This piece was written by Stormi Leonard, brand management intern 2019.
“This summer you will create and implement an entire advertising campaign for the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.” Um… what? How? I just got here, and I don’t even know what my department is responsible for in a campaign.
These thoughts ran through my head the first day of my advertising internship at Stone Ward. How in the world were we going to get all this together when we didn’t have a clue what an advertising agency even does? But here I am, six weeks into my internship finally understanding a little bit of what is expected from my role as a brand manager. With help from our mentors – sink or swim – we eagerly jumped head first into our own campaign.
Now that we’ve been through the entire campaign process, I think everyone should have an experience of collaborating with a team and going out of their comfort zone. Here’s how you can create your own campaign for just about anything:
Step 1: Brainstorm
Meet with your team and brainstorm. Research your client and think about potential questions that could come up during your kickoff meeting. Resist the urge to come up with ideas to present to your client at the kickoff meeting as you’ll want to be a sponge – soaking up all the information that your client has readily available. This brainstorm is to simply get your minds focused on what’s to come with the project. Take a look at their website, blogs, maybe even past events so your team has a good idea about what the client might expect.
Step 2: Kickoff Meeting
This is a team’s first chance to talk to the client and really nail down the goals for the campaign. Questions upon questions are asked, as your team will want as much information as possible in order to truly reflect the client’s vision. This meeting is basically a client telling your team what they think things should look like and what assets (print, digital, etc.) they will need. It’s a good chance for your team to give ideas about the most effective ways to run a campaign. There is typically a lot of collaboration between you and your client to ensure expectations are met.
Step 3: Creative Brief
For a creative brief, brand managers step in and essentially summarize the goals, tone/messaging, target audience(s) and what assets will need to be created – just to name a few. The creative brief is like an outline for the team, giving them a tangible idea of what they’re expected to present to the client. After the creative brief, your team is on their way to designing concepts and implementing them into assets to show the client.
Step 4: Client Presentation
Clients are usually excited about what you’re showing them, but it’s still scary having your work judged or analyzed, not knowing what feedback you’ll receive. All concepts are placed into a PowerPoint-like format and from there, it’s practice, practice, practice. Most presentations include multiple concept designs, which gives the client options to choose from that all tie back to their directions given in the kickoff meeting. The best concepts are ones that can be directed back to a specific idea a client stated that they’d like to see implemented. After the client presentation, communication between the client and team picks up, a concept is chosen, and assets are designed.
Step 5: Approval and Production
After the client picks a concept and the team starts work on implementing it into assets, scheduling is essential. Project managers are an integral part in setting deadlines and making sure they’re met. Assets are sent to the client for revisions and once the team receives final approval, THE CAMPAIGN IS FINALLY IMPLEMENTED. See some of our work here!
It may seem like a lot, and to be honest it felt a little overwhelming at times. But now that we’ve nailed our client presentation and executed our very own campaign, I couldn’t feel more accomplished in six weeks if I tried! Read on to learn more about how Camp Reality prepares young professionals for successful communications careers.