To celebrate the New Year in a unique way, Malt’s Brand team embarked on an ambitious project to let the creativity of our freelancer community speak for itself. The brief: give free rein to a selection of European freelancers – French, German, Spanish and Dutch – to imagine and design the New Year’s greeting card of their choice, using their respective expertise. This project was carried out in collaboration with nine freelancers from different backgrounds and resulted in five greeting cards (digital and paper format), a dedicated website, a campaign video and five interview videos. Rémi Grousset, Brand Manager at Malt and head of this campaign, takes us behind the scenes of the project in this article.
Hello Rémi, can you explain the idea behind the “Happy New Year by Malt” project?
I’m Rémi Grousset, Brand Manager at Malt for two years now. The Brand team is composed of four people including two Brand Designers and a Project Manager. We are the guardians of the brand vision and the consistency of user experience at Malt. We work on a variety of projects ranging from the redesign of the brand identity, to the coordination of advertising campaigns or the creation of visual content.
Greeting cards are a key communication project for many companies. But amidst the flood of content published and sent during this period, we wanted to reinvent ourselves, step out of our comfort zone and offer something different. What better way to do that than to call on the creativity of our freelance community, which not only mixes diverse skills but also experiences and nationalities (Malt brings together a community of more than 320,000 freelancers in France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands). It was also the right moment for us to carry out an idea we’ve had in mind for a very long time: to create a project with freelancers from A to Z.
What does the project consist of and how did the collaboration with the nine freelancers unfold?
The concept was simple: the freelancers had to design a greeting card that would represent their vision of freelancing for 2022, all the while keeping a harmony between their creative universe and our brand identity. We had time and budget constraints, but apart from that, they were entirely free to express themselves however they chose!
The first step was to select a few freelancers on Malt. Each had to be able to visually create a greeting card, so we mainly looked for skills related to graphic design, AD or writing (the final project involved an illustrator, a motion designer, a couple of photographers, a creative developer and a copywriter*). But we could have gone even further and collaborated with a sound designer for example.
We also called on the expertise of a Creative Director, Gael Bidegaray, to help us define build the creative aspect. Added to that, in order to explain the project and showcase the behind-the-scenes, we worked with Rafael Covo, Director/Editor/Motion Designer of the videos, and Pierre Grosjean, Product Designer who designed the campaign website.
It was exciting and super satisfying to receive their different creative proposals, and I really felt they shared the same enthusiasm. They were flattered to be part of the operation, thought the idea was innovative and really enjoyed the level of freedom they were given in the project’s execution.
*Sheina Szlamka, Freelance Illustrator – Ravianne Van Vliet, Freelance Copywriter – Jonas Anders, Freelance Motion Designer – Keny Zachelin, Freelance Creative Developer – Annie & Mary, Freelance Photographers.
You chose to collaborate with freelancers rather than a creative agency, unlike most companies. How is this different?
It’s true that using an agency brings more security, since you interact directly with a project manager who is responsible for briefing the creative teams and monitoring the execution of your project. But using freelancers from different backgrounds allowed us to go the extra mile in terms of creativity. Freelancers each have their own experiences, visions, culture and ways of working. This diversity was the strength of the project. It was also an opportunity for the team to put themselves in the shoes of a user, or a client working with Malt to find freelancers: the team was able to observe the benefits and constraints of the product.