Trust the client’s compass.

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Building brands means building relationships – beginning with the client and agency. If you don’t trust each other, you’re going to have a very tough time convincing a consumer to believe whatever you wind up putting out there. It takes honest back and forth to find your way to the heart of the matter.

This may sound surprising coming from a stereotypically shy creative, but this is one of my favorite parts of the job. I love talking to clients, getting to know them and what their brand is all about. Frankly, it makes my job much easier. A notepad filled with notes and doodles from a client call drastically reduces my time staring at a blank screen.

I’ve found that more often than not our clients love what they do, too. That excitement and insight can really propel a project if you let it. Which brings me to Natchez, Mississippi (and if you’ve never brought yourself to Natchez, I highly suggest correcting that).

Team Ramey worked with Visit Natchez to develop a safe travel campaign in the midst of the COVID-19 tourism drought. That’s a challenging ask. But what makes Natchez so special, also makes it a safe getaway during a pandemic (or at least as safe as it gets). Depending on where you’re travelling from, Natchez sits at least an hour off the beaten path – which naturally keeps the throngs to a minimum. It also makes for a highly personal experience. FIND YOUR CORNER OF THE WORLD, as the campaign says.

 We basically were talking to you guys all day, every day. That meant a lot to us. I don’t know that we would have gotten such one-on-one attention with any other agency.
-Lynsey Smith, Visit Natchez Interim Director

Thankfully, we worked with a team of passionate and gracious insiders to develop this campaign. The entire staff of Visit Natchez was engaged and enthused from the beginning. We had lengthy Zooms exploring what folks really loved about Natchez and how they could go about doing it these days. They knew the town inside and out, and helped guide us back on track whenever our notions veered elsewhere.

Everyone knows “don’t be afraid to ask questions.” But agencies also need to get over being apprehensive of the answers. Sometimes we have to rethink an idea. But it will be all the stronger for it. Trust the client. They live it. Or in our case, live there.

 
Our time on location was limited due to scheduling and well, you know, the plague. No scouting. But that didn’t matter. The women of Visit Natchez had the town wired. Restaurants, speakeasies, classic cars, dogs, secret sunset spots – they came through with epic options.

It was an ambitious and agile shoot. There was no telling when travel norms would change. So we shot everything with and without masks. Availabilities and sunlight came and went. Through it all, Visit Natchez worked alongside us, ensuring the next location was ready for action and pointing us in all the right directions.

We were almost double all of our benchmarks.
-Lynsey Smith, Visit Natchez Interim Director

When I look back on it, I see how easily this could’ve become a nightmare production. But it didn’t, because everybody was there to make it happen. Together, we created one of my favorite campaigns in my two decades at Ramey. And the results show that it brought quite a few others together in Natchez.

 

Wes Williams

Wes Williams, SVP/Chief Creative Officer