Skills TEAM LEADERSHIP – Collaborative and Enthusiastic People Lead • Leading and developing high-performing, award-winning Creative teams for over 20 years • Embracing administrative duties to allow my teams to produce the best work with the fewest process obstructions • Setting the tone by encouraging everyone to bring their whole selves to work by being my authentic self • Supervising and project-managing remote teams across multiple cities, time zones and countries • Supervising and mentoring interns • Developing trust within teams to create confidence to work independently and not feel micro-managed • Collaborating across a variety of teams and functions in fast-paced, professional environments • Thriving in high-energy settings managing multiple work streams simultaneously • Presenting, communicating and thinking critically both internally and with clients • Directing agency partners / vendors / contractors through strong verbal and written communication • Jumping in at any level as needed to bring a project to completion CREATIVE – Detail-Oriented Art Director, Designer and Illustrator • Demonstrating strong creative and critical thinking by designing and building across a variety of touch points: point-of-purchase and retail; environmental / brick and mortar; experiential / trade shows; event activations; web/mobile UI and UX; infographics and data visualization; photography; packaging; identity and branding • Designing and building across a variety of media: digital, mobile, AR/VR, packaging, print, animation, paper craft, food • Utilizing compelling storytelling to create consistent, tailored Creative assets • Directing photo and video shoots with a singular artistic vision to meet the clients’ goals • Producing: estimating, designing for prepress / preparing final files, visiting sites, checking presses STRATEGY – Insights-Driven Trend Pusher • Turning research and intelligence into relevant, actionable insights for Creative and Marketing • Developing bespoke brand and market narratives based on data • Staying ahead of trends in technology through continuous research • Driving innovation and continuous improvement of process and desired business outcomes • Analyzing complex data sets and distilling findings into usable insights • Developing presentations and pitches to sell through big ideas • Watching trends and leading vision for content strategy, ideation, creation, photography and editing MARKETING – Adept Relationship Builder • Understanding of integrated marketing across the prospect life cycle and engagement funnel • Managing branded partnerships / cross-branded promotion marketing and licensing • Building relationships through client interaction, sales, negotiation and budget planning • Developing and launching products and solutions based on client and market needs • Meticulously planning, scheduling and executing both D2C and B2B campaigns for online and offline / out of home
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Arby's Escape Room

Moxie work for Arby's Restaurants | Instagram Story Activation | June 24-25, 2019

GOLD REGIONAL AD CLUB ADDY WINNER for Innovative Use of Interactive/Technology

SILVER ATLANTA AD CLUB ADDY WINNER for Innovative Use of Interactive/Technology

Jen started off one of our brainstorms in 2019 off with "I want to make a virtual escape room," and then had no chance to work on it herself.

Orin, Hughston and I ended up doing the entire storyline, presentation, design, filming, editing, testing—even the day-of posting. Hughston did ALL of the graphic design and individual frame editing, and that was a HUGE amount of assets to generate (I don't even know how she got any sleep and still got it done).

Start-to-finish, the Escape Room took almost 6 hours played out on Instagram Stories and had almost 100 frames, the limit for an Instagram Story highlight. You can view the completed game on Instagram in about six-and-a-half minutes if you watch all of the videos.

Why Instagram Stories? The features built into Instagram were perfect for gamification; the Location, @Mention, #Hashtag, Donation, Music, Poll, Question, Countdown, Emoji Slider and Quiz Stickers could all be used for clues and puzzles. And we wanted to be one of the first-to-market companies to leverage Instagram Stories that way. We used as many endemic IG features as we could like filters and effects; and the ease of going back through the Story to revisit clues before having to answer a puzzle.

I felt bad, because Jen was SO into making an Escape Room happen on Instagram; and we presented it as a concept at least three months in a row. The clients were really into us pulling it off once we'd gone from "concept" phase into "storyline writing." But her role as Creative Director had shifted and she was leading both Arby's and Walmart internal social—and Walmart needed more of her time. So I got to take the lead on this project and blow it up. Orin, Hughston and I stayed late after work one night developing the entire storyline on colored Post-It Notes so we could rearrange them and figure out where there were any holes.

