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Filling the Creative Cup with SA and RoSSA’s Got Talent

Filling the Creative Cup with SA and RoSSA’s Got Talent

theSQUAD have already blazed a trail in 2022, moving into new offices and bypassing the comfort zone by embracing an intense project management campaign.

We caught up with Squadron Creative Producer, Tarryn Bentley-Gross, to get the inside story.

Filling the Creative Cup with SA and RoSSA's Got Talent

Q: How did theSQUAD become involved in SA and RoSSA’s Got Talent?

T: Well, it nearly didn’t happen because when this brief landed on our desks, we thought, oh this is different - not what we usually do. But it tickled our fancy enough to sit down for a coffee with the client to get a better feeling and understanding of the project.

Q: Sounds intriguing. What was the brief?

T: It was for a strong Project and Communications Manager to take over all internal and external communications, as well as the overall project management of the campaign.

Q: So you needed to fully immerse yourself in the campaign?

T: Yes, we needed to speak their customers’ brand language and work with their extensive and various internal communication platforms. We also custom designed an online tool -to get both their South African and Sub Sahara African markets viewing all communications for the campaign from one source.

Q: That covers a lot of territory.

T: Yes, and it doesn’t stop there. We ‘re managing briefs, budgets and scope deliverables for all their preferred service providers - from Celebrity Mentors, Entertainment Core Coaches, design and video production teams.

Q: Is there any creative involved?

Filling the Creative Cup with SA and RoSSA’s Got Talent Absolutely! We’re using our flair and creative expertise to bring in alternate service providers along the way. All the while, ensuring all parties are managed with a tight whip due to limited time deadlines and communicating with over 200 individual talent franchisee submissions across 15 different countries.

Q: How epic - can you tell us more?

T: Not too much more, because of client confidentiality. But I can say theSQUAD worked on weekly teaser videos and designs that enticed an audience of up to 30 000 viewers across SA and RoSSA, and rolled out onto five different communication platforms.

Q: How were the entries managed, and the judging?

T: For the entries we compiled professional scoring sheets, did the filming, auditing and monitoring of over 200 entries. Plus we curated a panel of five Talent Judges, and then the judging was broken down into two rounds.

The first round was a mammoth task: Taking over 200 entries and narrowing them down to a Top 20 finalist selection. The second involved talent mentoring each of the Top 20 Talent Crews with the help of talent professionals, further enhancing their performances - to hopefully make it into to the Top 3 Finals!

Q: So, no pressure then?

T:  You can say that again. In order to execute all of this, the client received dedicated expertise from the big guns at theSQUAD -myself as Executive Production Manager and Kelly the assisting Executive PM. We had to be very agile and the work obviously involved a lot of comms too, including weekly status and production meetings.

Q: The judging sounds interesting, what does it involve?

T: We really wanted to make sure we pulled off an authentic and professional judging session, taking inspiration from Idols and America’s Got Talent. So we collaborated with, and sourced key internal personalities from within their business. Personalities with strong entertainment backgrounds that could walk the talk and understand the nature of performance art and musical productions. Along with these personalities forming the core of our judging panel, we brought in the famed expertise of Grant from Break Point Productions to help mentor the Talent Crews.

Q: And the talent itself?

Filling the Creative Cup with SA and RoSSA’s Got Talent T: The talent was incredible. Whilst the judges viewed all the submissions it was impossible to not get the ‘gees’ and ‘jam’s’ going as we had the most amazing African talent being submitted. We were all truly humbled and thoroughly entertained by the performances submitted.

Q: How far are you in the overall process?

A: The Top 3 Winners Announcement happened in early February, online through the customers’ internal communication platforms and our customised Beep’d Platform.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the Top 3 winners?

A: It was a hard task choosing the winners out of 20 finalists, but in the end we had the pleasure of changing the lives of three Talent Crews inclusive of 20 performers by telling them they were the successors. The winners were made up of one Ugandan and two South African Talent Crews.

Q: What’s next?

T: In early March, the finalists will pack their bags and join us in Johannesburg for one whole week in their very own Talent House! Each Crew will be put up for the week in our Talent House, kitted out with spoils fit for any major celebrity.

But, it’s not all fun and games. First off they’ll be thrown into a Talent Bootcamp for five days, along with Break Point Production team training and curating their performances and videos. Then they’ll get to work directly with J’Something, Tamara Dey and Khaya Mthethwa, who will each spend a full day celebrity coaching each of the top 3 Talent Crews.

Filling-the-Creative-Cup-with-SA-and-RoSSA’s-Got-TalentQ: That’s very intensive?

T: Yes, so by the end of the week each Talent Crew would have recorded their own music video, complete with professional hair, make-up and custom styling all performed in a studio environment with all the snazzy lights, cameras and action. Their recordings will then be premiered at the customers Annual Leader Conference.

Q: That sounds like a real video production?

T: Yes, it needs to be real and inspirational. The Talent Crew’s come from very humble homesteads around Africa. What makes it so special is theSQUAD gets to play a key role in changing lives and giving these honest talents an opportunity of a life time! It is an absolutely priceless experience.

Q: So you’re glad you got the job?

T: There’s no question about it. It’s been the most amazing experience and to see it all come together has been incredibly rewarding to say the least. It also just goes to show, that by stepping out of your comfort zone, out from the mediocrity of the norm – you can open your eyes to a whole new world. We have filled our creative cup in ways we would never have ‘normally’ done.

Wonderful, thanks Tarryn.