Life on the Frontline: Keeping communication human in new work by Workplace from Meta

Life on the Frontline: Keeping communication human in new work by Workplace from Meta

“17% told us they never speak with their head office – a figure which falls to just 8% in organizations using collaboration tools”.

Workplace from Meta helps keep workers connected and Harvard has helped launch a new campaign to highlight its features and benefits with two thoughtful films with a focus on frontline workers

I spoke to Marc Allenby, executive creative director at Harvard, to find out more about the insights on which the campaign was based, and why the team took this approach.

But first, here are the films.

Lucy Smith: What was your brief and what was absolutely key in terms of the messaging?

Marc Allenby: Our goal with this campaign was to reiterate Workplace from Meta’s commitment to keeping frontline employees connected.

'Deskless not Voiceless', is an annual integrated campaign that explores the frustrations felt by frontline employees, caused by a disparity of experiences between frontline and HQ

As this was the third consecutive year, and Covid-19 brought frontline employees into the mainstream discussion, we knew we had to evolve our approach to bring the story right back to the people it focused on.

Through insight-driven thought leadership and emotive film content, Deskless not Voiceless tells the story of 7,000 frontline workers and spotlights life on the frontline at Virgin Atlantic and Royal Ambulance, through two pieces of content ‘Life on the Frontline’.

LS: Why did you decide to present the message in this way?

MA: There are unique businesses all over the world, each with their own pace, challenges and characters. Through it all, Workplace keeps every employee connected, whoever and wherever they are. 

We choose to demonstrate this by using the voices of frontline employees and empathy of the leaders we follow, to establish our rallying cry—businesses can’t afford to leave frontline workforces behind.

Each film very subtly played in a key stat from the report and naturally landed the brand proposition of making business more human.

LS: What was the most challenging part of the campaign?

MA: The pandemic was our biggest challenge! 

It’s easy to forget the number of procedures and rules that were in place around production and travelling, which meant we had to approach everything incredibly differently to normal. But we were able to take a step back, rethink how to go about it and navigate it with the support of the client, the talent, the production company and with a lot of the hard work from our team. 

I think we nailed it, but trying to produce a film in a location that you’re not allowed to travel to and with an 8-hour time difference isn’t something we’d do again in a hurry!

LS: What was the most exciting/interesting part of the work for you?

To have the opportunity to create and make something defining reminds us of why we do what we do. 

This was a first in terms of Workplace’s approach to capturing customer stories, so when this brief came into the agency, we all knew it was going to be special. 

We knew that what we created needed to be real and tell a truly human story that reflected the experiences of people on the frontline. 

Things went up a level when the director, John X, got involved—his way of capturing empathy, and humanity through his craft of filmmaking was the perfect balance for this project. The stories he brought through, particularly in the Royal Ambulance film, really shows that. It instinctively feels very special.


Client: Workplace from Meta
Olivia Calvert - Head of Global Communications
Kate Bastable - Communications Manager
Dave Puddle - Communications Manager
Noemi Esparza - Communications Manager

Agency: Harvard
ECD - Marc Allenby
Producer - Johnny Brock
Strategy & Planning - Jessie Bland
Copywriter - Neel Sood
Client Services - Mary Paslawski / Laura Cahill / Emma O’Connell
PR: Will Cook / Puneet Sandhu / Rose Prinelle / Conrad Arnavutian

Production: HunkyDory & Tool of North America
Director - John X Carey
Producer - Doochy Moult
DOP - Guido Raimondo (US) // Jeff Taylor (UK)
Audio Post - 750mph
Music - Keith Kenniff

Post Production: Nomad Post
Post Producer - Amira Petker
Editor - Dave Warren
Colourist - Felipe Szulc

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