I have a thing for laying everything out IRL before going digital—especially with something as complex as the story we came up with. I then took our wall of Post-Its and made it into the widest Illustrator file I've ever built—keeping the colors from the Post-Its we'd used, because each color represented a different story aspect. For example, the magenta Post-Its were "Achievements" and the chartreuse were frames where we would use a native Instagram sticker to engage the players in a puzzle.

Escape-the-Room_Mind-Map-scaled-1
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Another key color were the salmon Post-Its; they represented places where we wanted players to leave the Escape Room IG Story and go elsewhere on Instagram. We wanted to put clues on as many other Instagram accounts as we could, especially @Sandwich and the Arby's Foundation since Arby's operated both; but we thought it would be a better game if we linked off to A LOT of accounts.

Arby's had recently switched all of their restaurants from Pepsi products to Coca-Cola, so we wanted to leverage that—even if it was a red herring (which it was). A team from Moxie were the community managers for Coca-Cola at the time, so in addition to contacting the Coca-Cola reps through Arby's corporate we used our internal connections to get that conversation started. We used the pages for Coke, Sprite and Fanta—and although none of their Instagram feeds had any clues, Coca-Cola was all for being involved.

As a partner of the Arby's Foundation, we also linked off to the No Kid Hungry page; and for fun we worked with influencer Professor Shyguy and used some of his music. 

But sometimes you need to create a totally new, random account: that was how @thesaucepump came to life.

The trend of super-curated "art" accounts (with deep-sounding cpations that mean nothing) on Instagram was something we thought would be exactly the type of trend Arby's would lampoon. We spent an entire day in the Moxie Studio making the content for @thesaucepump with whatever red, blue, white and "cardboard-brown" pieces we could find in Moxie's prop storage closet, brought from home, or purchased inexpensively from our local Sam Flax art supply store. Oh, and three one gallon bottles with Ghirardelli Sauce pumps attached to them.

I think we had the most fun making all of the content for this page hardly anyone would see. Hughston has a particularly good write-up on her portfolio site since she Art Directed all of the images titled, "The Understated Elegance
of a Sauce Pump."

Actual shooting of the Escape Room took place at one of Arby's corporate-owned-and-run restaurants here in Atlanta from 10PM until midnight. We had to wait until the restaurant's lobby was closed for the night so we wouldn't be in the way of patrons.

To promote the room, we had a countdown frame posted on IG Story with the Coundown Sticker that players could click on to be alerted when the room went live. There was also an organic static post that went up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram directing people to come play starting at noon on Instagram Story. That organic post was also where everyone could leave Comments on Instagram throughout the game.

TheSaucePump_01 - 😩🎷🎶
😩🎷🎶
TheSaucePump_02 - The heart of another is a dark forest.
The heart of another is a dark forest.
TheSaucePump_03 - Everything in its place
Everything in its place
TheSaucePump_04 - I feel personally attacked.
I feel personally attacked.
TheSaucePump_05 - Don’t @ me
Don’t @ me
TheSaucePump_06 - 😤😤😤
😤😤😤
TheSaucePump_07 - Threads (1984)
Threads (1984)
TheSaucePump_08 - This is life, and life is pain.
This is life, and life is pain.
TheSaucePump_09 - OOPS haha
OOPS haha
Achievements_Final

We left numeric clues everywhere from food clues involving cookies and sauce packets. We hid a message in the Menu Boards, used our own phone screen background that had been released earlier that year when Orange Cream Shakes came back on the menu, and designed our own app called "Tender" as a spoof on the Tinder dating app (and ours had a chicken tender worked into it, of course).

"Tender" and its resulting Achievement represent the very self-aware and tongue-in-cheek humor we've worked very hard to integrate into Arby's social voice since I've been on the account. That's one reason we had to make a nod to Nihilist Arby's, too.

