The past few years have demanded a new kind of agility from marketing teams. As brands have needed to be more inventive to communicate more frequently and effectively, some big players like BRP have been forging new ties to rise to the challenge. To successfully pull off an in-person event in a hybrid world, Misha Lewis, Team Leader, Experiential Marketing and Events at BRP, and Elise LeBel, Producer at Fieldtrip, have found the winning combination. Here’s a look at successful producing based on trust, transparency – and spontaneous friendship.
Misha and Elise, I’ve heard you’re the dream team. How would you describe your relationship?
EL: It’s all about collaboration. I’m proud of the team I put together for the Clubs. We truly work hand in hand with the client. It’s great to see. And a positive attitude. It helps us overcome day-to-day challenges! And also fun, because the teams always look forward to going to the BRP Clubs and working together. It’s our pet project.
ML: I’d say collaboration too! The team is central to the success of this project. At BRP, we have a team dedicated to the Clubs: each person has their own expertise and helps organize the event and make it a success. The Fieldtrip team is like an extension of that team. And friendship. I like working with people that I can connect with, even in a client-agency relationship. And, of course, efficiency. I like it when people are resourceful and reliable!
Misha, could you explain to us what exactly the BRP Clubs are? They sound exclusive!
ML: When you tell someone who’s not in the know that you’re going to the Club, they always ask: “What kind of club? A cycling club? A running club?” In reality, it’s an exclusive event for BRP dealers, held twice a year. They come to connect with BRP folk, chat with experts and see all the new products unveiled.
How did this collaboration between Fieldtrip and BRP come about?
ML: In early 2020, at the start of the pandemic, we couldn’t hold in-person events anymore, and our dealers couldn’t travel. We had to rethink everything: the products were ready to be released, and we had to find a new way to present them to the public. We dared to do things differently; we needed to be more agile. We started working with Fieldtrip because they had worked with Sea-Doo internally. They were referred to us by our colleagues! And when a supplier works with several of our teams, they develop a depth of knowledge about BRP that’s hard to match.
EL: The first Club we did together was totally virtual – and totally new. We were kind of replicating the dealer experience on site with a fake live event. It was completely different from anything that had been done before.
ML: The timelines were extremely tight, and I was learning how to do video production for the first time – learning how to set up a showroom where no one would be, with new partners. There were a lot of new things for our team to learn.
What made it work between you two right off the bat?
EL: We clicked during our first Zoom meeting. Then we spent over 14 days in a row together during shooting and post-production. When you work that closely with someone, it’s make or break time!
ML: Totally! There was a time when I saw Elise more than my own kids. We were very lucky that we connected so quickly with the Fieldtrip team. Elise and I work the same way. We have the same vision and the same learning curve. When you have a hundred videos to deliver, you can’t afford to explain something three times. We’re both very proactive, so it clicked right away.
What does it take to work well together at the BRP Clubs?
ML: You have to be super agile! You need to understand how things work and that a lot of unexpected things are going to happen, even if you’ve planned for everything. And it takes a great deal of professionalism to work with all the different BRP teams, our dealers and our various partners who make sure the event goes off without a hitch.
How do you make video production super-agile in this context?
EL: The classic “plan for the worst, hope for the best”. Unexpected things are going to happen. You don’t know when, you don’t know what. But when they do, we’re already in solution mode, and we have the right people to make those little miracles happen – as we’re expected to do.
At Fieldtrip, our approach is to have the producer work directly with the client to facilitate and accelerate decision-making. Plus, because our shooting and post-production team is always the same talents, everyone’s developed a highly efficient dynamic. We have the right people, and this allows us to work as one team with our clients.
What have you learned over the years?
ML: We’ve learned that producing nearly a hundred video deliverables in two weeks might be a bit much! We also realized that certain types of videos, like walkarounds, are particularly popular. And that BRP Clubs are the perfect place to shoot them.
EL: We’ve also developed solid work methods and tools. We created our master file together, and we use it to adapt to different situations. Over time, Misha’s team has learned what information we need, and she puts it all in one place, so that really helps us out.
How does your relationship help you deliver better performance?
EL: We like to say that we’re two sides of the same brain! We both need to know everything – on both the production side led by Fieldtrip and the logistical side managed by BRP. We can also brainstorm together, be completely honest with each other and make candid recommendations. Each of us understands the other person’s reality, and we adjust to help each other succeed.
ML: Being able to get a second opinion and explore solutions really makes us more efficient. We learn a lot from each other, with our respective areas of expertise, and that’s what makes us able to deliver great projects.
To wrap things up, could you share with us a little ritual or tradition that you’ve developed together?
ML: If we have any energy left once everything is delivered, we go out for a drink and decompress. Oh, and there’s our picture thing! EL: Yes, at every Club we take a picture together with a somewhat unusual piece of decor. Typically, we’re either cracking up or super exhausted. Or both!