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SHRM and Heve spark conversation about pay equity and workplace culture

October 14, 2019 | 5 min read

Story studio Heve, a division of Invnt, has partnered with long-term Invnt client, SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management) late last month, to take over two New York sites – the Oculus at the World Trade Center and the attached Fulton Street subway station, with an immersive, thought-provoking content campaign that sparked conversation around workplace culture and pay equity in New York City.

“Let’s be honest, the workplace is more dynamic than ever. Over the course of their lifetime, the average person spends roughly 90,000 hours at work, so it should be an environment that empowers and rewards. With this SHRM campaign, we had just 10 seconds to capture the attention of hundreds of thousands of commuters every day with a simple statement: 'It takes one honest conversation to change the workplace',” explained Chris Hercik, chief executive officer, Heve. “These issues described in the creative content speak to a larger problem with workplace culture in the U.S."

SHRM chief marketing and experience officer, Jeaneen Andrews-Feldman said: "According to our new culture report, 1 in 5 people have left a job due to workplace culture. This is bad for people and for the bottom line. Our goal is to create better workplaces where both employees and employers thrive together." Live from September 23 to 26, the narrative-led, innovation-inspired, data-fueled campaign comprised 10 branded content pieces featuring people from all walks of life, custom created and produced by the Heve team on behalf of SHRM.

Each individual was captured in black and white and accompanied by a quote describing his or her personal workplace struggle, such as “they say I’m too young”. A cracked glass effect was then overlaid, and the screens showcased the individuals in bright, vivid colors alongside a triumphant phrase, such as “I say I have a fresh perspective”. The creative was activated across all 72 of the Oculus’s LEDs, including its massive 280- foot-wide LED wall, which at one point played a two-hour loop of the 10 videos, ensuring the campaign was unmissable to passers-by.

It also took over all of the screens at Fulton Street station. Both locations were carefully selected to catch the attention of the New York workers that walk through them each day. Reflecting on the activation Tina Beaty, vice president of communication at SHRM said: “We’ve worked with the Invnt team on our live events for over 20 years. They’ve got an aptitude for reinventing the wheel and keeping our experiences fresh, and the launch of Heve is further testament to this. Heve created a forward-thinking activation that enabled SHRM to bring our central messaging to life in unmissable and compelling ways, and we’re thrilled with the overall outcome.”

New hires at Heve

This recent project, along with various other new client wins, has prompted the appointment of two key hires for Heve. Joelle Mefford joins as chief marketing officer, responsible for leading the studio’s innovation and marketing strategies, ensuring clients’ campaigns deliver high levels of engagement and measurable value. Mefford has extensive experience in incorporating VR, AR, voice, connected device, chat, experiential and immersive content solutions into branded content campaigns. Previously, she co-led the innovation strategy for media business Meredith Corporation, by launching voice skills and actions for their more than 42 brands. Projects included re-launching photojournalism brand, LIFE, into an Emmy-Award winning immersive journalism concept, LIFE VR & AR.

Don Struckle has been appointed to the role of chief content officer, combining his background in script development and storytelling with his experience in physical production and post-production, to create high-quality original content that engages audiences and moves them to action. Before joining Heve, Struckle was the executive producer at Meredith Corporation’s content studio, The Foundry, responsible for the creation of all native and branded video content for its clients.

Hercik said: “It’s great to have these two innovators on the Heve team. Both Joelle and Don are creative powerhouses who aren’t afraid of challenging the conventional ways that branded content is created and consumed, all in the name of driving higher levels of engagement for our clients. This is only the beginning, and I am confident we will continue to deliver disruptive, story-led work for our clients, whether that be as a branded content piece or holistic campaign that encompasses Invnt’s live brand storytelling expertise."

Paul Blurton, chief creative officer at Invnt said: "When we launched Heve the idea was always that the studio would grow independently from Invnt, yet our services would also complement one another. In an era where data fueled creativity is the key to effective audience engagement, we wanted to provide clients with the option to come to us for both their live brand storytelling and branded content needs. This work with SHRM is the ultimate example, with Heve ideating, creating and producing a heavy hitting, data-driven brand experience for one of Invnt’s legacy clients, which represents a fresh new approach for the SHRM brand."


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[INVNT GROUP] THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT™ was established as an evolution of the founding global live brand storytelling agency INVNT in 2008, with a vision...

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