Pencil in Some Creative Conversation

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'Virtual Ad Partner'
'Virtual Ad Partner'
Whether you won, lost or simply were an inspired spectator at this week's One Show awards, McKinney is here to coddle your creative spirit by parlaying its congratulations print ad in the online space. With "Virtual Ad Partner," the Durham, NC-based agency is waxing both interactive and old-school, turning on a 24/7 webcam at its offices to open the lines of communication between its creative team and the web audience. "We just wanted to celebrate in a fun and cheeky way the One Show winners and losers, and highlight what winning a pencil is all about," says McKinney associate creative director Jason Musante. "It's celebrating the creative process."

While "office hours" will be maintained during this celebration, the McKinney folks will continue to pop in and out in order to keep the dialogue fresh, offering creative advice via an internal IM tool. But the biggest surprise is the grade-school, shop class design of the site, which aims to highlight McKinney's edict that the basic idea of a creative comes first over technology. "We're playing with the fact that at the end of the day, technology isn't going to be the thing; it's the old-fashioned creative process of two people talking, [conceptualizing] and working it out. That's why we chose to do a live webcam with a live human there," Musante explains. The agency is hinging on enduring conversation as the key to the site's shelf life. "That's what advertising is about—conversations," Musante states. "We like to create conversations between clients and their best prospects. "
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