When you can expect the unexpected, you adapt. Read how seven teams from IE’s MVDM put their skills to the test during the uncertainty of the current pandemic.
On July 17th my classmates and I officially graduated from the Master of Visual and Digital Media (MVDM) program, along with the rest of IE University’s Class of 2020. This was IE’s first fully online graduation and although we weren’t able to walk across the stage, the school gathered together virtually to watch the ceremony.
Moving from an in-person to a virtual graduation isn’t the only shift we had to make this year since the intention of the MVDM program is to redefine and recreate new models of digital media communication. And while graphic design and data visualization exist digitally, other aspects of our program like video and photography production were more challenging to fulfill during Madrid’s quarantine.This was especially true in terms of our final project, which was incredibly hands-on.
The capstone project of the MVDM has students working in teams to act as communications consultants. Each team is paired with an NGO and receives coaching directly from members of the communications agency LLYC, spending several months working on a strategy before finally releasing and measuring the results of a multimedia campaign. We started working with our NGOs from the beginning of the program, doing in-depth research and brainstorms, resulting in a final proposal. Then, just as we were moving from the planning to the production phase, coronavirus hit.
We thought we would be on hold for only a couple of weeks, but it soon became clear that we would have to complete our capstone project while under quarantine, using new digital tools to keep us connected and efficient. After working towards our final plan for six months, we suddenly had to shift to accommodate the emerging reality. Every one of the teams had to restructure or completely scrap their original idea and pull together a new one, as well as produce a campaign in just a few weeks. Though it was disappointing to abandon our pre-pandemic plans, we saw firsthand the truth behind the saying that adversity breeds innovation.
This experience was valuable because it gave us a taste of the fast pace at which communications agencies actually work; part of being a communications professional is being able to roll with the punches and adapt projects as needed. Although it was challenging to restructure and launch our campaigns last minute, the situation forced us to find creative solutions.
In the end all parties were highly impressed with the quality of our work–from LLYC, to our partner NGOs, to our professors. I think some of us even surprised ourselves. We transformed from beginners, unsteady on our feet, to confident in our strategy and with a solid foundation in communications.
Below is a summary of this year’s projects and campaigns:
NGO: Into Neverland, an NGO that puts on plays for children in hospitals
Insight: We all can connect to our inner child.
Creative idea: Recrea la Magia. This group brought back the magic of childhood by starting a social media challenge to recreate a picture of yourself as a child dressed in a costume. The idea of recreating the magic is so strong that the organization is planning to use this messaging for future campaigns as well.
NGO: Cesal, an NGO that supports immigrant populations within Spain
Insight: Every piece of the chain is important, and we can only achieve our goals by working together.
Creative idea: This team created an in-home studio to create pictures that would make up a grid of Instagram posts to demonstrate how important individual pieces are to making up the whole.
NGO: Aldaba, an NGO with a learning center for adults with intellectual disabilities
Insight: Family doesn’t have to be by blood, it is anyone who supports you through tough times.
Creative idea: Posted media about the Aldaba family and the ways members continue to support each other during corona. Created an online media challenge with the hashtag #OrgullososDeNuestraFamilia to encourage people to post pictures of their own family
NGO: Antares, an NGO that hosts activities for people with intellectual disabilities
Insight: Spanish culture is very warm and social, but social distancing and quarantine makes this difficult. Everyone has someone who they miss hugging.
Creative idea: Tu primer abrazo. Who is the first person you want to hug after quarantine? Their campaign received over 44K impressions in their first four days, reaching people like Alvaro Albeloa from Real Madrid with this emotional question.
NGO: Soñar Despierto, an NGO that supports children in foster care.
Insight: It’s not enough to tell kids they can reach their dreams, it’s important to help them build a vivid picture of it.
Creative idea: This team created a virtual «Book of dreams» created from the drawings of children in foster care. Their project touched a cord with many people, even receiving attention from Spanish musician Alejandro Sanz.
NGO: Pato Amarillo, one of the main NGOs in Madrid providing food to low income families. Because of job loss during quarantine, the demand for food was particularly high.
Insight: Everyone can be a hero.
Creative idea: Because Pato Amarillo’s main goal is to receive food donations, the call to action was a simple one: be a hero and donate food. They received so many donations as a result of the campaign that the NGO ran out of space to put it.
NGO: Saniclown, an NGO that works with hospitals and sends clients to amuse sick children. During quarantine, they shifted their focus to cheering up doctors.
Insight: Even heroes need support
Creative idea: Sonrisas de esperanza. Through a social media challenge encouraging users to post pictures of themselves smiling, combined with a social, paid, and owned media strategy, this team was able to complete reach all of their campaign goals and receive the award for best project!
Adrianna Noelle Berring is a graduate of IE’s Master of Visual and Digital Media. She’s from Tucson, Arizona, and loves chocolate, music, and writing. She’s interested in social entrepreneurship and how we can apply marketing techniques to social causes. You can check her out on Linkedin here.