It’s rewarding to volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate money to charity, but many creative people also want to use their specialized skills to help others. Tapping into this desire, Adobe partnered with FEED on the Adobe + FEED Make It Challenge. The competition enlisted three teams—each made up of a copywriter and an art director—to design a holiday campaign to promote FEED, which sells products including handmade bags, T-shirts and accessories, with a portion of the proceeds donated to help pay for meals for hungry people all around the world.
The winners of the competition—Alejandro Chavetta, a creative director at Astro Studios in San Francisco, who served as art director, and copywriter Matt Walker, who has 15 years of experience as an agency creative—came up with the “Follow My Lead. FEED.” ad campaign. The ads will be running in magazines like InStyle and Vanity Fair, and feature creative people like Jon Batiste, the band leader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert house band Stay Human, and photographer Jamie Beck, modeling FEED bags on the streets of New York City and sharing thoughts on how buying FEED products benefits others.
Chavetta and Walker had never met before they were paired to work on the project. Like the other two creative teams—art director Michael Simon and copywriter Cynthia Maller, and art director Kelly Niland and copywriter David Kennedy—that took part in the challenge, they both answered a call on Adobe’s Behance network in August for art directors, copywriters, graphic designers and photographers willing to spend a week in New York City working on the project.
The selected creatives got right to work in September, operating out of ad agency Sub Rosa. FEED founder Lauren Bush Lauren briefed the competitors on the history of FEED and its mission. “FEED, as a brand, is very gift-able, and thus holidays are a very crucial and important time for us in terms of our sales and in terms of our giving,” she tells Co.Create, noting that she wanted to educate the creatives without being overly prescriptive. “The idea of entrusting the FEED brand and products and messaging to the creative community and kind of seeing what they came up with was something that was really exciting to us.”
The creative teams were briefed on a Wednesday morning and had only 72 hours to formulate and present their ideas. The winning idea then went right into production that weekend. Asked whether there were benefits to speeding up the creative process in this way, Lauren says, “We at FEED, being a small team, are believers in getting our hands dirty and being scrappy when you need to. I do think sometimes the most authentic and creative outcomes come from that and not from a lot of textbook research.”
Adobe underwrote the competition and brought in Michael Ventura, Sub Rosa founder and CEO, to mentor the creatives. Adobe’s chief marketing officer Ann Lewnes says a FEED and Adobe partnership made sense because FEED “is the embodiment of two core principles of ours here at Adobe—we believe in great design and social good.”
The entire creative process was documented from start to finish and is now being presented as a web series on Adobe’s Create platform. “What’s great about it is you’re seeing the process from the very beginning when the teams first meet, and you get a little snapshot of them,” says Lewnes. “Then over the course of the seven days you get to see them do the work—everything from the briefing to the initial concepting process to production. It’s kind of like Project Runway for creatives.”