Thursday, February 17, 2011

Two Buildings Falling in Love

{Valentine's Day had come again this year (unfortunately for a few) and as I was eating cereal in my office kitchen, I looked out the window to the Expedia building next to us wondering why there were signs of love pointing in our direction. I was so inspired that I almost made a huge sign to post in our window - but it looks like someone beat me to it.  This story is from our Intranet and I had to share it with all of you. It is definitely a great, sweet read.}

by Kristan Curren, Margaret Bruya and Ingrid Belobradic, WE-Seattle, February 16, 2011

Sometimes curiosity gets the better of you and leads you to places you wouldn't expect.

The Waggener Edstrom Bellevue office is surrounded by a number of high-rise buildings and, for more than a year, we have had a view of our Expedia neighbors to the north. The office building has garnered the nick name “ant farm” as WE Bellevue office employees enjoy watching Expedia employees through the windows as they go about their daily work lives.

One late night last week, three members of the WinClient team; Kristan Curren, Margaret Bruya and Ingrid Belobradic; wondered if Expedia employees could see inside the Civica building. After trying (and failing)- failed to make contact by waving enthusiatically, they noticed someone at Expedia had put post-it notes on their window in the form of a smiley face. What follows is the story of how this simple gesture evolved into a full “conversation” between the two companies:

  • Late Thursday: Kristan, Ingrid and Margaret decided to create a post-it note message in response to the Expedia building to let them know they were loved - a simple “We  You” created out of approximately 80 standard yellow and pink flower-shaped post-its.

  • The next morning: we looked out the window to discover the smiley face had been transformed into “XOX”. Shortly after, a large QR Code appeared in the window. We were able to take a picture, zoom in and scan the code that lead to this link. It turns out we had been rickroll’d!

  • We followed up with a quick “Be Mine” in post its - and this is when Expedia really got involved. We started seeing signs and post-it notes popping up in a number of windows across various floors. We were so excited by the pick up from our post-it note messages that we decided to post a link to a short film about two shy colleagues who use post-it art to express their love.

  • While we took a few minutes to check our artwork from the outside (and to make sure all the letters were properly posted backwards), we met Expedia employees on the street who told us how fun they thought the messages were! It was a proud moment- we felt like we’d gone beyond proving that they could see us to actually brightening their days!

  • Monday morning was Valentine’s Day so we wanted to go big. We updated the window to say “Happy  Day” and created some pictures inspired by the post it YouTube video we had shared the day before. This prompted Expedia employees to add more window decorations including a link to a slide show sharing pictures of their employees decorating themselves in post it notes. One person posted the message “TXT ME” on their window

  • In reponse, we upped the ante and posted “CALL ME” with a Waggener Edstrom phone number. The twist? The line lead to a voice mail message courtesy of the Old Spice “perfect man” (created using this voice mail generator), telling them that Waggener Edstrom could not come to the phone but were wishing them a Happy Valentine’s Day. Our personal goal was to receive 20 external calls to the number and we beat our metrics with 33 calls! Six people left us messages, to wish us a Happy Valentine's Day in return and to thank us for adding a little humor to their day!

There you have it… thanks to approximately 130 post-its (reused after each new message), we created a modern day love story. It began with a simple experiment to find out if people would look up from their desks long enough to see a love note in a window next door and, at least for a few days, employees from two buildings and two companies were brought closer together.

No comments: