By Patricia McGrath, Marketing Manager at Sage
It all started in the boardroom like most important strategic initiatives do. The brief was simple. Sage is in the Cloud – we need to let the business community know and also encourage them to experience the cloud for themselves. Simple! The brief was exciting and we saw it as an opportunity to do something unexpected, something innovative. So how did we get from there to Grafton Street with a foam printer?
We went through a creative process with our advertising agency, Boys and Girls, where initially we had a face to face informal briefing to tease out and troubleshoot what we wanted to do and achieve. It was then on to a formal written brief where we outlined our objectives, key messages, unique selling proposition, campaign deliverables, timings. We didn’t assign a budget as we didn’t want to limit the creative thinking. In essence, the summary of all the detail within the brief was that we were looking for a big idea, a platform to help us communicate Sage in the Cloud.
Why bother writing a brief?
All good campaigns start with a brief. It’s simple – writing campaign briefs forces you to really think about what you want to do and why. It also helps download all the valuable information carefully stored away in your head and those of key stakeholders so that the creative teams are directed in the right way. Ideally, if this could all be downloaded via a USB key or memory chip it would be easier, but fingers to the key board for now. If done properly and with key stakeholder buy in, it usually makes the campaign development process much smoother. The campaign is set up to succeed from the start.
While it was with the creative, our heads were buzzing thinking about what the campaign could be, but on this occasion nothing could have prepared us for what the creative came up with. When the video of the Foam printer was played to us, it was simply a no brainer. It delivered on everything, it was an idea made for Cloud Software and made for Sage.
From there it was all systems go and we were in campaign execution mode, briefing our PR & Social Media Agency, Elevate PR, co-ordinating digital requirements for our microsite and social media, developing content, briefing internal stakeholders right down to monitoring the weather forecast! The latter nearly being more important than the former – we had an innovative idea but needed a wind and rain free day in Dublin in February – not much to ask for!
It was a fun time with great energy and idea generation taking place the deeper into the campaign execution we went! We delivered and the weather delivered on the 8th February (we have forgotten about our frost bitten fingers and toes on a bitterly cold day). We launched the Sage Cloud!
That is the short version of the story of how we sent the Sage logo floating over Grafton Street and beyond on Wednesday 8th February 2012. It was a fun day, an exciting day and it was a great feeling to see the Sage brand taking centre stage at the top of Grafton Street. The video really does capture the spirit of the day. Enjoy! Now I wonder what the boardroom will bring next…?