Activation Campaigns and their Unique, Boutique Support Needs 

by Ned Hallett
As Digital Marketing Manager and JAM’s primary pair of lungs, I provide the JAM-y take on the ever-evolving worlds of DevOps, SaaS, MACH - and acronyms yet to be coined.
Published on July 2021

This is the story behind the story of the kinds of marketing campaigns that make headlines.

The ones run on behalf of big brands by specialist agencies using buzzword tech, e.g. ‘augmented reality for Volvo by Grey NY.’  

How do we know this?

Because we fulfil the unique (boutique) support needs of exactly this type of campaign, and incidentally, for Grey’s Longest Drive Campaign for Volvo.

Why should you care?

If you run an agency and fancy yourselves a Grey or Valtech type bigwig – this is a big part of the puzzle.

If you are a Grey or Valtech type bigwig – and you’re looking for the right support service, read on.

What makes this kind of support ‘boutique’?

These campaigns are not your standard customer-facing web app.

And your standard support service won’t cut the mustard.

There are many reasons for this.

But most can be boiled down into three key points of differentiation.

Custom vs standard 

A normal support partner will be able to provide support (perhaps pretty good support, and perhaps 24/7) for a lot of different apps and infrastructures.

They might know AWS pretty well, or Magento, or even have a few specialisms.

This is all standard.

What’s custom is the support covering the bespoke, custom apps that are part and parcel with this type of campaign.

For example…

The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival gave virtual attendees the opportunity to live-stream 8 pre-release gaming titles on their devices at home.

The games needed to run smoothly on some quite old and doddery hardware. 

Which meant working with a combination of game-streaming VM specialist Paperspace, the recently launched Parsec API, and all the more standard stack items on top.

To do this kind of thing properly, you need a team comfortable with custom. 

In practice this means comfortable learning new systems, working in the pockets of other experts, and creating custom runbooks and resources.

Without that, you’re not going to cover the whole stack, which may lead to the same outcome as covering none of it.

Tribeca Games

24/7 vs “24/7” (or phone-by-the-bed support)

24/7 means having an expert who knows the stack sat comfortably at a desk at what – in their time zone – are normal working hours.

They need access to all their usual resources, sleep being just one.

“24/7” means someone, just someone, who may or may not be asleep before the ping goes off, begrudgingly fixing something insanely complex at a time in which they’re totally disorientated, befuddled and unhappy.

It’s not hard to see the distinction between these two in the context of supporting an 

experience or campaign that might run globally, with millions of eyes on it, and where every second counts.

This means having experts in enough time zones to keep projects covered from all angles.

For example…

In a recent campaign with TUMS, we looked after an interactive, Twitter-based bingo game that ran during the 2021 Super Bowl.

An engineer was on the job for 8 hours. And they didn’t miss bedtime.

TUMS campaign image


A partnership vs a product 

These campaigns nearly always feature a brand and an agency at minimum.

And in many cases, the agency will be coordinating with other specialists and third parties.

The only real way to really support something with that many moving parts is to get on the team.

Which means Slack channels, in some cases WhatsApp groups, and basically a steady and broad channel of communication.

A cookie-cutter, ring-this-number-if-AWS-breaks won’t cut it.

For example…

None this time, because this has been true for every complex support job. 

But it’s one reason we’re so keen to make connections through things like our agency partner programme, close relationship with AWS –  and of course our general popularity.

How we can help 

It’s possible you came away from this with the impression we offer 24/7 support services for activation campaigns.

But in reality, we do managed cloud as well.

If you’re a brand or an agency looking for a support partner, or you just want to talk a project through, drop us a message.

And while you’re here…

Why not get an even closer look at some of these campaigns by downloading our brand new DCX report, which focusses on how we deliver these experiences from a technical perspective. 



With partners across the USA, Europe and APAC, we provide a truly global service. So wherever you or your clients are based, contact us today to find out what we can do.