Many of us used to think a one-hour commute to the office was taxing, but imagine what it’s like for 6-year-old Amir who, before the pandemic, had to walk for 180 minutes to and from school every single day; that’s three hours of clambering up steep hills and through dense vegetation just to get access to education in a remote area of Nepal. That 60-minute train journey doesn’t sound so bad now...
That’s why The Drum and Shutterstock have teamed up with the best talent in the industry to support United World Schools (UWS) as part of its 180 Challenge, inspired by Amir’s story, with a unified goal to create and execute a digital fundraising campaign to raise $75,000. The funds will help give thousands more children in the most remote places in the world a chance to go to school for the very first time.
Launching between June 28 – July 29, some of the best creative minds from across the globe have been collaborating, outside of their day jobs, to produce a dynamic and visually-led digital campaign urging the public to #pulla180 by doing any activity they like – whether that's running 180K, knitting a 180cm-long scarf, holding a virtual danceathon with 180 friends. Nothing is too simple or too wacky but everyone is invited to get involved and prove that marketing has the power to change the world.
Solving real world problems with diversity of thought
To devise and conceptualize this campaign meant that creatives from across the world had to innovate and collaborate in new ways, the process of which was revealed during a recent session at The Drum’s Creative Transformation Festival, along with key learnings that enabled better collaboration.
The Drum’s managing director of events, Lynn Lester, in partnership with Aiden Darné, global head of production for Shutterstock’s end-to-end creative solutions provider Shutterstock Studios, brought together a team of marketing and creative talent, including: Alicia Grimes-Gibson, marketing director, Dolce Gabbana & Designer Fragrances, Shiseido Group UK; Jhona Gibson, creative director, TBWA\ Peru; and Olu Davis, director ad sales, partnerships, Vevo, to discuss their experiences working on this purposeful campaign initiative to help get it off the ground.
“As a company, we’ve been looking at various different outlets around being more purposeful with where we’re putting our resources,” said global head of Shutterstock Studios, Aiden Darné. “When this opportunity surfaced, we jumped on it because it really suited us and our global production infrastructure to be putting forward a helpful solution. We have global teams in EMEA, APAC and the Americas and, through our contributed network, which is about 20,000 people globally, we really felt that we could put forward a platform, infrastructure and solution to be able to really scale this.”
The foundations of this collaboration were built on having different teams, organizations, backgrounds and skill sets, meaning that different ideas and perspectives were brought to the table from the outset.
"Everybody understood that this was not just about any one individual’s idea or concept, it was about how we could contribute and then collectively come to an understanding of what makes the most sense for the greater goal,” said Davis. “When you have that as the intent starting out, it’s really easy to operate with the flow of respect and a flow of creative collaboration.”
The spirit of collaboration
One of the big hurdles the team had to overcome was the coordination of different time zones and the practical realities of getting everyone together, as well as cultural nuances across different countries. But the panelists agreed that the intent to go in with the spirit of collaboration and ability to learn from each other as they iterated through the process has been key; as is getting all stakeholders involved at every stage of the process. Shutterstock, for example, has been truly invested in the project from the outset, which Darné believes is key to the collaborative process: “Being part of the creative development journey really tees it up into being the best version of the creative.”
Rather than a fragmented, siloed approach that can often happen across teams within large organizations, this collaborative effort meant that everyone has been involved at each phase of the project which “allowed for those little nuances that sometimes get lost to be recognized and identified.”
The creative process also highlighted the power of having diverse thought; diverse people from diverse backgrounds across various continents and a “sense of trust for what organic collaboration feels like.”
“You don’t have to all be of one specific skill set to come up with a great idea,” said Davis. “You don’t all have to be well educated on each other’s culture - you can be somewhat and learn more through that collaborative process. I encourage everyone to lean in on having people from different backgrounds deliberately with intent, put them together to solve problems or come up with creative ideas.”