Craig Barber, Head of Innovation & Emerging Media at Rapport, shares his experiences over a particularly busy week in our London offices, and beyond.
Today is a big day. Our client, Vaillant, is activating a unique piece of OOH at Victoria station. Months of planning has culminated into this one execution. I arrive at Victoria station at 7am to ensure everything is going to plan. We install a vending machine that dispenses coffee when smiled at by commuters, alongside tweets that beam live to Transvision screens. Everything works brilliantly, with our partners Grand Visual and Ambient creating a memorable experience.
The purpose of the activation surrounds Blue Monday, which is supposedly the most depressing day of the year as people struggle with their late pay days. We wanted to bring both warmth and a smile to a commuters face. At one point, the vending machine had queues of people providing their smile for a free coffee. You never quite know how successful these types of activations will be, but this went beyond our expectations.
I celebrate with two flat beers at Wetherspoon. I leave the station at 5pm to make my significant other dinner. I tell her dry January is going well.
After the excitement of Monday, Tuesday gives me some opportunity to catch up. I start my day by checking out key tech websites to see the latest news. It’s important that I understand what is happening and how we might be able to integrate said technologies into our plans. Windows 10 catches my eye and it looks like Microsoft is truly back to its best.
I catch up with Ben Smith from Grand Visual and we discuss how things went with Vaillant and what we could improve next time round. Learning is key in my role as you rarely get a second chance to make amends on one off activations that may only last a day. We decide it’s more a case of tweaking than making any major overhauls of the project.
I receive a few more briefs and head to the pub for a quick pint with my colleagues. I quickly chat on the phone with my lovely fiancé and tell her dry January is going well.
In the afternoon I speak with Mungo Knott and we catch up on some interesting projects from Primesight; an amazing mind in Outdoor and one that should be dredged whenever you get an opportunity. We discuss mobile technology and how it can best integrate with OOH. We also discuss other talking points in the industry and it’s great to get his opinions on what’s going on.
Today we hold a big briefing session internally for one of our clients. It’s important we try and feed back to our partners our own thoughts rather than simply ask for solutions. Collaboration seems to be a buzzword of late, but it really does make the difference between a good campaign and one that vanishes in the noise. I’m happy with how things go.
I also catch up with our marketing exec Luca. We head to the pub at lunch and discuss a major piece of Rapport collateral that he is designing. It looks fantastic and we both input ideas on how to make it work harder for us. It’s not something we have really done at Rapport before but it demonstrates how things have changed and how we see ourselves as a business.
After lunch, I finish off some briefs and quickly go on to a conference call. The afternoon runs smoothly, so I leave for home and ask my lovely lady if I can watch the Tottenham game as I’ve been so good with dry January. She reluctantly agrees.
It’s my last day in the office as I have Friday off. It seems all of our clients realise so start to brief me on everything.
I have a conference call with one of our clients to discuss a piece of digital we have going live in a week. It’s looking strong so hopefully there will be no issues. Much of my job is about project management and this is a great example. Instilling confidence in innovative projects is half the battle and my aim is always to encourage this confidence in everything we do.
I refuse to drink at lunch as I have a meeting with Tim Bleakley from Ocean Outdoor. We agree to meet at 4pm in the American Bar. I order myself a few beers and feel guilty when Tim orders ginger beer as he is on dry January. We discuss the latest issues in OOH. I leave hoping that I achieve half of what Tim has in his career. Meeting the entrepreneurs of our industry is key to learning and I’m grateful that Tim gave me his time.
I leave for home and advise my lady friend all is going well. She smells beer on me but I tell her I had a ginger beer. She looks at me confused and we settle down for some Netflix.
Today is our day off. We both agreed that today was about planning the wedding, but I convince her that we should go to the pub at lunch as we’ve been so good this week.
I still check my emails and ping out a few notes to keep things ticking over, but nothing too major. Bring on Monday.