Giant Hydra was up to the task when Christina Brown, Partner and Creative Director of acclaimed Montreal based agency CloudRaker, tapped the HydraHeads for a very special project for one of their clients. Christina is no stranger to big names or unconventional ideas — her career has put her at the helm of such brands as Bell Canada, and CloudRaker’s innovative social media campaign for Tim Burton’s MOMA exhibit received international acclaim — but combining a big name and out-of-left-field thinking with a virtual team she’s never met in person? That’s something completely new!
We recently had a chance to speak with Christina and have her share her thoughts about working with the HydraHeads and how she’d use the system on her next project.
Giant Hydra: What were your initial thoughts when you first heard about Giant Hydra? What were you expecting, and how did it live up to those expectations?
Christina Brown: “ I heard about Giant Hydra very early on, and was really intrigued by the model. The idea that, as a Creative Director, you could crowdsource talent from around the globe was what excited me most. When it came to actually using Giant Hydra, I was a little concerned about the briefing process and the real value it would bring, given that the project we had was one that required so much background knowledge about the brand and the subject of the campaign. I was really taken aback by how much research the HydraHeads did on their own time and how quickly they grasped a complex brief.”
Giant Hydra: You took your time in selecting which HydraHeads you wanted for your team. What was it like to look at all of the Heads that applied to work with you, and what impressed you the most about the ones you picked?
Christina: “Giant Hydra was amazingly helpful when it came to recommending talent for this particular project. I knew I wanted a solid base of senior thinkers with a few fresh juniors in the mix. I also loved that we were able to have a strategist involved; he was able to anchor a lot of the thinking that the creatives were putting out there before I had to! What impressed me most about the HydraHeads overall was how damn hard they worked. They were extremely generous with their ideas, helped each other out and took feedback incredibly well. While I’ve never laid eyes on any of them, I really enjoyed collaborating with them. ”
Giant Hydra: You mention never actually meeting the HydraHeads. Creative directors are accustomed to working with their staff face-to-face. What was it like to instruct a team in a virtual world, where everyone is thousands of miles apart?
Christina: “I think that’s the part that takes a little getting used to. At the Seed stage, it’s heaven. You get all these great big ideas in which you can see potential and that’s the best part. It got a little tricky when we got down to execution. At that stage I would flip the HydraHeads’ Seeds over to my internal team and they would run with building the full campaigns. That said, this was a project that had very aggressive timelines and many brand standards to adhere to. On simpler briefs, I think it would be a non-issue.”
“I was really taken aback by how much research the HydraHeads did on their own time and how quickly they grasped a complex brief.”
Giant Hydra: The team you selected was very international, even though your brief was for a Canadian client with a very Canadian dilemma. Do you think these global perspectives brought something unique to the table, or is great creative and strategic thinking universal?
Christina: “Absolutely. In fact, in this case, we had been internally working so long at solving a really tricky problem that we were losing perspective. The ideas that came our way from HydraHeads from all corners of the earth proved that we were in fact moving in the exact right direction with our own thinking and that really was invaluable. I can truly say that the process really, really helped us.”
Giant Hydra: Now that you’ve had your hands on Giant Hydra, what would you do differently when using it on another project?
Christina: “It would depend on the project. For the bigger, more complex pieces I would leverage the Seed stage longer. For less complex challenges, I would push to execution faster. Even though I was told I communicated well with the HydraHeads, I think I would do more scheduled talks with them. All the same rules apply here that do with your own internal teams.”
Giant Hydra: Imagine a fellow CD calls you up and says “I’m thinking about trying Giant Hydra.” What would be your strongest selling point, based on your own experience?
Christina: “I would really recommend it. Whether you get ‘the idea’ or not, there is bound to be a little jewel you find in the process. I also think it is a tool you get better at using with time. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Want to know more about how Giant Hydra can help you on your agency’s next project? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org