Nottingham-based Ikano has been providing finance products in the UK for 20 years and works with some of the biggest names on the high street. Owned by the family that founded IKEA, they have embraced the culture and values from its Swedish heritage. The result has been a well-established, community-focussed business with a happy and motivated workforce at its core.
To keep the Ikano team motivated, the senior managers host quarterly ‘BAMF’ meetings – in which the Ikano workforce receives a business update. This would typically consist of hiring a room at a local venue to deliver one hour briefings to 100 people at a time. MCS was brought in as Ikano wanted to refresh the way the briefings are presented.
Working with Ikano on this project was a delight as they were happy to consider doing something radically different, provided that the event delivered the right messages. By brainstorming with Ikano, we agreed we wanted to have some fun with the delegates, rather than just talk and deliver numbers to them. This evolved into the idea to create an edited film of a Big Brother diary room, with members of staff getting in front of the camera to reveal what it’s like to work at Ikano.
Ahead of the BAMF, we spent an afternoon building a set in a meeting room at Ikano’s head office. This comprised a white walled booth with cameras, lighting and the famed red sofa. Staff were asked to book a slot between 9:00am and 4:00pm to enter the booth and tell Big Brother all about Ikano.
MCS returned early the following day with a cameraman and an actor to portray the Big Brother voice. MCS’ role was to lead the content of the questions, with the actor in place to create the theatre. Filming began and each member of staff was asked funny or light-hearted questions to set them at ease, interspersed with clear corporate questions that reflected the company values and messaging.
Rebecca Muldoon, managing director for MCS commented on how responsive the Ikano staff were to Big Brother: “The minute they walked in, they all had this emotional attachment to the wall. We found it fascinating that no-one could refuse Big Brother’s questions and tasks. We managed to get people singing, dancing and rapping! Most importantly though, it was evident they all love their jobs and enjoy working for Ikano.”
The film was brought to life in the editing suite where, over four days, seven hours of filming was trawled for the best excerpts and edited down to a 15 minute diary montage. Whilst filming plays an essential part of the process, for this project it was the clever and careful editing that created the magic. Bloopers were included and some questions were mixed up with different answers in a good-spirited way for comic effect, such as one person being asked what their name was to only answer: “Erm, I dunno.”
At the BAMF, the completed film was played for each of the three sessions. The content of the film filled the auditorium with laughter whilst subtly reinforcing the company messaging and values. Staff were hugely entertained, enjoying their moment on the big screen, and left the BAMF feeling gratified to be part of the Ikano team.