tap into the zeitgeist that the pandemic has created. We all can relate to that not-quite-the-same feeling of a 4-star meal from a cardboard box. Or how suddenly so many have become the outdoorsy type with trails and parks being one of our only escapes. The key here is that the tone and whimsy of the overarching idea allowed those moments to be positive as if to say, ‘Chin up. Treat yourself.’ A message that is genuinely on brand.”
Set Up For Success.
The only “out of the ordinary” measure we had to take throughout the entire process re-relaunching the revised campaign was to provide a faster computer for our in-house animator to work with from home. While file transfers took a little longer than usual given network limitations, we were still able to conceive, develop, storyboard, remotely record and produce new spots – with new creative scenarios – in just under two weeks.
Remote collaboration tools like our G-Suite integration, our in-house animation/production capabilities and a culture of sharing ideas made it possible to get the work done without missing a beat.
Been There, Done That.
Being able to adapt and deliver under trying circumstances is just one of many examples of the way The BSMNT was built to be nimble. We’ve never shied away from a challenge before, and COVID-19 was no exception.
“Planning for contingencies is a regular part of our process as there are often unexpected external events,” said Todd Bolster, vice president of client services at The Basement. “Admittedly, our plans for 2020 didn’t include pivoting to the realities of a global pandemic, but our groundwork allowed us to adapt.”
There are countless stories of clients and agencies moving heaven and earth to overcome very similar challenges. The core of our story is that we didn’t have to.
Our integrated model, in-house production capabilities and systems in place to deliver effectively and efficiently put us in a position to be successful. Combine that with nimble, responsive and smart client partners and you have what it takes to adapt and thrive.SHARE: