Around the World for a Positive Brand
I’ve heard it takes one day per time zone to recover from the symptoms of jetlag. I’d love to know how that formula is adjusted when criss-crossing the globe in a matter of two weeks. I recently returned to the Monigle office after doing just that. First to Tanzania, then to Ecuador, over to the Republic of Georgia, then back to Denver. Add in a few stops in New York and it definitely took an equal amount of time to get over the jet lag and get back on track. For this client trip I jet set 36,000 miles in 17 days. If you’re into math, 36,000 miles is like driving from Denver to NYC 20 times. Or what it would look like if you multiplied Nugget’s forward Kenneth Faried by 28.5 million. It’s around the world one and a half times, and it’s the distance you’re willing to travel for a brand you believe in.
Brand Video for FINCA International
Recently we were given an interesting assignment to produce a brand video for FINCA International, a great organization we’ve had the pleasure of working with for years. FINCA provides life-changing micro-loans around the world. This specific project involved me, as Monigle’s Creative Director, traveling the globe alongside a camera crew to meet and interview both employees of FINCA and customers who’ve received loans. To truly experience the impact and culture, we tended to meet customers in their businesses and homes. There was no script. The plan was to capture the heartfelt emotions and very personal stories about FINCA in their words. Each interview session started with a short visit off-camera to put the interviewee at ease and then we started with a couple questions. Very quickly the flood-gates opened. In every case, we had more unrehearsed material that came out than we could have ever hoped for.
You’ll be able to see the finished product here on our blog soon, but what you won’t see in that video is what happened behind the scenes. To say I experienced sensory overload would be an understatement. What we experienced were 16-18 hour days of interviewing, shooting, conversing and troubleshooting with the team back in Denver via Skype in the middle of the night, endlessly searching for wireless access, buying out inventories of power converters and batteries at local stores to feed the lighting and sound equipment, getting on-the-spot permission from sometimes less-than-friendly local authorities to film on location, experiencing the highest humidity ever coupled with fresh coconut water and the Indian Ocean.
In all honesty, along with being a great project, on a personal level, this was a pretty cool way to see remote parts of the world. It was not at all like a traditional trip where you while away the day at the local art museum, or waiting in line to tour a historic site–that would be a vacation. Traveling to the different regions and meeting FINCA employees and customers in such a concentrated time frame was real work! Beautiful, exhilarating work. It was not only an eye-opener to the poverty and poorest of the poor in the world, it gave me a refreshed perspective on the power of brands. I was inspired by the unifying effect of a brand. Great brands and their identities speak a universal language–one that crosses barriers of language and culture, young and old, rich and poor–they unite us in a unique way. And, my experience, when in unfamiliar surroundings, off the beaten path, brand familiarity provides a degree of comfort–something in common that emotionally connect us. There was clearly a strong sense of pride and purpose for the FINCA brand in the communities we visited. And while each remote region of the world had unique stories and challenges, when all the customer and employee stories were brought together in the video, this unifying effect was clearly an evident part of this emotionally moving brand story. It felt good to be seen as a brand partner with FINCA as we traveled the regions and to know that we had even a small part in building this well-respected brand.
We can’t wait to show you the inspirational and fascinating brand video FINCA International has created.'(For more photos from Mike’s trip, follow us and check our Instagram feed or click here, here and here.)