By Vincent Kao, NEXT.0 Senior Creative Director
Brainstorm here, there, or anywhere
The holiday season is always one of our busiest times of the year. Office parties, travel, and last second RFPs are a fact of life. Shootings are in progress or wrapping up, new business is being pitched, talent is being scouted, while life during the holidays goes on. Two years ago, I was on a shoot during the holidays, and things got a little crazy.
As soon as I boarded my international flight, the emails, text messages, and voicemails started pouring in, our biggest client needed something asap. Our creative team started working remotely from different continents on the campaign. Every creative internal was done remotely, with team members pinging in and out of the meetings. As the deadline approached, creative check-ins turned into daily occurrences. Collaboration took a back seat and ideation turned into a one-way street. The meetings went like this, ‘Here’s my idea. Now I have to get off this call and do some last-minute shopping.’ An idea needs time to develop in the mind, as it meanders through your subconscious before it becomes something great. But that wasn’t happening. Teleconferencing kills the give and take of ideas worming their way into the subconscious. Our workflow had a problem, creative was suffering because of it. We needed creative collaboration tools so teams could work together like they’re in the same room despite being thousands of miles apart.
All of our brainstorming sessions begin and end with a whiteboard. It’s a perfect tool to present and develop new ideas, but only if you’re in the same room with the whiteboard. Sharing an idea on a whiteboard means taking pictures of the whiteboard and transposing notes from the meeting. Not only is this a waste of time, but it can cause an idea to be misinterpreted or mistakenly cast aside. We needed project collaboration tools with the simplicity of a whiteboard that can be accessed anywhere and on multiple devices. We found Jamboard, a cloud based collaborative whiteboard. My team might be working on creative in four different time zones, but when we collaborate with Jamboard it’s like we’re all in the same room. Anyone can edit or add content to a Jamboard session, letting every member of our team participate simultaneously. These easy collaboration tools let us get to big ideas faster.
A smart whiteboard is essential for sharing in real time, but another key component of any creative brainstorming session is simply being able to see and hear your coworkers’ reactions to creative. Jamboard combines whiteboard brainstorming and video conferencing using GoogleHangouts. This lets me give creative feedback on the spot. Our turnaround on creative is faster because there are fewer steps between presenting and feedback. All creative brainstorming is automatically saved to Google Drive and easily shared.
Time is a precious commodity for any creative director, and Jamboard saves me time by integrating with G Suite. Google Docs, Slides, Drive, and Google Search come with Jamboard. This lets me create a mood board on the spot, then export it to my art director and copywriters, allowing them to begin the creative brainstorming process through Jamboard. This kind of shared communication would normally require several different programs. Now our creative is quicker, and we crush the holidays from anywhere in the world.