If you count the number of Achievements we planned on the magenta Post-Its, there were only ever going to be ten of them even though we had designed the screen for 16—we wanted players to believe they had somehow missed a step or two and done the puzzles wrong. But that was just us / Arby's being intentionally snarky; and gave us room to revisit doing another Escape Room in the future to fill in the "missing" Achievements.

(And we did indeed get a LOT of comments asking what the other Achievements were supposed to be. Snark FTW.)

The Team

Scott Hunt - Creative Direction, Concept and Filming

Hughston May - Concept, Filming, Art Direction, Design and Editing

Orin Heidelberg - Concept, Copywriting

Cameron Mendenhall - RuBen (and our team's Project Manager)

Below is Orin's beautifully-crafted copy that accompanied our Shorty Awards entry with more details about the project and the results.

ABOUT THIS ENTRY

Over the last year, we have helped Arby’s grow its Instagram following by 18.5% and have established it as one of the top QSRs on social. To keep this momentum and stand out from the ever-present influx of social media chatter, Arby’s challenged us to drive engagement time on Instagram for longer than three seconds, which is longer than the average amount of time spent engaging per story frame.

With that in mind, we set out to innovate within the channel in a way nobody else had done, all while driving in-depth engagement––to move beyond talking at an audience into playing with and alongside Arby’s audience. 

WHY DOES THIS ENTRY DESERVE TO WIN?

Arby’s is known for innovation in social and is always looking for new ways to break the mold and do something new and crazy. We decided to do something that’s never been done before: hack Instagram and build a game within the channel itself. The game? Escape Room. The setting? An actual Arby’s restaurant, recreated inside the Instagram Live feature. For our Arby’s Escape Room, we jumped on the popularity of real-life escape rooms to create a social-based Escape Room game. 

This is how the game is played: Together, as one decision-making team, users work to make choices via Instagram Story features like polls in order to escape the room––in real time on Arby’s Instagram channel. 

How we pulled it off: Our team started by constructing a frame-by-frame breakdown to plan and build out all outcomes for the Escape Room story’s narrative. A decision tree with all possible story directions was used to create 97 unique Instagram videos, boomerangs, photos, animation and graphics. As a bonus surprise to our viewers, we created a new “Secret” unbranded Instagram page with 51 unique posts. Easter eggs, red herrings and clues took users outside the channel to hunt down answers from influencer partners and other unexpected sources. We shot custom content in-store, wrote the game’s story, built additional visual elements and put it all together into a playable game.

RESULTS

With the exception of one paid teaser post leading up to the Escape Room, the entire game was posted organically—and the resulting metrics blew our expectations out of the water. 

  • Average impressions/frame: 26,918
  • Average reach/frame: 19,989
  • 25% of users reached stayed for all 95 frames, essentially “escaping” the room and receiving their achievement.
  • Total responses (sliders, polls and sticker taps): 62,206
  • The Table Talker poll received the highest response rate, with 22.4%. 
  • Overall, 12.9% of people who saw frames with sticker taps, sliders and polls interacted with those actions.
  • Total sticker taps: 4,284
  • The Professor Shyguy frame received the most sticker taps, with 1,486, which was 34.7% of all sticker taps, and the second-most shares, with 425, which was 21.2% of all shares. 
  • Total shares: 1,907
  • There were over 800 shares within the first How to Play frame, which accounted for 42.2% of all shares.

We saw a great number of responses that showed how people enjoyed Escape Room, with some even mentioning that they would go to Arby’s to get a sandwich!

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@sandwich

The clue directing players to @Sandwich was on the screen showing the "Tender" app—all so they could find the single red plate used on the page.

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@thesaucepump

Let's see... bottle caps, kitchen sponges, Red SOLO Cups, Gummi Bears, spools of thread, to-go food boxes, Arby's red straws... we used anything that fit the color scheme.

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These are a selection of the frames that went into the full 100-frame Story showing the tone of the whole experience and how some of the various Stickers and filters native to IG Stories were used.

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Wanna find me elsewhere?

You'll get bored quickly... it's a lot of photos of my adorable husband, our kids and our rescue dog, Porter.