When AIGA West Michigan asked The Forest to oversee all creative for its third-annual Halloween party, we embraced the opportunity for many reasons.
1. It was for AIGA West Michigan - a group that many of us belong to and continue to support.
2. We were given complete creative freedom (honestly, that was reason enough).
3. It was for a Halloween party.
We didn’t know it yet, but in the short span of time, we must have been dying to create “Fête Dément,” which is conveniently French for Killer Party. The initial brainstorms unfolded, as did a long list of wonderfully fun, unique, and beautiful deliverables; including a three-spot film series.
There was several challenges involved. However, many of them were self-induced, and in some ways more fun than frustrating. The first was the timeframe. We were given the project in early September, so we had to hit the ground running. We had to make a thorough shot list, write scripts, design sets, make props, hire talent, and keep everyone else motivated throughout the project, the shoot, and pretty much right up to the party. We had to work closely with our friends at Ryan P. Photography and Eskimo to develop the perfect “divide and conquer” strategy. We had to get the spots edited in time.
We developed a list of deliverables that we deemed necessary (such as the only required printed pieces - posters, save the dates, and invitations), then we put together a list of deliverables that we absolutely couldn’t live without. We designed and developed a microsite specifically for the event. Enter the film series, the photo shoot, the tweeting, the texting, and the real essence of the theme - which we treated as a brand, itself.
As the date of the event grew closer, the bigger the buzz surrounding Fete Dement grew. Another important challenge was more of a trial for The Forest; we decided to try online advertising to promote the event. We engaged our audience through a number of avenues, varying from social networking on Facebook and Twitter, to street teams plastering up walls of posters around town. There was even a Google number which users could call to hear more details about the party, and to receive various, creepy texts as save-the-date reminders. So, imagine our lack of surprise when we got a call from the Deputy Sheriff. It’s like they say. It’s not a party unless the boys in blue tell you your neighbors complained about the noise.
And quite the party it turned out to be. Fete Dement pre-sold an amount of tickets that AIGA West Michigan was more than happy with. And, as it turns out, our online advertising was successful as well. According to the metrics, it was well worth it. And we never imagined that people halfway across the world would be engaging with our video series...or maybe we did.