By Adriana Krasniansky | PSFK
“Trust us, you’ll love it.” Such are the famous last words of the traditional client pitch.
When presenting a campaign, advertising firms must rely on abstract claims or presentation decks to convince clients that an idea or product will work. Wouldn’t it be easier to “show” clients the idea with a prototyped product?
Fred Gerantabee, Head of Creative Technology at Grey New York, Marriott’s agency of record, thinks it would be. In fact, he thinks it’s the future of advertising.
For the month of October, Gerantabee and the Creative Technology team at Grey have partnered with Brooklyn-based Makerbot Industries to bring 3D printing to the advertising world. The two have launched MakerMonth, a challenge that tests Grey employees to 3D prototype a new hotel room accessory for client Marriott Hotels.
Employees have until Oct. 31 to create a Marriott THING (The Hotel Inspired Necessary Gadget): the product should be a “wish you had it” item that millennial travelers would want to see in their hotel rooms. Submissions can be sketched, comped, or CAD designed. The top three ideas, as selected by a panel of judges from MakerBot, Grey and Marriott, will be 3D-printed; the winning design will receive a cash prize and will be reviewed for implementation at Marriott Hotels.
MakerMonth is not simply an opportunity for Grey to try something new; it is also an anticipated solution to current industry shortcomings. 3D printing will allow agencies to deliver concrete progress to clients, thereby strengthening valuable relations. And as agencies and clients alike expand globally, 3D printing helps teams physically collaborate on a product, even from 10,000 miles away.
The most important benefit of 3D printing is that it can be used by virtually anyone. Printing guides can be created from 2D images (such as those created in Adobe Illustrator), or they can be modeled after real objects when scanned by Makerbot’s Digitizer. The low technological barrier to entry empowers agencies, transforming teams from ideators into physical inventors.
Katie Krum, Director of Digital Marketing for Marriott Hotels, tells PSFK that the MakerMonth challenge was a natural fit for the hotel chain, whose Travel Brilliantly platform crowdsources improvements for hotel design. On the Travel Brilliantly website, guests, experts, and influencers submit their ideas for the new generation of travel. For Krum, it’s only natural that agencies contribute their creativity to the conversation.
MakerMonth is a part of a larger Grey initiative called the Distillery, which brings new technology into the agency monthly and optimizes it for campaign innovation. As Gerantabee explains, technology and advertising are no longer independent categories. “Technology solves problems,” he says, “Advertising is the business of solving problems.”
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