FRCH Design Worldwide (“FRCH”), recently made the decision to “Brand Themselves”. In order to get buy in from the Public, they reached within their walls and asked for a favor of their employees to support their own personal brand launch. They challenged us to create a new brand, in the form of a Pop-Up shop, for the upcoming city-wide MidPoint Music Festival (MPMF).
To accomplish this task the employees were given a 24-hour Brainstorming Design Challenge. All of FRCH came off-line for one day. 180+ people were divided into 8 teams crossing disciplines, studios, and levels (not just designers, but IT and administration as well).
The given guardrails were as follows:
- Create a pop-up concept.
- Stay within a $15,000 budget.
- Capitalize on social media.
- Resonate with the Millenial demographic that will frequent MPMF and Over The Rhine (“OTR”)
- Provide awareness or support that benefits the community.
- Resonate with FRCH’s core values, and brand statement, “See Something New”.
- In 24 hours, present the concept to the firm and a panel of judges, including FRCH partners
The judging panel then selected one winning concept to implement in the following month at MPMF.
I was on Team 6, and we devised the concept of “Vinstagram”. Our concept stripped the essence of social media to its core: sharing images and writing messages. The theory was that a person can look at something they pass on the street and see it the same way every day, but we could do something to change their perspective. Inspired by FRCH’s new brand slogan “See Something New”, we wanted to create a gallery that allowed a peak behind someone else’s lense. Through the utilization of a simple #HashTag, we would print images from Instagram on the back side of a postcard, to display on a curated Gallery Wall. People who have used the #HashTag would then come to the space not only to find their photo, but to see the festival through another’s eyes. The hope was that guests would be inspired and purchase these small tokens, and send them to friends, family, or even themselves. Every postcard that left the space would leave with a $1 donation to an, at the time, unnamed charity that benefited the youth of the community.
After the presentations, the judging panel deliberated for a few days, and Team 6 won!
Team 6 had the following four weeks to refine the concept, complete the design, and build out and implement the Pop-Up experience.
As the concept evolved some minor changes were made, including the name of the shop itself. Another team from the brainstorm created the name #FramedAtMidpoint. The name seemed absolutely relevant to the concept, and actually fed the idea even further. Below is an explanation of why.
The Instagram photo platform is based off of square image, similar to a Polaroid photograph. Polaroid photographs are a lot of what fed the initial “Vinstagram” concept. They create a feeling of nostalgia to the ever-digital millennial generation. They provide instant gratification, in the form of a photo. They allow the owner space to leave a message or note about the photo.
We decided to create a graphic system of view finders based on the proportions of a Polaroid and communication used on Instagram. By strategically placing viewfinders around town, we created a sense of guerilla marketing. Ambassadors carried large 3’ x 4’ frames that translated into a “walking photobooth”. Light posts created a mounting surface for 11” x 17” viewfinders that framed out shots of different venues in different districts. Finally, business-sized calling cards were handed out like wild-fire. All ambassadors were also asked to wear custom designed T-shirts as well.
By putting deeper emphasis on the concept of a Polaroid style image, an instant print became a must. A photobooth had been discussed in brainstorming, and would now become a design driver. The booth was placed at the storefront to provide interaction at the face of the store. In keeping with the concepts of both Polaroid and Instagram, we decided to have a little fun with the filters. We created custom designed physical acrylic filters that slid into a handmade box in front of the lens of the camera. This kept our use of new-age technology analog and interactive.
The results of the experience were outstanding! Not only was the concept well received among the target market, but we were able to successfully raise over $700 for the selected charity, Music Resource Center of Cincinnati (“MRC”). During the week of the festival, we received 72,000 social media hits. We broadened the awareness both on social media and through verbal communication for MRC.
We still have a few straggling #FramedAtMidpoint posts. It’s a happy reminder to me of this awesome experience!
On a side note, anyone who knows how to format a blog, let me know!