When you see ads on tv, online and around town, do you ever wonder how they emerged from concept to reality? Where do all of these far-out ideas come from, anyway?

Let’s go behind the scenes of a recent creative brainstorm.

Sometimes we come up with a creative concept that’s so out-there, it would be impossible to bring it to life through stock photos. Which means the only option is an original photoshoot. When this happened recently during a meeting for a global construction client launching a new project management software, we hit a snag.  The problem? A photoshoot was not within our original timeline or budget.

So how do you make something that seems impossible a reality? In this case, the answer is collaboration. We began with a series of questions:


“How do we show a construction crew working ‘in synchronicity’ without showing them on a worksite using PM software like every other ad?”

Art Director:

“What if we showed construction guys as synchronized swimmers?”


“Or playing in a symphony, working in perfect harmony?”

Art Director:

“Or as ballerinas, gliding across the stage in perfect balance?”

The challenge:

A photoshoot wasn’t in our original timeline or budget. When we come up with a groundbreaking idea, only to discover it might not be realistic, we explore different ways to make it happen.

We get stakeholder buy-in.

To increase the momentum, we went to our creative director.“Hey Dan, you know how we’re trying to show real-time collaboration for project management software? What if we showed a group of construction guys in a pool performing synchronized swimming while wearing work gear and pink swim caps!” Dan cracked up and then said, “Awesome idea. Go for it.” Because the idea was unique enough to set our client apart from the competition, he encouraged us to further flesh out the concept.

Wait – What if the client thinks it’s ridiculous?

Let’s be honest, some concepts resonate, and others don’t. But this idea felt groundbreaking enough that it was worth sharing with our client. Knowing that an original photoshoot was a stretch and that we had two other smart concepts that would work for Phase I of our campaign, we recommended the Synchronicity Concept for Phase II.

This concept was a game-changer.

As we pitched our clients the first two concepts, everyone was smiling and nodding. When we pitched the Synchronicity Concept, the entire room lit up. Not only did it make everyone laugh, it made them stop and think. Was this an idea that would make our client look like an industry leader or a laughingstock? Either way, our client felt the concept was worth running by her internal stakeholders.

A couple of days later, we got the call.

Not only did the stakeholders love the Synchronicity Concept, they were blown away by the thinking behind it and wanted to use it to launch the campaign! But where would we get the budget—and how would we make up the time?

The client came up with a brilliant idea.

Pool the budgets of several marketing departments and conduct a bigger photoshoot to capture images that could be used across countless campaigns. To keep the timeline and get into market fast, we created the content and microsite design, while also planning and executing the photoshoot. We then added the photos to bring the campaign to life and hit the deadline.

Collaboration always pays off.

Ultimately, our campaign exceeded all expectations. We never did get the guys to wear pink swim caps in the pool, but we did find an even more compelling way to illustrate synchronicity: With photos of a construction crew playing instruments in perfect harmony and rhythm, both in a symphony and in a rock band. Most rewarding of all was working with our clients to overcome obstacles and bring a breakthrough idea to life. That was collaboration at its finest.

Be sure and check out Our Work section in the near future to see our Synchronicity campaign highlights and results.

Questions about using a breakthrough creative concept to fuel business results? Contact us.

How do you make something that seems impossible a reality? In this case, the answer is collaboration.

About the Author

Jana Bender

Senior Storyteller

Jana thrives on creating strategic concepts and creative that capture the attention of client audiences. She has done award-winning work for clients such as Nike, Microsoft and Sony.