5:21 Somewhere by JWT

Nov 21

We just sent two guys off on the job of a lifetime. For 73 days they’ll travel the world, take pictures with famous photographers, and hopefully… stay on brief.

521 Somewhere

So we came up with this idea: 5 continents, 2 dudes, 1 planet. Hence the name “1 somewhere.” And because we’re so clever, we thought, what if at 5:21 each day they took some pictures and posted them along with some words of wisdom? Then we thought: “dang – what if we posted back our 521 from somewhere?”
And suddenly, the “5:21 somewhere” blog was born.

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To Process or Not to Process

Sep 25

Process (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)
Function: transitive verb
To subject to a special process or treatment as in the course of manufacture: to subject to or handle through an established usually routine set of procedures <process insurance claims>

While the above definition is simple and logical for assembly lines with repetitive actions  with little to no deviation, it is not the case in the digital production world. Things get complicated when the end product is everchanging.

There are different ways to tackle this task of writing a digital process but first things first:
–       Your process will have to handle the culture as much as the work itself so make sure you understand the culture before starting
–       Process must be  an objective document and cover all key steps
–       Process is not your timeline
–       Process is not your project plan
–       Always use roles not names
–       Must identify key-holders and hold them accountable
–       If it takes you more than 20 minutes to explain your process… Start again and SIMPLIFY!

Before writing a “Digital Process” document, make sure to define the goal of the document and identify what group/work is going to be covered under this document. In order to do that, make sure not to dig too deep into the details but stay focused on the big picture. In my view, the main purpose of a process in the digital world is to create a list of all the key players necessary to execute the work, as well as all main juncture points where the work exchanges hands between players/departments.

It is very tempting to write a process for a project that will make the team’s life easier and explain in details every step of the project including milestones, timelines, documentations and the team’s member roles and responsibilities. The elaboration on such details can be the downfall of this document. Project Plan is NOT a Process and it’s virtually impossible to reuse it for the next project.

Here are a few steps that you might find helpful when writing your next digital process:
Step one
in writing a successful process is to identify the buckets of work (web sites, yearly system upgrade, software development, e-mail marketing, etc.). Each bucket should have its own tailored process.

Step two, identify your resources and their location (in house, freelancers, remote offices, etc.)

Step three, identify all necessary documentations, briefs, SOWs that are being produced during the lifecycle of the project.

Step four, trace the current flow of the work from sales to completion. At the end of this stage, you should be able to draw a flowchart that clearly shows how things are being done with specific tasks, timelines, departments and resources. Always understand how things are being done before suggesting a change.

Step five, create a list of all crucial steps that are necessary for the process (parallel paths, critical paths, etc.). Make sure all assets transitions and transactions between departments, offices, resources and the client are covered in your list.

Step six, exclude the details. There should not be any names attached, just roles. There should not be any timeline, they vary. There should not be any mentioning of a specific client/project, it should work across clients/projects.

Step seven, map it / flowchart it / illustrate it

Step eight, run “what if” scenarios as well as past projects through it. Make sure that it holds and all bases are covered.

Step nine, present the process to each department individually, and confirm that the process covers all of their steps and it’s clear where they are responsible and accountable. But more importantly, make sure they understand the purpose of the process.

Step ten, remember that this is a live document. The digital landscape changes on a daily basis and same goes to digital production. It will get harder and harder to deal with the latest technologies and produce best in class innovative work, when your process is relevant to the assembly line.

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Aug 11


Stride launched a new promotion Save the Arcade to help keep one of four arcades open during these hard economic times. The four arcades are:  Arcade UFO in Austin, Texas, Game Galaxy in Nashville, Tennessee, Starbase Arcade in San Rafael, CA, and  StarWorlds Arcade.

Stride ask the players to play a simple shoot-em-up (developed by JWT) and donate their points to one of the participating arcades. The arcade with the most points by October 6, will receive $25,000.

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When Forever Began

Jun 26

We created an interactive piece of work that expressed that Love, like Diamonds, is Forever.

When Forever Began

When Forever Began

A four foot high, mistletoe wreath fashioned in the shape of the Diamond logo was hung in Madison Square Park where couples could come and kiss under it. The kisses were digitally recorded by 60 cameras circling the mistletoe and uploaded to the When Forever Began website. English to Pashto The kissers could then visit the website and share their Unbreakable Kiss with their friends and family through an e-card or download the video to post to their Facebook profile.

JWT won Gold at the One show Interactive for Integrated campaign (http://www.oneclub.org/os/search/?year=2009&id=11256). As well as 2 Bronze Cyber Lion at Cannes (http://work.canneslions.com/cyber/?award=4).

