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Creating large format, OOH advertising is normally straightforward. And so was this request for an advertisement to appear at Nice Airport. That is, until the brief changed dramatically at the last minute...
When Rock Flow Dynamics came to us for the creation of an airport advertisement to promote their product, tNavigator, we were delighted. It is always a pleasure to support our clients, especially with their Out Of Home requirements.
THE REQUEST On this occasion, the advert was to appear on 30 large digital screens at Nice Airport, all of the same size. Our job was to devise the concept, create the design, set up and supply the artwork. Straightforward. Or so we thought.
THE DESIGN CONCEPT Earlier in the year, Design Inc had established the new design concept for the tNavigator advertising. We had developed a cartoonized illustration, featuring one or more of four brand characters who would act as ambassadors for the company’s brand. The characters were also developed by Design Inc and there were: tNav Tim, Geo Jim, Flo and Mo.
The airport advertisement would appear on various screens in both terminals at Nice Airport and this would also follow the illustrative style. The advertisement was to compliment the company’s presence at an exhibition in nearby Monaco. And, due to the proximity and the fact that the product’s own values were based around Performance, Speed & Technology, it was obvious to us that the advertisement would work well with a Formula 1 theme.
THE DESIGN The designed advert featured the brand characters tNav Tim and GeoJim, supporting the tNavigator-sponsored F1 team passing the waved chequered flag to win the world-famous Monaco Grand Prix
With the strapline ‘tNavigator: the winning formula, the advert promoted the fact that the product was way ahead of its competition.
THE BOMBSHELL And, with a few days to go til the advertising deadline, we were way ahead of schedule and had provided the final proofs to the client. The next step, based on them providing final approval, would be for us to set up and supplying the artwork.
But, that’s when it happened! The bombshell question: “There has been a mistake and we no longer only need one size of artwork, we now need 13 more adverts – all of completely different sizes. What can we do?”
As it transpired, due to some errors at the airport, some of the screens were no longer available and RFD had been compensated with extra positions for advertising. So long as they could supply all the artwork in time.
THE PROBLEM As any creative agency will tell you, changes to an agreed brief are not uncommon and we are certainly set up to expect the unexpected.
However, this late change was a definite problem – especially because of the deadline. The original artwork had been specifically illustrated for one single portrait dimension and also set up for a digital screen resolution. The new airport adverts however, were much wider and needed to be set up for print. And that meant we would need to start again and redraw the illustration to include more ‘story’ for a wider width. Further, the redraw would now need to be created at a higher resolution for printing purposes.
THE SOLUTION For sure, this was a significant request, especially with the deadline within the next few days. But, not for Design Inc. Once the situation had sunk in, the project managers were able to take a step back, understand exactly what was required, and work out a strategic plan which would enable us to deliver the solution.
It was a tall order and one that other agencies may well have declined. But, we recognised it was certainly possible if we followed the plan.
The solution involved us gathering all the airport advert dimensions together to allow us to understand the maximum dimensions of the ‘bigger picture’ and then re-illustrating all the various elements of the image in a particular order: The F1 car, flag waver, track, pits, harbour, spectators, pit crew, etc.
Each element was created as ‘layers’ which would enable the design team to move them around to suit each airport advertisement size & shape. At all times, it was crucial that the Formula 1 car appeared at the bottom middle of the advert. And so, as this was on its own ‘layer’, for some adverts it was positioned further over the win line than others. And this was the same for other elements of the illustration: The image of the pits was redrawn and extended so that the designers had enough artwork to work with whatever the width of the require advert. The flag waver was created in such as way that we could move that elements higher/lower depending on the requirement.
Over the next three days the design team worked non-stop in providing the new, high-res illustrations whilst keeping the client informed at all stages.
DEADLINE DAY Deadline day coincided with the last day of Offshore Europe in Aberdeen. And, coincidentally both Design Inc and RFD were there (RFD exhibiting, Design Inc’s director visiting). So, whilst the designers continued working on the final tweaks, we had someone ‘on the ground’ able to liaise directly with the client to obtain final sign off.
Sign off came two hours prior to the absolute deadline and those two hours would see the Design Inc artworkers take over – ensuring all artworks were set up perfectly and to the exact specifications dictated by Nice Airport.
We are proud to confirm that, with minutes to spare, all airport advertisements were sent to the media booking agency.
DIRECTOR’S THOUGHTS Frank Norman, Design Inc’s director says “Sometimes, things don’t go to plan and this just happened to be one of those times. It was no-one’s fault. However, companies need to be set up to expect the unexpected. If they don’t have plans and strategies in place they will fail. Whether it is a small print ad or a large format, multi-dimensional airport advertisement, Design Inc is set up to be able to jump when briefs change. And, with clear processes in place, we are proud to be able to handle any situation with confidence, agility and direction.”