Ram Trucks has been a sponsor of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition for a long time. Ram had a new truck model coming out that it wanted to promote. So why not take the two things and put them together to create a truly unique marketing opportunity? That is precisely what The Richards Group’s digital strategy team approached Ram with in late 2014. Ram loved the idea, and the creative process immediately kicked off.
There was only one small hiccup. The timeline from creative concept to site launch had to be six weeks. Normally the timeline for putting up a small but technologically creative website is measured in months, not weeks. But the creative and production teams had a hard launch date that could not be missed. So everyone rolled up their sleeves and got to work. The production team began building the framework for the site while the creative team was still nailing down the design.
A further wrinkle was introduced into this already tight schedule. The final shots for the Swimsuit Edition hadn’t been taken yet. Sports Illustrated had its own timeline that it needed to stick to, and that timeline didn’t necessarily sync up with Ram and The Richards Group. While the creative team was completing the design and the production team was getting the site set up to receive images and creative, Sports Illustrated was sending over images when they became available.
To manage and organize all of this, our teams had to work in a truly agile way. Because the timeline was short but the site was trying out new creative concepts, the teams had to be able to switch gears quickly. The creative team worked hand in hand with the production team to make sure the site looked amazing, while also making sure it had time to be tested and properly shaken down before it launched.
Every member of the teams had to make sure they were always pushing forward and on top of their tasks, or the project would fall behind. Only days before the project was going to launch, creative revisions were still being made and The Richards Group was still getting final images from Sports Illustrated. The creative and production teams were able to handle this smoothly because they had been working closely for five weeks. The creative team was able to quickly handle image editing, and the production team was able to quickly optimize them for the Web and place them on the site.
The site launched at the end of February to much fanfare. The client loved it, the creative team loved it, and the production team loved it. The site went from creative concepting to fully launched in six weeks, a record amount of time, especially considering the teams consisted of one creative member, one project manager, one brand manager, and one developer. Because everyone on the teams worked together and believed in pushing the project forward, there was almost no crunch time involved.