Behind the Scenes with a Sköna Creative
Jenny Sagström interviews Janessa Mason, Creative Director at Sköna and designer of the Tripp & Tyler campaign for Snowflake — the data warehouse built for the cloud.
Tell me about the rationale behind the campaign?
Our client, Snowflake wanted to create a campaign that brings to life the internal battle between IT and BI, a battle that their customers face every day. The issue is commonplace amongst many companies, but it’s also a pretty serious subject, so they were looking to juxtapose that with something lighthearted and humorous.
What did the campaign creative entail?
The hub of the campaign is a microsite featuring a video of a humorous office environment where Tripp & Tyler, representing BI and IT workers, are constantly pranking one another – not to mention getting very little work done! In addition, we created campaign extensions with an ebook, digital banners, social media and out-of-home advertising.
What was the hardest part in producing this campaign?
The hardest thing was actually narrowing in on the perfect customer message. We started our creative process thinking the best approach would be to position this as a war/peace campaign. With some finesse, it finally came together when we honed in on the “struggle” as the main theme. To me, "struggle" works as it really describes what both IT and BI are going through on a daily basis, without being too menacing or even too serious. It also allows us to provide the perfect solution. For the prospective customer, it really drives the point home – basically, 'Yeah, right now you’re struggling to do your job. But if you had Snowflake, we could help you end that struggle!'
As a creative, how do you approach something like this?
As a team, we start with a brief and what we call some “Bad Ways In”. After that, I like to go away on my own for a bit. I like to try to put myself in the shoes of the customer or end viewer and really understand their pain-points; I imagine their lives and how to connect with them. From there, I start with campaign headlines and I go really big and out there, then also try to go really safe and restrained—to play with the boundaries of the campaign concept. Usually, that lands me somewhere in the middle. Once I find a message I like from a conceptual standpoint—that also allows the brand to shine through—I try layout options and also start to think about the channels in which this is going to get published; which allows me to take it a step further and customize the content for that particular media. For the Tripp & Tyler campaign, I pulled from the writing in the video and their pranks.
Do you have a favorite place to be creative?
It doesn’t matter where I am, but I need to have headphones and be listening to music without lyrics.
I listen to classical, or the sound of a rainstorm! If I need to write or be conceptual, I basically need to shut everything out and really focus.
What made you become a creative?
I rejected it for a long time until resistance was futile. In college, as soon as I changed my major to design, I quickly went from academic probation to straight A's. It felt like I had finally found my path, found what I was meant to do. Now, I’ve been working as a creative and a creative director for over ten years and I can’t imagine my life without this work.
What makes you so good at what you do?
I am authentic and empathetic, which means that I can put myself in the shoes of the person I am trying to speak to. And I love what I do—I live and breath it—which makes it easier.
[Writer’s note: Janessa is also one of the funniest people I know, which makes her conceptual work even stronger.]