When I was brought on as the first Creative Director for Georgia-Pacific, the main thing I was tasked with was bringing a new storytelling focus to GP's external communications and branding. In particular, transforming GP from a big corporate brand to people. With over 33,000 people working in over 200 locations across the United States, there are many stories just waiting to be told.
People connecting with each other is the strategy and design of my first major campaign, "We Are:" Most of GP's 200 locations are 'at the end of the road' or 'in the middle of nowhere.' But you know what you find in the middle of nowhere? Small-Town America.
"We Are" is designed to connect our audience to GP through the people who live in these amazing small towns all across this great nation. Designed for the social media age, each installment will feature a 'full episode' of somewhere between 7 and 10 minutes along with a slew of additional shorter content geared to the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter audiences. The vibe would be something along the lines of American Pickers meets Dirty Jobs meets Carnival Eats. See the town and everything it has to offer through the eyes of one of our employees. The idea is to downplay Georgia-Pacific, the company, allowing the messaging to come through naturally through the storytelling.
Today's audience doesn't want to be 'sold.' Repeating the virtues of any company over and over and over and..... is just selling. Give the audience a connection to the company, why they should like that company and you create customer for life.
What better way to kick off this series than traveling to Brewton, Alabama and employee Glen Freeman?
Glen is 76 years young, has worked at Georgia-Pacific for 58 years and shows no sign of retiring. His smile, laugh and overall attitude is simply infectious. We fell in love with him during our first conference call.
Glen works in the Safety Department for GP's Brewton Cellulose Mill. He's also the unofficial ambassador for the town practically knowing most everyone and every place in town. His love of classic cars led him to start a car show the runs with the annual Alabama Blueberry Festival. With the Blueberry Festival happening in early June, we used that event as our focal point of filming.
I made the decision to 'travel small' bringing just a three man crew with me. Led by DP Emily Breault, we spent three days filming in Brewton with Glen and he was so much more fun than we could have ever imagined. We had a great time filming him all over town and trying some amazing fried catfish and BBQ. Mother Nature gave us a rainy final day at the Blueberry Festival but that rain could not dampen Glen's enthusiasm. The episode is in Post right now and we can't wait to share it with the world. More episodes are in the hopper.