Twenty-four hours doesn’t seem like a lot of time to most people in the product design industry, but for the designers, marketers, and thinkers behind ZURBwired it’s plenty. Every year for the past nine years, ZURB, a product design company in Campbell, picks a nonprofit in the area that they feel is doing inspired work and devotes their whole team—every single person, from intern to CEO—toward crafting a marketing campaign for them. This campaign includes a new website, brochures, videos, posters, t-shirts, and anything else they can accomplish in the twenty-four hour time frame. “Every single year we accomplish something more than we set out to,” says Daniel Codella, marketer at ZURB.
It all started when ZURB’s founder, Bryan Zmijewski, didn’t feel like his work for charities and nonprofits created enough of an impact. He had the idea to time-box this work into a full twenty-four hours, concentrating everyone’s undivided attention on a project and seeing what was possible. Focused time and attention on a project has inspired some amazing outcomes.
Although they only work on the actual content the day of, ZURB does a lot of planning in advance. First, they must choose a nonprofit from a number of applications. Once they do that, they figure out the organization’s goals, how they can achieve them, and what measurements to use in assessing if they can achieve those goals. The day of the event is packed with caffeine and dedication. Two teams are assembled: one working on print, the other on digital. Both groups work tirelessly and whatever time is left over is used to create additional content.
The ZURBwired team emphasizes inspiring members of the community to get involved. For them, it really comes down to the people. They have realized from previous events that it doesn’t take much time or many resources to make an impact—just focus. The impact is wide-reaching, with many of the nonprofits using the resulting work for years after the event. It even influences the way they think and proceed with other goals and projects. Daniel notes, “When we see how the work is used positively in the community, it changes the impact of the work for us.”
This year’s ZURBwired 24-hour event on August 25th will benefit Life Services Alternatives.
A few of the past ZURBwired events:
- Downtown Streets Team
- Sacred Heart
- Rebuilding Together Peninsula
- Family Giving Tree
- Rebekah Children’s Service
- Pie Ranch
ZURB’s website also lists upcoming design-focused events and meet-ups.
Written by Akadina Yadegar
Photography by Daniel Garcia