– Case Study
– Work

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Digital Hollywood — Spring 09

May 05

Participating in a panel discussion about Digital production and workflow.
The Revolutionized Digital Workflow Experience: Understanding How Information Technology, Broadcast & Entertainment Production Merge

Jake Winett, Global Industry Manager Media & Entertainment Communications Sector, Microsoft
Mark Langford, VP Marketing & Product Management, Electronic Distribution Services, Technicolor Home Entertainment Services
Joey Faust, Consultant, National TeleConsultants, Inc.
Michelle Munson, president and co-founder, Aspera, Inc.
Joel Ordesky, Chief Technical Officer, Wexler Video, Moderator

http://www.digitalhollywood.com/ Arabic to Urdu dictionary

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Interview with Craig A. Elimeliah at iPro

Mar 02

Introduce us to yourself and your company.
My name is Yahav Isak and I am the Director of Digital Production at JWT. JWT ranks as the largest advertising agency brand in the United States and as the fourth-largest full-service network in the world. Its parent company is WPP. I oversee the production and development teams and was given the task of helping bring digital to the forefront of the agency. As the Director of Digital Production, I’m constantly researching new and innovative ideas/technologies to present back to JWT’s clients and our internal teams.

Q: Interactive Producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?
Interactive producers and producers in general are about finding solutions to get things done. Finding a way to deliver the end product without compromising. We’re all aware of the triangle: Money | Quality | Speed. However, there are many more variables a producer needs to consider while running a project. The typical end product is never one final item (i.e. DVD or a printed page). A producer will deliver X different ads in Y different sizes, a rich media unit, a site, a video, a widget, a blog, a… Great producers can keep up with all the moving parts/details and sync all of them to deliver on time.

I got into the digital space in the mid 90’s as a web programmer/developer. While I enjoy programming to this day, I realized that my strength was in production. Overseeing the full creative and development cycles and lead production teams allows me to increase efficiencies and push innovation.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
This is both the most stressful part of my job and the most fun. I learned to listen to the young guys; they are fully wired and fully integrated. I always hire attitude over skills! People with the right attitude and will, carry you further than the most experienced producer in the long run.

In addition, we always welcome new and groundbreaking groups to present their capabilities to JWT. When we do, all disciplines are invited to come and listen. We have very strong integration at JWT between broadcast, print and digital.

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?
The ideal would be for me and my producers to have full control over the time line, technology and budget… ok that is my fantasy project . The ideal is to have the right strategy and resources from the get go. I strongly believe that the way you scope and start a project is a very strong indicator as to how the project will flow. The more communication and trust we have between all parties, the greater the delivery of a stellar product.

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?

Every client is different. Some have a very strong understanding of the medium/technology and they expect us to push the envelope for them. Then, the education works both ways in the form of brainstorming. Other clients are locked into their 30 sec TV spots and it is up to us to show how our own capabilities and understanding of digital integration can be a key component of their marketing strategy.

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?
That’s a very hard question since we have so many ongoing projects with different clients at JWT. However, without getting into a specific client, the best projects are the integrated ones. Campaigns that leverage assets from all mediums (broadcast, print, events, and digital). It enables us to have a clear competitive advantage and be creative with the executions. The best part is that we are sending a unified message (same voice, same creative) to the users via the different mediums.

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?
It’s a combination of the type/size of projects, with the overall time lines. In general, it’s up to 2 big ones, or 3-5 medium/small.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?
JWT is the second place I have had the opportunity to build one. I think I mentioned earlier that I always hire attitude over skills, and there are two main reasons for that:
A. They need to be able to interact with so many teams and clients at many different levels. I try to cultivate producers who are able to communicate bad news while motivating their teams at the same time. With the wrong attitude, no matter how great you are, that is not going to work.
B. We spend MANY hours at work. I want to be able to come to work and enjoy the people I work with. Moreover, I want to be able to learn from each and everyone of them.

Q: How do you ensure that your client’s best interests are met?

It is paramount to gain the client’s trust. With transparency, we can achieve partnership and work together on creating the desired brand. I’m also a big advocate of thorough strategy where both the agency and client are aligned on the brief and objectives. That translates to better collaboration and better final results.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?
Like many others, I’m still waiting for mobile to catch on. Regardless, I believe that user generated content will continue to lead. It may be in new formats than today but the premise will remain the same. English to Latin phrases For advertising, it’s a way of making the users an integral part of campaigns and evangelists of the brand.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers.

I always tell my producers that we are all about creative solutions. It’s about how fast we can adjust and keep moving the project from point A to point B. On the development side, I am a big advocate of creating a symbiotic match between innovative technologies/tools and the brand.


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