Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Meet the players

Okay, so I’m a quasi-ludite and have never “blogged” before. I have looked at blogs every now and again. If a blog is mentioned on the Daily Show, I’ll almost always look at it, but that’s about the extent of my blogging experience. So I beg your patience as I find my blogging voice.

Seems to me if I’m going to keep you riveted by the soap opera that will be this campaign, you need to know the cast of characters. I’ll cover off my peeps and Bill can tell you all about the agency types.

Well, there’s me, Pam Davis. I’m the director of marketing and am responsible for keeping the thing together.

My boss, his name is Yves Gadler. He is responsible for all fundraising at WWF-Canada. Mostly, he leaves me to do my thing. I love him. He went away on vacation not long ago and when he returned, I realised that I had missed him. Weird.

The big cheese, the president and CEO, is Mike Russill. A great guy. Formerly in oil and gas, ironically enough. But also a marketing guy. He gets it and he likes to push the boundaries. Truly a pleasure for someone like me.

Julia is the conservation person on this campaign. She is the equivalent of a product person at a bank, for example. Julia’s perspective is the science. She’s responsible for our conservation strategy – how we’re going to tackle climate change. She’s also the one who can make or break the campaign – just like any other product person. I’ve never worked with Julia on a campaign before. If she doesn’t “get” what the marketing and agency people need to make a great campaign, we’re going to be screwed. Fingers crossed.

Wiseman works for me and she’s the integrator and overall day-to-day-keep-stuff-going person. Her first name is Joanna, but there are too many Joanna’s here, so we just call her Wiseman. She’s smart. Too smart, sometimes. Constantly argues with me and thinks she’s always right. She usually is right, which is the only thing that stops me from firing her. That and the fact that I love her. She understands me.

J.B. is responsible for the direct marketing bit on this campaign. She’s another Joanna. Serious keener. She’s doing some post-graduate stuff on environmental education. Great at what she does, seriously smart. A bit strange in her own way, as well. Says “sick” all the time. As in, “It is so so hot in here. It’s sick.” Doesn’t make any sense.

There are a lot more people, but those are the main ones you’ll be hearing about.

We’re briefing on the campaign this week. I pretty much have the thing written, but it’s with Julia right now in order to make sure that the science stuff is accurate and puts focus right where it needs to be based on the actual climate change work that she and her team will be doing.

Climate change is such a colossal subject. Between Bill and I, we have to figure out what particular aspect of climate change is going to be compelling to the consumer. Is it the planet we’re going to leave for our kids? Is it the effects that we’re experiencing right now, like the insane hurricanes? Is it the plight of some species? Is it the fact that we’re not going to be able to have outdoor ice rinks?

We have tons of research, but it’s just that…numbers. All of us have figured out by now that research does not a great ad campaign make. The trick is in finding the right nugget of consumer insight and turning that insight into something that captures the attention of people who are normally too busy to pay any attention.

We better get it right, or my ass is grass.