Inside the Work: How We Took Chances to Make It Great

At GS&F, we understand that the path to great creative can be pretty creative in and of itself. Plans break down and there’s always a couple curveballs along the way. But we’ve proven that we can tackle challenges head-on.

Recently, we found ourselves far from our temperate Nashville home for a photo and video shoot in Seattle for Firestone Tires. As part of the brand’s Challenge Accepted campaign, our goal was to capture footage of torture tests, showing authentic challenges that face Firestone’s audience when it comes to tire purchases.

Seattle unexpectedly threw frigid temperatures and a snowstorm at us, but we kept the work coming—and just as great as we’d planned.

We looked back with our team to reflect on that challenging shoot from all perspectives—account management, creative, and even back at the shop. Here’s how we made it happen.

Account Management

Ryan Algaier, Group Account Director
Rachel Farthing, Senior Account Executive

What were some obstacles you faced on the shoot, and how did you adapt?

Rachel: Firestone makes a year-round tire that does more than just perform well in snow, so we really had to be agile in order to get “evergreen” shots. The team did a good job of choosing areas that we could isolate the product so you couldn’t put your finger on the season or area.

How did you handle factors you couldn’t control?

Rachel: We had to change locations a couple times due to weather but stayed cool, focused on getting the best work possible. Allowing scouts to make the best recommendations for backups and our ground crew to prep the locations helped provide the best possible pivots.

What was it like to manage client expectations during this shoot?

Ryan: The whole team did a good job of managing Firestone’s expectations upfront. Making sure the client acknowledged that we unfortunately can’t control the weather enabled the team to make strong decisions in the moment. Any time you’re on a shoot, you want to make sure you stay true to the creative vision and also address all of the client needs. Supporting your creative team so that they can focus on executing and following your client checklist can be challenging, but we had the right team on the job and definitely got the best of both worlds.

How did this shoot showcase GS&F’s capabilities and values?

Rachel: We definitely took a chance with the weather and the location. It was the best option we had to deliver the best possible work. And I think this shoot helped us earn trust with the client by proving our commitment to and understanding of Firestone’s brand.


Wade Stringfellow, Associate Creative Director
Aaron Rayburn, Senior Art Director

 Did you face anything unexpected on the shoot?

Aaron: It decided to snow in an area where it doesn’t usually snow. We had to change locations on the fly in a matter of minutes after we spent weeks scouting. We swept snow off sidewalks, jumped in as background talent, held camera equipment, fought off angry longshoremen that missed their parking spots, and even more crazy stuff.

What was it like to art direct in a harsh environment?

Wade: It was wet and cold. Bitter cold. But as a team, we committed to delivering what we sold to the client no matter what.

Aaron: The key to this was flexibility and maintaining a clear vision of the creative. We had to be forgiving and conscious that everyone was doing their best. This led to a tight crew and a common goal.

How did you ensure the work that came from the shoot was great—and would serve the client’s purpose?

Wade: We really stuck to [the creative team’s] vision for how this content had to look—authentic. We knew that as long as we captured what we sold in, the content would be great and perfect for Firestone.

How did this shoot bring out the best of GS&F?

Aaron: Everyone was committed, collaborative, helpful, and willing to wear multiple hats. The only complaint anyone had was that they were cold—only to turn right around and soldier on in the elements. This wouldn’t have been possible if the whole team, from the client to the agency, wasn’t accountable. During the whole process, it felt like the client was just as invested in the success of the campaign as we were. And we had fun while doing it!

Creative: Back at GS&F

Jacob Fields, Senior Copywriter

How did you support the team from back at GS&F during the shoot?

I tried to give feedback in a timely manner, and since Mother Nature wasn’t exactly cooperating I was already thinking of how we could shift to still give Firestone a high quality video.

How did this shoot show what GS&F is all about?

In being accountable to our client, we knew that we needed assets that would last for years to come, so we got creative and figured out how to make this shoot work out. And we hadn’t yet taken on a shoot like this for Firestone, so we knew getting it right would go a long way in earning trust with them. Our team did a fabulous job and left the client impressed.

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