If you’ve ever read one of our articles or checked our Social Media accounts, you can tell that we are pretty proud of our work, and we are loud enough to make sure people know us. And it’s not only about the work. It’s about the team, the clients, the office, the garden, the plants, the coffee machine — we make a big deal out of everything. And that’s simply because we massively totally, absolutely love what we do.

But this article has nothing to do with us bragging about how awesome we are. It is about how we failed and how we dealt with it.

The Mad Fries and The Zen Tornados

A few weeks ago, Ana, our fantastic web and motion graphics designer (I’ll keep doing this, to make a point), wrote on Slack about the Reply Creative Challenge. We don’t usually do pitches, but since this was a 48 hours weekend challenge and we were craving a teambuilding kind of activity, we said yes.

We flipped a coin, created two teams, and ended up being The Mad Fries (Alexandra, Emilia, Mooky, Rares) and The Zen Tornados (Ana, Bogdan, Delia, Iulia) for the weekend. Because we wanted to play it as fair as possible, we selected different categories and decided to work separately and secretly on our briefs. The Mad Fries signed up for the Service Design powered by OBI, and The Zen Tornados went for the Brand Activation powered by Martini. On Friday evening, we got our briefs and started the Skype marathon.

Let’s build something today. Yuhu!

The Mad Fries had to develop an innovative solution that would create a new business channel for OBI, Europe’s №1 DIY retailer.

We stuck to the creative process we usually follow at work. The only difference was that we had to deliver in 48 hours what we usually deliver in 4 to 8 months. We focused on one central insight: people need guidance when building stuff because they don’t know where to start or what tools and materials to use.

We imagined a community-based platform that helps people learn new DIY skills, build awesome projects, and contribute to the community while making some money in doing so.

We create the name in five to ten minutes. We started looking for interjections that express satisfaction when you finish a project. The YEY, the Hooray, the Hura, and, eventually, the YUHU (from the German Juhu). It took Mooky another half an hour to create a balanced logotype for it, and that was it with the branding.

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Naming and logo design for YUHU, the app that guides your DIY projects

We spent most of our time working on the mobile app, starting with the wireframes and up to delivering a complete Figma prototype for Yuhu.

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Mooky, our logo designer, made her first mobile app prototype in 8 hours. Not that bad, right?

We suggested two main directions for the communication campaign: a safe one, based on the We got your back concept, and a bold one that triggers doers ready to rockWe considered Social Media, CSR, partnerships, and influencers, but the only teaser you have to see is this TikTok made by Alexandra, proudly representing the Z generation.

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Social Media and outdoor launching campaigns for YUHU.

Fun, friends and Martini

The Zen Tornados had to develop a brand activation to position the brand close to millennials by accompanying their unique moments of “proudness”. Actually, they said they know us — The Mad Fries — so well that they anticipated that we would go for OBI. I’ve even heard they made bets. Hilarious.

As a group of hipsters in their twenties themselves, it was easy for the team to identify one powerful insight and build on it: millennials want to belong and invest a lot of time building their friendships.

The concept was to offer them the chance to share a beautiful moment of friendship and make it even stronger by accepting the Fiero Challenge. For the smoothie drinkers, Martini Fiero is a contemporary take on vermouth that combines citrus, bittersweet orange, crisp white wines, and wormwood for bold and zesty flavors that pair perfectly with tonic.

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Scan the QR code to unlock a Fiero Challenge.

One can unlock the challenge by using a code inscribed on the Martini Fiero bottle cap or scanning a QR code in dedicated pubs. Each code leads to a unique challenge, so the more codes you have, the more challenges you can share with your friends.

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We bet no landing page has got you so triggered before.

On the campaign landing page, you can find teasers about the challenges, and once you have the code, you are in! It would sound like this: Say one thing that makes you proud of your friends.

When the campaign gets to Social Media, the focus moves to Instagram and TikTok, where Fiero has its challenge to make sure it gets viral: Create a dance with your best friends and share it worldwide.

They didn’t forget that millennials are the playing cards kind of generations, so they extended the campaign offline, creating a set of cards to make the ‘Truth or Dare’ game crazier.

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Would you make a TikTok video to tell everybody you love your friends?

Right on time, as usual

We finished our projects, and we uploaded the presentations just minutes before the deadline, as every professional would do. We were all sure that our marvelous, stunning, ingenious projects would make it to the final. We just weren’t sure which one would win.

Two weeks later, they announced the finalists. Guess what. Our projects didn’t make it to the final. WE didn’t make it to the final?! Oh, the comments on the Slack channel.

What do you mean we didn’t win?

We were obviously shocked that none of us made it. We said it isn’t fair, that maybe it’s a mistake, we used sad emojis, we refreshed the page, but The Zen Tornados or The Mad Fries was still not among the finalists.

Then we chilled a bit and went back to our Fake it till you make it philosophy. Iulia suggested we should write an article about the experience because it makes it easier to deal with disappointments if you write them down. Ana said that maybe they would contact us to buy the ideas because they were sooo good. Delia thought we should start OUR competition. All right, we moved on, we are FINE.

It’s not that we don’t know how to fail, because we do. We miss deadlines from time to time; we don’t always deliver the name or the logo from the first shot, we still didn’t get that Site of the Day on Awwwards. We know failure, but we take it every time as a What?!

Failure is not something you want to get used to. That will stop you from getting a bit angry at first, but willing to improve after all. If you are as competitive as we are, the next thing you’ll do after losing a contest will be looking for another contest.

We’ll be watching the final, and we’ll take notes from the winners. We’ll compare our projects, and we’ll know how to get better next time. We probably put an extra effort while working on clients’ projects this week to prove that we are good at this. We are now working harder for those “I love it” emails because we aren’t faking it; we are enjoying it.

So, grab the popcorn. We have a final to watch on the 1st of July here. Trecento11 and Glamour teams, we have our eyes on you, and we are not jealous at all.

Good luck, everyone, it was a pleasure!