The brief for this project was both simple and enormous: packaging photography for 27 skus for Pampers, encompassing multiple regions around the world.
On the agency side, we ran this with only 3 people. As creative director and executive producer, I was hands on at every step of the process. For line production support we worked with 2D Photo Productions, and the photographer was Gus Butera.
There is a LOT to say about this project, but here are a couple areas where I was able to design and implement new systems that collectively saved millions of dollars (each).
Managing image rights for 81 different babies for use in multiple regions and timescales can be complicated, to say the least. Going into this project we knew we needed a new approach, and worked to develop rights language that was both streamlined and comprehensive. Oftentimes creative teams aren't getting the full advantage when it comes to image rights, or deprioritize long-term rights management in the face of expensive usage requests. Luckily, this is the kind of stuff that I geek out on. By planning for the longer term we were able to negotiate a much simpler contract that allowed Pampers to get the most out of their images for years to come while eliminating the need to administer rights on an image by image basis (which is by itself a huge burden on creative teams).
The pack designs were a tough format: images needed to be extremely horizontal on one side, and vertical on the reverse. But you can't just ask the photographer to shoot wide and crop in, because the new HD Flexo printing is way more hi-res. The approach at the time was to take the baby imagery and 'paint in' the extra background in Photoshop, a very time-consuming process that had to be repeated for every single image for every single region, with wildly inconsistent results.
The retouching workflow I designed changed all of this. We worked with a CGI designer to create a replica of the photo set in Cinema4D. This room set allowed total flexibility: any object could be manipulated or moved, any color could be adjusted to the desired hue (localization at the push of a button!), backgrounds could extend to fit any crop, and excessive retouching could be avoided. Not to mention the new workflow cut the old retouching time in half.
Potentially even more important, this CGI nursery could easily be incorporated into pre-existing baby imagery. Because babies are timeless but set styling isn't, we were able to inject new life into images that were already paid for.