Challenging Our Creativity with Lab517 and ShelterBox
Apr 5, 2016
At Centerline, giving back is part of who we are – and we take that seriously.
We started the Centerline 100+100 program after reaching a company milestone — 100 employees. It was designed for us to give back to the Raleigh community, with employees receiving a paid day off to volunteer in the community at places like Artspace, the Raleigh City Farm, and Habitat for Humanity, Wake County.
“Centerline 100+100 was grounded in the thought of providing an opportunity for employees to give back to the community around us – the community where we planted our roots as a company,” said Rebecca Dole, executive operations director at Centerline.
We say we’re built to continually evolve. So, with more than 130 employees, what’s next?
The 100+100 program has evolved into Centerline100, extending our focus beyond the Raleigh community. We’ve also created Lab517: a place for relentless experimentation, a place where wild ideas meet practical execution, and an actual, physical place – located in the new extension of our current building.
“It’s amazing to see a company of our size, full of people who are constantly busy and pulled in a million different personal and professional directions, have the generosity and self-awareness to continually donate their time, skills and energy to make a difference,” said Dole.
This year, we’re kicking off Lab517 and Centerline100 with ShelterBox, an organization dedicated to providing emergency shelter and vital aid for communities overwhelmed by natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
ShelterBox is preparing for the worst day ever, every single day.
Since they began in 2000, ShelterBox has responded to earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, landslides and conflicts, delivering emergency aid to the communities impacted. While many organizations provide food, water and medical care to victims of disasters, ShelterBox recognized that little or no assistance was being provided that included proper shelter for use while communities begin to rebuild.
“ShelterBox gives so much to people in need all over the world, and they have such an incredible staff. Extending the Centerline100 program to utilize our best in-house skills – strategy, storytelling, design and motion – to address some of their most prominent marketing challenges is a new way for our team to give back,” said Kristen Powers, group accounts director at Centerline.
“Lending our time and expertise to help them be more effective – I can’t think of any organization more deserving. It is truly a phenomenal cause, and we are thrilled to be their trusted partner for this challenge, and for many years to come.”
ShelterBox relies on donations – especially donations that come in before a disaster strikes.
That way, ShelterBox is able to prepare for a disaster, strategically placing aid where it can be deployed in advance.
“Every year hundreds of thousands of families across the world lose everything when disaster strikes. ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies to communities overwhelmed by disaster and crisis. Most of these emergencies never make the headlines, and as a result don’t garner the private charitable support which ultimately makes humanitarian aid work possible. Raising awareness of the work is a huge challenge for ShelterBox, and for many aid organizations that are privately funded,” said Kerri Murray, president of ShelterBox USA.
“To help overcome this challenge and increase support for the mission of ShelterBox, Centerline Digital has been donating its creative and strategic insights and services to ShelterBox for the past four years, resulting in increased visibility of ShelterBox, its mission, and critically needed funding to help support families in crisis across the world. The professional services and advice that Centerline has supported ShelterBox with has been a true gift to the organization.”
From April 13-15, 2016, Centerline will be hosting a 48-hour creative challenge in partnership with ShelterBox.
So, what does that actually mean?
Timing is everything when disaster strikes, and ShelterBox values speed.
Acting as quickly as possible, and striving to reach families in the shortest time possible, is paramount. Days can feel like weeks when you’re without things that we often take for granted – things like shelter, blankets, and water.
Knowing how quickly ShelterBox must respond to help families in need, we challenged ourselves to create promotional strategy and creative assets for ShelterBox in a similar, rapid turnaround – hence the 48 hour deadline.
What are we going to create? We don’t know yet. What’s our plan for a promotional strategy? Not sure.
At noon on Wednesday, April 13, ShelterBox’s President and Communications Director will present a client brief, setting their expectations and kicking off the challenge. Immediately after this kickoff, teams of creatives, strategists and designers will be formed, and breakout squads will get to work.
Centerliners will be “donating” their time, effort and materials in the creation of these creative assets to help ShelterBox further promote their mission.
Utilizing a “tag-in, tag-out” workflow, these volunteers won’t stop until noon on Friday, when final creative outputs and highlights of the challenge will be presented.
There are going to be ups and downs, no doubt. Some things will go off without a hitch, while other plans will have to change. Programs will crash, and we won’t have the props we need, and there will be 3 a.m. dance parties. And we will be documenting all of it.
The best way to follow along?
If you want to drop by with coffee, or doughnuts, or words of encouragement – that’s cool, too.