tgif: CreateAthon

Remember when I made that summer bucket list? I’m happy to say that almost everything has been crossed off with the exception of a Sounds game. I don’t know how such an easy event slips through the cracks every year.

Not to down play it all, but I put most of the items on the list knowing that I could check them off fairly easily. However, I wasn’t sure how I would roll with finishing an all-nighter. Would we try a movie marathon with The Lord of the Rings extended editions? Maybe watch all the Harry Potters? Little did I know that the perfect reason to stay up all night would fall right into my lap.

A friend of mine works at an ad agency in town that shuts their doors for 24 hours once a year and creates complete marketing campaigns for nonprofits in town. They call it CreateAthon and here’s a quick video explanation.

This year, they needed some extra hands in the writing department and my friend asked if I was interested. I knew that I would love it, but I was a bit hesitant given the fact that I would know zero percent of the people I would be working face-to-face close with for 24 hours straight. Thankfully, I overcame my hemming and hawing and signed up. All my nerves were completely set aside the second I got there. Everyone was so welcoming and a delight to work alongside.

Let me tell you, it was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done with writing. Yes, my daily work challenges me to some degree, but to come up with copy for every piece of marketing material in 24 hours??? That’s crazytown. Along with input from my team, I wrote a script for a minute and a half video, a story, and copy for posters, events, branding, Facebook etc…

While the challenge was super motivating to how I can structure my future work, my favorite part of the whole 24 hours was getting the chance to be around so many creative people. Working at home has major perks (working in pjs, showering at 2:30 pm, general freedom). But it also has some faults, one being that I’m alone the majority of the time. There’s no one to bounce ideas off of or proofread a piece before I send it off. So I naturally felt a writer’s high in the midst of the intense deadline and creative atmosphere I walked in to.

I was put on a team to create marketing material for a nonprofit called Operation Homefront. This organization supports the families of soldiers while they are away on deployment. My team quickly took to this wonderful group after hearing all the ways they contribute and meeting a family who received support from them. It made working for them a delight and an honor.

Of all the materials we provided them after 24 hours, we made two videos. One is an online ad and the other is the interview of the Crosby family.

Hopefully I’ll still be in the position to help out for CreateAthon 2012!

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