an incredible adventure
GumboLIVE was an experimental Creative Think Tank located in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. Established as a way to provide a different creative perspective as well as develop young talent, this office was a joint experiment between the Marketing agency Momentum Worldwide and IPG Media Brands. During my time there I experienced one of the most diverse and vibrant cities as the background to an incredible opportunity to work with corporate clients to yield useful solutions to challenging and diverse problems.
At GumboLIVE we worked with some of the most influential brands. On a weekly basis our team would juggle multiple briefs from a variety of different categories. Periodically, some of our larger brands would bring their marketing teams down to do co-creation sessions with us. The fast paced environment and endless amount of creative work was both inspiring and educational.
The office was a flat structure meaning that there wasn’t really any hierarchy between my coworkers and myself. When a brief came in the project would be up for grabs and anyone who was interested could take on the role of Project Lead. They would be temporarily managing the group for the duration of the project and were responsible for leading the group through the Research, Creative, and Execution phases of the project.
Most project briefs required a decent amount of research and involved the entire team coming together to do a deep dive into a particular subject or topic. When applicable, the city of New Orleans itself would become our research subject.
Surrounded by a talented young group of creatives I helped create and implement new brainstorming methods. In this environment we were all encouraged to try new approaches in the pursuit of bringing a different perspective. Most exciting were projects in which the client cooperation would come into the office and be involved in the process.
The final step always took the longest and leveraged heavily on the Project Lead’s ability to understand the original ask and what concepts generated were actually relevant to the needs expressed by the brief. Due to the short timeline on our projects, we often used analog and “messy” methods of communicating our ideas. This proved to be both engaging and effective in communicating our messages. “Do it by hand” quickly became a mantra when working on projects.
I joined GumboLIVE in it’s infancy. The purpose of this experiment was not to create a work environment which would foster long term careers but rather to quickly expose young talent who wouldn’t usually work in Marketing. Since I left, GumboLIVE has continued this mission and refined their process. This was an incredible experience and the skills and experiences I gained in this position continue to benefit my work.