Hours away from an important pitch, brand strategist Diane Mantouvalos took to the IdeaPaint walls at MassChallenge startup PhotOral —with an eraser! In minutes, eight months of brainstormed strategies, sales projections, market research and motivational quotes were gone. (Fear not! All work was previously videotaped on an iPhone.)
This bold act of erasure might seem counterintuitive, especially given that most of the time we are encouraging people to fill empty walls with bursts of inspiration and to declare victory only when there’s no writable surface left. But Team PhotOral was staring down a deadline to present its shiny startup to the CEO of a global oral care brand and something was missing: the Story.
Faced with three glaring walls, the caffeinated team got back to the core of PhotOral’s story: wellness and the consumer. They refocused the emphasis on the desired conversation that they, as a company, wanted to facilitate with their customers and splashed it onto IdeaPaint. The next day, Diane brought in former Trader Joe’s muralist Kerri Desmond to translate the team’s scribbles into a compelling visual storyboard.
“IdeaPaint may have quite literally saved our lives,” said Diane Mantouvalos. “The process helped unleash a level of passion and dialogue that is simply unachievable via PowerPoint.”
So how did the CEO of a multi‐billion dollar global consumer brand react to PhotOral’s off‐the‐wall presentation? At the meeting’s conclusion, the brand executives said they had never seen such passion in a presentation. Doubly impressive was that there were no bells or whistles ‐ no audio, no video, just the walls. In Diane’s own words, “As a team we were able to use our creative talent to turn the data and trends into a visually engaging, dare I say, fun presentation.”
And the storytelling concept obviously worked. Mantouvalos says PhotOral now has a deal pending and promises to share the brand’s name when the ink dries.Diane Mantouvalos, IdeaPaint, MassChallenge, PhotOral, Work