Jan, 29, 2016
By: Chris Gordon
As most of you know, I am the Creative Director at Hirschfeld Marketing Solutions. That is a pretty impressive title for a guy that wears jeans to work most days and still spends quite a bit of his work life traveling the country setting up events.
Truth is, we are a comparably smaller operation than most of your large “traditional agencies”. I for one, wouldn’t have it any other way. We truly are a family, we all wear multiple hats to get the job done and we have fun doing it. I’m confident in saying that I will put our work up against any of the aforementioned “agencies.”
With all that said, I do, on occasion, get to put on my designer hat and throw some ideas at the wall. Such was the case back in August of 2015 when our friends from Anheuser-Busch reached out looking for ideas on how to replace a very successful “Mobile Bar” program that HMS had begun with them back in 2010.
My goal with this blog will be to give you an inside look from my perspective as we follow this project from the initial phone call through the build out process to its unveiling to the public. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before (LOL).
As with most of our clients, this call came in to our President and CEO Todd Hirschfeld. Usually after one of these calls, he and I will meet to discuss, put our heads together, dream up ideas, sketch on napkins, basically just spend a day or so daydreaming until we feel like we’re on the same page. With this client we knew we wanted to provide three separate concepts. I do this quite a bit with a lot of our clients in a way to span multiple price points, footprint sizes, etc.
We always have the WOW idea, the largest, budget is not an option we are going to blow it out of the water concept. As a designer, I love these. I get the license to go crazy and have no boundaries, all the bells and whistles. If I can dream it up, it’s in there.
The second concept is usually a bit smaller, maybe a bit more practical. Probably not as over the top as the WOW, but a very suitable and impressive concept in its own right.
Obviously, the third concept is smaller still. Usually much more mobile, easier to operate, etc. You get the idea.
At this point in the conception phase I usually already have a few ideas floating around in my head (all that daydreaming paying off). This is when we will host the first brainstorming session. I like to bring everyone in for this, from the CFO to the CDL drivers. I feel like the more people you can bring into this session with varying backgrounds and experiences, it’s only going to provide more diverse ideas. That is the goal after all, right? Some of the greatest ideas we have come up with are from people that aren’t immersed in the project every day. Sometimes taking a step back or getting that outside prospective can really open up the progress. What is the old saying? You can’t see the forest for the trees?
I will start the brainstorm by giving some background on the client and what we are trying to accomplish and then open it up to the group. Let’s start throwing those ideas at the wall. I will not elaborate on what I may already be thinking about in my head in the brainstorm. I never want to lead someone away from an idea they may have by putting mine out there early. Their idea, after all, may be the homerun I’m looking for, so I’ll save my ideas for the end. Once the meeting wraps, I usually have a legal pad (yes, I’m old school and still actually use pen and paper) full of notes and ideas that we want to incorporate. More importantly to me, I will have a consensus of the infrastructure we want to use for all three of my concepts.
Now the fun can begin! I can start the drawing process. I usually start with the WOW concept first, because, well, that’s usually my favorite to do and, like a kid at an amusement park, I want to go on the best ride first!
From there, I will work my way through the other two concepts carrying over elements that I think will work in each. I will sketch out the designs on the computer, checking dimensions and feasibility. With my construction background I do my best to help the fabrication team and try to keep it as realistic as possible from a build perspective.
Then I will make 3D digital models and render them into photorealistic images that we can present. This for me is the most fun but also the most time consuming; you will have hours, days and many sleepless nights into each one of these concepts. To date, I have just over 200 hours of working design time in this project. You do that math, I was wondering where last year went, now I know.
At the end of the day, it was all worth it, as they chose to move forward with one of my designs for their Michelob Ultra brand. Even better yet, they went with the WOW concept. I know, I couldn’t believe it either! Once the decision was made, I worked in conjunction with their in-house design firm to perfect the aesthetics of the final product.
So without further ado here is what we began bringing to life in December 2015:
Check back next week for the second part of this blog as we start the fabrication process…Stay Tuned!