Destination Imagination is a program that encourages creative thinking for students pursuing potential careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). Part of the program is completing Challenges with their peers.
With this race-against-the-clock spirit in mind, we created each week’s social media content. We used a different creative professional for each one (ie photographer, designer, motion graphic specialist, voice over artist).
The rub: we only had a four-hour window to get everything done: from concept to execution.
Week One: Graphic Design – Katie Lapi
You can’t have a creative challenge without creative professionals.
Our first guest was the incredible Katie Lapi, an accomplished graphic designer and advertising art director.
In four hours we made the invite for the next guest which will set the tone going forward.
Who are we talking to: Other creative professionals in advertising to be involved in the upcoming challenges.
What: An invitation to participate in a four-hour challenge, for social media content, for fun, and for the kids.
When: Winter 2022.
Where: A colourful PDF we could send via email.
Why: You can’t have a creative challenge without creative professionals. Also, to set the tone for design.
How: Sent as a part or the ‘pitch’ (see Appendix A) to get new creatives onboard.
Week Two: Photography – Peter Holst
This is a printable poster for mentors and team leaders to be involved in the Destination Imagination program. We took inspiration from record album covers with the idea being that the letters to spell out D-E-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N can be found hidden in the shape, and when placed along a long hallway, a reflective pen can highlight each letter in turn. They are designed so that teachers and staff can print from their own printers and put them up themselves.
From concept to completion this was made in approximately four hours the help of creative photographer Peter Holst.
Who: Mentors interested in volunteering to help run the challenges.
What: For a theme I was thinking “concepts found in the everyday” and how a program like DI can refine the mind (and eye) of its students to examine problems conceptually, and use conceptual thinking in every area of their professional lives.
When: Spring / summer 2022.
Where: In the hallways of schools and community centres.
Why: To target parents and / or mentors for the DI program.
How: A human truth and a call to action.
Week Three: Retouching, Christoph Prevost
For Week Three, the theme was “happenstance.” When creatives take their hands off the wheel and stop trying to control every detail, suddenly there is room for “happy accidents.” You can call it luck, or even magic.Many of Hollywood’s most famous lines are unscripted (Hey I’m walking here!) because tapping into flow beats planning every time (when there’s a flow to find). We pushed this concept as far as a producer possibly could in the sense that we needed models, but brought none—on purpose. We put up a few posts on social media about our whereabouts and intention, but the pieces never fell into place with actors magically appearing out of thin air. It was a cold, snowy day and passers-by were in no mood either. In a last minute panic I went to pull my kids out of school. I was at the gates when Christoph called with a great idea: we’ll use statues instead. That, to me, was what this was all about. The pressure of time creates a resourceful state of mind—practice in this state serves to refine it. Pragmatic creativity like this is developed at Destination Imagination, giving your kids a lifelong edge that can be applied in any industry.
Who is the market? For parents of kids not (yet) in the program.
What are we saying? If you have a creative mind, spontaneity and happenstance are tools at your disposal.
When? Summer 2022
Where? Transit shelters and on skytrain station posters in the Lower Mainland.
Why? To bring attention to the DI program and bolster enrolment.
How? Interesting ads and posts on social about the magic of happenstance.
Week Four: Digital Ad Illustration, Oran Rahami
This is an ad designed for kids to build an interest in the Destination Imagination program. It also speaks to their parents directly through the body copy.
From concept to completion this was made in just under four hours with the help of professional illustrator and art director Oran Rahmani.
Who is the market? Parents of creative kids.
What are we saying? DI is instrumental in shaping a creative mind, and a positive attitude.
When are we going to do this? Summer 2022
Where? Social media at first, and then digital banner ads targeting the parents of 8-12 year old kids.
Why? To bring attention to the DI program.
How? We wanted to illustrate The Power of Play At Work via a colourful ad with a positive message for children, paired with a bittersweet reality check for parents.
Week Five: Article Copywriting, Mike Catherall
We have a lot of content to work with now but what we need is an explanation of what is happening and what this all means.
