The leap from research to insight to creative concept is never guaranteed, and a creative misfire can sink great strategy. Learn how Second City Works, the business services arm of improv comedy institution The Second City, has partnered with Kantar to create Brandstage. This process breaks down the walls between brand and audience, insight and idea. Improvisational performers become live stimulus for a consumer audience to help brands uncover human truths and actionable insights. Learn how improvisation draws out deep consumer reflection through tools like brand personification, story replay and iterative scenario building.
Register today to learn how to:
- Collaborate with your audience to identify key emotional insights
- Rapidly prototype ideas to discover characters, tone, situations and scenarios that truly resonate
- Uncover guardrails and 'no go' zones that help focus creative concepts and save time later
- Quickly parse early stage concepts to see where they lead
- Bring your whole team (brand, creative, legal, sales, and more) face to face with consumers
- Build an abundance of well-refined concepts in a matter of days
Steve Kakos, Vice President, Second City Works
Steve is a Vice President for Second City Works, where he guides leading businesses in capturing unique consumer insights in order to develop creative concepts, campaigns and innovations through Second City’s wholly-original Brandstage process. Steve has over 20 years of experience delivering innovative marketing, learning and consulting services to a variety of Fortune 1000 clients. Prior to joining Second City, Steve led business development efforts for closer look, a $25M digital agency focused on helping clients get closer to their customers.
Kat Barker, Director and Facilitator, Second City Works
Kat is a director and facilitator for Second City Works who has worked on Brandstage for several international brands. In 2004 she began training with The Second City, and in 2005 she assistant-directed the Mainstage Revue: Iraqtile Dysfunction and began teaching improvisation and sketch comedy in their training center. She has also had the privilege to perform for Just For Laughs, Montreal Improv Festival, the Chicago Bears, Chicago Sketchfest, Chicago Improv Festival, iO and Annoyance theaters.
Tim Kibbey, Managing Director, Kantar Millward Brown
Tim Kibbey is a bridge builder for the gaps that all too often exist between insight and strategy, and strategy and execution. Through leadership roles at DDB Needham, McCann Erickson, Federal Express and Cossette Communications, Tim has extensive experience in brand building, traditional advertising, event marketing, new media, electronic commerce and digital marketing, direct marketing, and public relations. He’s a qualitative research practitioner with expertise in ethnography, self-ethnography, applied anthropology, psychology, semiotics, and discourse analysis.
Liz Joynt-Sandberg, Creative Ensemble, Second City Works
Liz Joynt Sandberg is a member of the Creative Ensemble at Second City Works and has performed, written, and assistant directed for several Brandstage engagements. Liz performs and teaches improv and sketch regularly across Chicago. Originally from Michigan, Sandberg trained with The Second City Music Improv and Conservatory Programs, and as a member of Infinite Sundaes; at iO Chicago, and in Chicago’s improvisational dance community. She has a degree in Philosophy and Music from Central Michigan University. Her writing can be found online at Rebellious, The Huffington Post, The Second City Network and others. Her essay “Hummingbird” appears in the anthology Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now (Putnam, 2015).
Kelly Leonard, Executive Director, Insights & Applied Improvisation, Second City Works
Kelly Leonard is the Executive Director of Insights and Applied Improvisation at The Second City. His book, “Yes, And: Lessons from The Second City” was released to critical acclaim in 2015 by Harper Collins and was praised by Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair who called it “...an excellent guide to the lessons that have bubbled up in Second City’s improv workshops.” Kelly is a popular speaker on the power of improvisation to transform people’s lives. He has presented at The Aspen Ideas Festival, TEDx Broadway, the Chicago Ideas Festival, The Stanford Graduate School of Business and for companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft and DDB Worldwide. Kelly co-created and co-directs a new initiative with the Center for Decision Research at the Booth School at the University of Chicago that looks at behavioral science through the lens of improvisation. He also hosts the podcast, “Getting to Yes, And,” for Second City and WGN radio that features interviews with thought leaders such as Adam Grant, Simon Sinek, Angela Duckworth, Gretchen Rubin, Robert Sutton and more.
For over twenty years, Kelly oversaw Second City’s live theatrical divisions where he helped generate original productions with such talent as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Steve Carell, Keegan Michael Key, Amy Sedaris and others. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Anne Libera and their children Nick and Nora.