Team Talk: When “taking your work home with you” is a good thing
By: Liza Rubinstein
May 29, 2019 | Reading Time: 5 mins
When we say we’re passionate about the work we do, it’s not lip service. We have it good here. Each project presents a unique challenge and opportunity to push our clients to new heights. And every so often we encounter projects that not only excite us but change us, too.
From tech and healthcare to agriculture and education, we collectively work on an insane variety of projects. This week, we asked the team which clients or projects have moved them, changed them, or impacted them outside of the office. Here’s what they had to say:
Chloe: “I literally bought a new vehicle because of FleetCarma.”
In 2017, Kyle and I got to work on a really cool campaign for FleetCarma called Charge the North (including branding it!). FleetCarma partnered up with Natural Resources Canada, the University of Waterloo, and several utilities across the country to collect real-world charging data from electric vehicle owners. The goal was to use FleetCarma’s technology and UW’s analysis to gather data that would inform EV infrastructure planning (and in turn, increase EV adoption!). Our role in the project was getting EV owners across Canada excited and opted in to install FleetCarma’s data collection device in their EV.
Going into the project, I knew very little about EVs. Fast forward a few short weeks and I felt like a walking, talking billboard for why we all need to take our individual impact on the environment more seriously. I went deep. Way deeper than the level of knowledge required to get Charge the North off the ground. I was fascinated by the passion EV owners have for these amazing vehicles and the benefits we all reap because of them. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner inputs, improvements to public health, economic and technological growth – not to mention affordability and making driving fun again!
Before Charge the North was even wrapped, I swore my next vehicle would be an EV. And it was! In August 2018 after sitting on a long wait list, we welcomed our first EV into our family – a Nissan Leaf SV named Elton. Almost a year into ownership, I can say it has made me a better earthling. Our family makes better decisions for the environment every day. And my favourite part of EV ownership? My car is a conversation starter everywhere we go, and those are really important conversations.
Liza: “Farming is an extreme sport.”
Growing up in a suburb outside of Toronto, the closest thing I experienced to a farm was my grandmother’s backyard vegetable patch. I can admit I’ve never been one to think about where my food came from, let alone the work that goes into growing a successful crop. Enter Syngenta Canada – a leading agricultural company dedicated to helping Canadian growers by providing integrated crop solutions. Fast forward almost a year of working on the account and I’m throwing around terms like “yield potential” and “glyphosate-tolerant”.
In all seriousness, the agricultural industry in Canada is so much more complex than I could have ever imagined and this client has opened me up to an entire world I never really knew existed. From growers to seed treaters to agronomists, these men and women are incredibly sophisticated in their agricultural knowledge and practices. I’ve been able to witness how everything from weather to political issues directly impact the industry, and from planting to harvesting I’ve learned how extremely calculated and planned out each stage is. It’s also made me rethink my views on certain issues, like the benefits of using herbicides in large-scale farming.
I think the beauty of working at an agency is the opportunity we have to expose ourselves to a variety of different industries we would otherwise overlook. It not only makes us better marketers (and amazing at trivia!) but also more well-rounded humans.
Brent: “It’s awesome to see your work come to life.”
Creativity has always been a passion of mine. As a kid, I’d find myself in detention for drawing quirky things all over my desk — needless to say, Mr. Archer was not a fan of my work. That passion turned into a career and today I’m able to work on all sorts of creative projects for some pretty cool industries.
A few years ago, I was approached with a branding project for a tech space that would be known as Catalyst137. At the time, it was just an idea, there wasn’t even a building. Since then, the restored tire factory has become a 475,000 ft IoT space, with a logo and soon-to-be-released website. It’s full of innovative companies ranging from tech to automotive to manufacturing. There’s even a brewery, which we definitely take advantage of on a regular basis.
It’s a great feeling to come into work and experience what I helped create. Catalyst137 has been more than a branding project to me, it represents all the hard work and sacrifice over the last decade to get where I am today. Anytime I find myself in a creative block, Catalyst137 reminds me to always keep pushing forward and stay inspired for future projects.
Kyle: “I can’t enjoy anything anymore”
Can I say “all of the above”? Seriously, I can’t name a client that hasn’t impacted my world view in some way. I’ll never be satisfied with the UX of my applications because I know InFlight could make them better. Setting up my new TV was a pain in the ass because it wasn’t “plug and play” like PCC’s technology solutions. Even when the holidays roll up, I’m left scoffing at my Thanksgiving turkey like, “you call that a medium sized bird?”. I guess this is what happens when you
get too invested in your work work with companies who are doing awesome things in their respective fields.
Insatiability aside, working with a wide variety of clients has made me a more active listener. I remember everything because I never know what information may come in handy on my next project. I’ve become a well of random niche facts. Like, did you know Italy is the #1 producer of commercial rabbit meat? My cousin told me that two years ago at Christmas and I’ve held onto it because part of me thinks I might need to know that one day. I already do work for Hybrid Turkeys, so it’s not crazy to think rabbits could be in play.