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Thoughts on achieving a unified brand message through multiple organizations

I caught up with Kelly Rigg, the executive director for the Global Campaign for Climate Action after she won a Game Changer award at We Media Miami ’10. She talks about the TCKTCKTCK.org campaign and how to unify a brand across multiple well-established organizations.

Kelly Rigg on a unified brand message with many orgs for TCKTCKTCK from Genuine Interactive on Vimeo.

The transcript is now available. Special thanks to Genuine’s Brianna Giambrone for getting this turned around so quickly!

Kelly Rigg: My name is Kelly Rigg I am the executive Director for the Global Campaign for Climate Action which is the organization behind the TCKTCKTCK campaign.

Genuine Interactive: You talked during your presentation about the importance of the logo. Could you talk about what it enabled the project to achieve?

Kelly Rigg: Well we have a membership, partnership I should say, of about 250 organizations, many of whom who have very large brand recognition; Greenpeace, Amnesty International, WWF, Oxfam, Avaaz, Red Cross … 200 organizations. And they all have their own unique identities, their own campaigns, their own creative sources etc. If you were to try to get them to cooperate and all do a joint campaign under a single image, a single modus operandi, you’d never get it.

So what we wanted to do, step back, as I said in my presentation. We also need to make sure that all of their individual campaigns add up to being more than the sum of their parts because they’re all very powerful and wonderful but unless somehow you can create a coherent whole that actually there is a mandate on a global level there’s a global movement really demanding action – it’s not going to add up to enough to really change the game.

So the idea was that …they would continue to run their own national international campaigns with their own focus but by using this coordinated logo, the TCKTCKTCK logo, they would be able to communicate but at the same time they were part of this global movement, that it was more than the sum of the parts.

Genuine Interactive: Did it work as well as you had hoped?

Kelly Rigg: Yea, it was fantastic, I mean when we got to Copenhagen everybody knew about TCKTCKTCK, “you guys were everywhere.” And that was exactly the intention behind it was this feeling that we’re everywhere. Because obviously we don’t have anywhere near the kind of resources that the industries that are opposed to climate action have at their disposal so we needed to be more creative and smarter about how we show our presence and mandate the public that we had behind us.

Genuine Interactive: Personally that must have been very rewarding.

Kelly Rigg: It was really exciting. I think one of the most exciting things for me was there is a lot of organizations that all work independently — and we got to Copenhagen and we had a meeting the day before the meeting started in which we were collaborating on what we were going to do, how we were going to do it, setting up these rapid-response meetings, so we would have a morning meeting everyday where we had strategic insiders, the lobbyists who would tell us what was really going on and then it was immediately followed by a group of 100-200 activists who would sit there and brainstorm about what to do.

And as I said, at the beginning of this whole process, with this meeting everybody was together. I thought I’m going to be completely drained just going into this meeting we had been working so hard. I walked into that meeting and I came out with more energy than I think I’ve ever had. It was so exciting because every group stood up and “I’m from this organization and we have 200 youth activists here, I’m from this organization we have costumes, we have this, who’s got this” and people were just raising their hands and they treated it like it was a whole campaign, like they were part of one massive organism as opposed to their individual campaigns competing for attention. And if you saw one of the slides that I showed about the 100,000 people marching in Copenhagen, you’d see a lot of slides, there’s no branding on it, people created signs for the global good. That was one of the most inspiring campaigns I’ve participated in for that reason.

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