Five Ways To Sharpen Developing Minds.
You might be wondering what is going on with the social media over here at Destination Imagination BC.
The Four-Hour Creative Challenge? What is this? Why? What purpose does this serve?
We wanted to show imagination in action. We wanted to show what it’s capable of.
To get a feel for how inspiration works, you need to get two creatives in a room together, give them a brief, and a deadline, and see what happens. That’s when the sharpest thoughts come to play, and in that final hour, you can really see what the brain is capable of.
I explain this in more detail here: Week 5: Article
Who is the market? DI’s social media followers.
What are we saying? This is why we are doing these challenges.
When are we going to do this? Feb 17, 2022.
Where? An article hosted on the DIBC website, then social media.
Why? To explain the four hour challenge and how it ties into the DI program.
How? Long form copy, like a magazine article
Theme will be: Keepers of the subtle flow.
Week Six: Branded Billboards, Christoph Prevost
For Week 6 we focussed on a key visual.
For this week, we went out again with photographer Christoph Prevost and were joined by twelve-year-old-twins Olive & Holden.
Who is the market? Friends of potential students. Generate Word of Mouth excitement among peers.
What are we saying DI is just plain fun. Imagination at play can be fun and freeing.
When are we going to do this? Summer 2022
Where? Social media then billboards.
Why? To show the importance of curiosity in children.
How? We stuck to the core branding colours and kept the message simple and insightful and under eight words.
Week Seven: Motion Graphics, Deb Bailey
For Week Seven of our Creative Challenges we worked with phenomenal Motion Graphic designer Deb Bailey. There is a new logo at DIBC that celebrates its focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. With the fire of a four-hour challenge to inspire, we created not only one animation for our box and ball, but one for the new STEAM logo as well.
Who is the market? Parents, teachers and students already familiar with DIBC.
What are we saying Come to our next event.
When are we going to do this? Summer 2022
Where? A dynamic video on FB & IG, then potentially TV, skytrain stations, digital billboard and digital pre-roll. .
Why? To act as a template to invite students and parents to the next DIBC event.
How? Making straightforward facts compelling. The more shareable the video is, the more news of the event is spread organically.
Theme will be: Pass It On
Week Eight: High Concept, Asawin Bear Phanichwantana
For Week Eight of DIBC’s Creative Challenges, our very special guest was Asawin Bear Phanichwatana, Art Director and Executive Creative Director at GREYnJ UNITED Bangkok. Bear is one of the most recognized and successful living creatives in all of Asia so it was of little surprise that the ad for this challenge was a look into the CONCEPTUAL PROCESS that is behind the best advertising in the world (which he is immersed in). This week’s challenge had DIBC advertising over WIFI, using a mechanism you find in every hotel: The Locked Internet Portal. The twist being the answers to these questions can’t be found online. Access to the portal is granted by answering questions that reflect the skills taught at DIBC: intuition, imagination, observation, and resourcefulness. Don’t think of this week’s ad as an ad per se. It’s more abstract than that. Think of it as a concept that can be applied, and built into a campaign down the road, just like the other ads we’ve made
Who are we targeting: General public (North America)
WHAT: This a concept for Destination Imagination.
What do they need to know: Destination Imagination will give your child skills in solving problems, working in teams, and generating creative solutions and original ideas.
WHEN will it launch? Winter 2022.
WHERE? On DIBC’s social media, FB / IG.
WHY? To inform the public about what DI is about in order to boost registration numbers.
HOW? An interesting, original visual or story created by two minds seeped in over 40 years of advertising.
Week Nine: Collage Art Street Posters, Arlene Littler
For Week Nine we worked with one-of-a-kind collage artist Arlene Littler. We wanted to show how professional creatives are able to access their imagination readily using some of the skills and techniques taught at DIBC.
When the pressure is on, creatives like Arlene produce some beautiful and interesting work.
Who is the market? Teachers, Counsellors, Coaches – anyone that works with kids
What are we saying Creativity gives a voice. Imagination empowers.
