We talked to Megan Woolbert of StrawberryFrog about Movement Thinking and COVID-19.
Tell us about StrawberryFrog and why you joined StrawberryFrog.
Megan Woolbert: StrawberryFrog lives at the intersection of creative agencies, purpose experts, change management consultancies, and innovations companies. Our Founder & CEO, Scott Goodson, developed an original capability 21 years ago based on the view that enterprises can grow like societal movements. This resulted in “Movement Thinking,” a strategic marketing framework for activating brand purpose, connecting to culture, and driving business growth. “Movement Thinking” is smarter than traditional advertising because it’s purpose-driven and action-oriented to mobilize the people that matter to your brand inside and out.
I was drawn to join StrawberryFrog because of the company’s higher purpose: “Creativity for Good.” We use creativity to create good results, good work, good impacts for our clients and teammates, to create good in society and business.
How has the pandemic affected your business and your ability to support your clients?
Megan Woolbert: Not only have we continued business as usual, but we are actively helping our clients lead with purpose and communicate how they are handling the crisis to inspire Americans and promote positivity.
For example, as part of our larger Together We Well Movement for Northwell Health, New York State’s largest healthcare provider, we used the power of animated storytelling to create “Fearless Leader,” a:30 film depicting New York’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The film tells the story of a young girl who rallies New Yorkers to assist health care workers in the pandemic. The TV spot also features the renowned, culturally inspiring beat poet IN-Q, whose emotional voice rallies communities to fight COVID-19 with “love.”
For Truist Financial, the sixth-largest bank in the United States, we celebrated its partnership with United Way through a national TV spot to spark hope and optimism for the future. We crystallized it all through the words of the first youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman: “United We Win.” The work is a reminder that anything is possible when communities unite.
How does StrawberryFrog innovate?
Megan Woolbert: During the height of the pandemic, we implemented creative solutions to overcome production challenges. For LifeBridge Health, a regional health care organization based in Baltimore, we developed “Heroes,” a:60 deeply personal film that used a creative method for documenting the human impact of working on the medical front lines. We created a socially distanced “Care Booth” inside of Lifebridge Health’s Northwest hospital invited front-line workers to be filmed in the first spontaneous moments after leaving their shifts. We followed social distancing protocols by allowing just one photographer, Emmy Award-winner Joshua Cogan, on location. The rest of the StrawberryFrog creative team and our production partners, Union Editorial, directed via a live video feed in real-time.
What actions is StrawberryFrog taking to protect your employees and ensure effective communication?
Megan Woolbert: StrawberryFrog ensured its employees’ safety by recommending everyone works from home beginning Monday, March 16th. To mitigate communications challenges in our remote work environment, we’ve engaged a Communications Coach to lead three Communication Labs to discuss, workshop, and establish guidelines around using different technology platforms and openly discussing questions and concerns.
We believe it is important employees balance personal and business time while working from home to support positive mental health and well-being. To do this, we blocked time on employees’ calendars reserved for daily breaks and weekly company-wide meetings to promote team morale and communicate important updates. To extend the fun, we have while in our office, we’ve planned a variety of culture-building events like a virtual comedian, musical performances, baking classes, bingo/game nights, and fitness classes.
By teleworking, StrawberryFrog is effectively collaborating from home and continuing to host presentations and meetings with our clients–all while supporting the positivity and well-being of employees.
How do you see this pandemic impacting your industry and the economy at large?
Megan Woolbert: The virus impacts the economy in many ways. Non-essential businesses are being forced to close, and entire workforces are operating remotely. Consumer habits are changing on a daily basis. We are observing a shift from in-person consumption and events towards live streaming, e-commerce, and delivery.
The ad world will feel an impact as it has never been more important for organizations to have a partner who can help them navigate this period of turmoil and clearly communicate with their audiences. Industries will inevitably have to pivot in how they operate. Therefore, we need to work smarter so that our client partners are ready to tackle the challenges ahead.