Wow, already one year, and what a year!
I have always been told that if you do what you love time will fly. I can tell you for sure I did not see this year pass by.
I started my journey with rEvolution in February 2020, motivated as ever, looking forward to helping the rEvolution UK team create and grow the creative department and offering; and what an exciting challenge.
When you join any new workplace, there is always a period where you feel a bit out of place, but here I immediately felt good, the team was super-welcoming, patient and helpful. Particularly as a lot of people tend to wonder: “What does a Creative actually do?”
Creative is like truffle oil. A simple dash over your favourite dish, and you are transported to flavour town! Joking aside, I always get asked what my role entails and what I actually do. My first challenge here was that this time I was to be starting up a new in-house division from scratch, having to embrace every role within a creative department.
For my first project I had to put on my best wetsuit as rEvolution was taking part in the most exciting new sailing series in the world: SailGP. We were working with the title sponsor of the Danish team.
Our adrenaline level was skyrocketing as we were part of a newly created team. Like the athletes, we had to be focussed on the finish line without capsizing. The turnaround times on this project were very tight, we had four weeks to fully deliver multiple videos in multiple formats for multiple usages, and more. And, of course, this was not the only project I was involved in. Before we could cross the finish line though, the world was hit by a terrible virus that would put everything on hold.
COVID-19 had just hit the news, whatever your opinion at the time, no one was ready for what would happen.
So here we are, asked to work from home. It was a first for me, I had never really worked from home before except for small stuff that had to be done during a weekend or a holiday. The first step was for me to try not to change my routine too much; I’d wake up at the same time I would normally, the only difference being I would listen to my music on the couch instead of on the Tube.
Workwise, we as a team were keeping a close eye on what was happening in the world and in particular in the world of sport. We had seen sports events slowly being cancelled. Pitches and briefs that were supposed to come were placed on hold or cancelled. I’m not going to lie, I was wondering what was going to happen to us and particularly to me as I had only joined rEvolution a month and a half previously and we were hearing that some agencies were closing down or putting people on furlough. Thankfully the rEvolution management team across the UK and US had a robust plan to ensure we were never at risk of closure.
The management team were always as transparent as possible in the situation we were in, but sadly the agency had to let go and furlough some great people that I would have loved to work with more.
The more the months were advancing the more events and briefs were cancelled. But we did not let this hurt us as we had decided to take the initiative to be even more proactive and to fight side by side as we were all in the same boat fighting for our survival. I think this period helped us to bring the best out in each other. Everyone turned into a ‘Biz Dev’ on the lookout for any piece of information that we could turn to our advantage. And we all turned into Creatives, working on ideas that we could propose to future clients.
We tried to keep our minds busy and stay productive as much as we could, focussing on our target of bringing a sense of normality back to our pipeline. And there have been many a green shoot as we have joined forces with our colleagues in the US to pitch on a handful of fun and exciting briefs. Things are in a way slowly returning to a new normal, not as fast as we would like, but we are getting there, step by step.
I think this experience has made us a stronger team, even the fact of being away from each other, as it led to the creation of a team call every morning – a really positive way of checking in with one another.
Yes, our / my plan to create and grow the creative department hasn’t quite worked out the way I was expecting it to – but it didn’t get cancelled, just put on hold!
So, let’s see what this year is all about and let’s be ready to rEvolutionise the world.
Written by Morgan Merle, Creative Services Director at rEvolution