When are we going to do this? Summer 2022
Where? On and inside buses, skytrains and in stations. Sponsored events that focus on kids.
Why? To show adults the value of focusing on creative thinking and problem solving early on in a child’s development.
How? We will show how art is an instrument of social and political change.
Theme will be: I also want to touch on the idea that symbolism often precedes the articulation of the message, even to the artist.
Week Ten: Radio Production, Copywriting and Voice Over
For this session, we combined copywriting with the specialized talent of voice over acting (along with radio producing). An amazing VO can breathe life into words and add depth and complexity (and a lot of humour) to each character. We wrote three scripts in just under two hours, edited them, brought a VO artist onboard for an hour or so, and he absolutely nailed it. With a few minor revisions, we had our DIBC radio spots ready to go—from brief to complete in under four hours.
For this ad we got an amazing, award-winning voice-over actor (currently the voice of Honda Canada).
Who: Parents, teachers and students throughout the Lower Mainland.
What: A wide reaching message that stresses the importance of screen-free activities for kids.
When: Summer 2022
Where: Top 40 Hit Radio. Z95.3. KISSFM. Virgin. Tweens like their bubblegum pop on the radio. Top 40 stations. Their parents endure it.
Why: To generate awareness about DIBC and what it represents.
How: A thirty-second radio ad about how screens are the imagination killer.
Week Eleven: Direct Mail, Flora Gordon
For Week 11 we worked with talented senior designer Flora Gordon to create a message that would hit close to home. As we have covered print, radio, motion graphics, photography, high concept and digital in our other weeks’ creative challenges, one of the only channels left was direct mail. With Flora, we made a postcard that addresses the importance of leaving the phone alone and looking for answers in one’s imagination instead.
Who: Parents of potential students in close proximity to the school.
What: We will design a postcard to reach this market via a Canada Post mail drop.
Postcard will be full colour one side, 5×7” easy and inexpensive to print at Clubcard or any printer.
When: The drop will occur early summer 2022.
Where: Households within a ten-block radius of DIBC locations. The drop will occur in hand-picked neighbourhoods, selected by postal codes
Why: To create awareness of the program, and emphasize its proximity. This will help to drive registration for the fall 2022 semester.
How: A postcard sent to a few thousand homes with postal codes within ten clocks and a reminder of proximity
THE PROCESS: The four hour window forces the creative mind to take a “path of least resistance” approach. Working as efficiently as it can, the brain fires along neural pathways refined by decades of creative experience. This “first thought, best thought” comes from creatives not having time to second guess or doubt where their mind is taking them, and to just go with their gut instinct.
Week Twelve: Jingle Production, Shane Philipson
For Week Twelve, Musician Shane Phillipson (Snakies, Cadeau, Close Caption Radio) will work with us to write a jingle in his studio.
Who: Siblings. This time we are going for a fun and quirky song that will be shared with brother and sisters about the program.
What: A ten-second jingle that is catchy yet bizarre and interesting enough to catch attention.
When: Summer 2022
Where: At the end of radio ads or as its own spot and on social media.
Why: To make the Destination Imagination purpose clear “It’s time to work on your mind” and memorable via music.
How: The “the everlasting earworm” as an ad for younger siblings with the emphasis being on “first thought best thought” and that “edits are the enemy of flow.” Songs and lyrics come fully articulated from a mind in the flow state and all we need to do is get out of their way and let them happen.
For our final challenge we worked with phenomenal Canadian-born Hong Kong-based artist, Rachel Smith.
We created a subtle ambient piece that lays dormant until activated by STEAM (as well as most mists).
When this transparent sticker is applied to a window, such as the inside of a bus, a shop, or a ferry, it’s invisible to the naked eye. It’s only when condensation sets in that the word “Imagination” appears.
The anti-fog material of the sticker offers complete clarity when everything else is shrouded in opacity.
Written on the sticker is:
Visionary Training through STEAM