I Couldn’t Help But Wonder …. Is 48 Hours The New Turnaround Time?

Creating a viral tv spot without Ryan Reynolds can be challenging, but anything is possible when brands take calculated risks

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And just like that …. You are on back-to-back-to-back phone calls, production meetings, coordinating teams and 48 short hours later, you have a TV spot! Unrealistic or our new norm? 

As an agency leader, I take the role of expectations very seriously—both the expectations of our internal teams and those of our client teams. This means pushing back and being realistic about what is and isn’t possible. That can be the scope of a project, budget, sales goals or timelines and deadlines—especially when it’s related to pulling together a shoot.

But my job also means I am always looking for ways that we can continue to partner with and expand our clients’ brand presence. Whether that’s responding to a tweet, an Instagram meme—or in some cases creating a TV spot.

Is a 48-hour turnaround ideal? Absolutely not. Is it becoming the norm? I also don’t think so. But when the right opportunity arises for a brand to start a conversation, educate and build awareness for their audience, time is of the essence.

Instead of overthinking the absurdity of the deadline, look at the value of the opportunity and jump in with both feet—encouraging your team and the client that it’s absolutely the right, calculated risk to take.

Brands be nimble, brands be quick

The world we live in now is in streaming TV, memes that go viral in minutes, tweets that engage conversation between brand and consumer, and Tik Toks that bring your brand to life in a new way. As agency partners, we would be remiss to think that we shouldn’t be prepared and nimble enough to move forward and execute quickly.

Does it help having Ryan Reynolds on your side and an expert CMO like Dara Treseder? You know it. But why can’t your agency do that? 

One of the things I remind our team of often is that the relationship has to be a priority. What can we do for our clients, for their brands and how do we make sure that, no matter what, we’ve done what’s possible to get to our end goal.

Anything is possible but everything is not

I learned firsthand last year the need to move swiftly and not to hesitate when amid a global pandemic, our client PURELL needed holiday spots to remind people that we can still be together despite a pandemic and PURELL plays a part in that. Moving from concept to budget approvals, script approvals, finding talent and locations to a final edit in less than 2 weeks seemed impossible.

But you know what? We did it. Our team pulled together, watched trends, pitched exceptional ideas and most importantly—our client bought into it and knew we could and would get it done. Not in 48 hours but also not the norm, especially as production was just getting back to the new normal.

The lesson learned goes back to my favorite piece of advice– anything is possible but everything is not. Did we get to shoot in our dream locations? Not even close—we pulled together friends and families and colleagues and worked to get locations scheduled. Could we shoot inside? Absolutely not (hello we were shooting for PURELL— safety first!).

Did we have strict guidelines about talent and interactions? Yes. Did the client have to give us the ideal timeline for both? Yes.

Despite all of us huddled under space heaters in the Cleveland cold in November, we each pushed each other in a positive way to get the spot done and turned it around in time for the holiday season. Our client said it best: “Even on an (exceptionally) aggressive deadline, the team was able to concept, shoot, produce and activate something that I’m so proud to have been a tiny part of.”

And in the end … I couldn’t help but wonder: Am I jealous that Peloton and Maximum Effort shot a spot in 48 hours? Honestly—hell yes. I love the challenge of that pressure and I am sure that the team bonded together in ways that may not have happened otherwise.

And that relationship between brand and agency? Well, it grew—all within 48 hours.