What the heck is an adhoc cohort?

Why The Adhoc Cohort™ Is One Key To Innovating Content

By Robb Wagner

Over the course of the past 14 years I’ve been working in the broadcast, film, concert, digital, technology and cruise line industries in parallel. In this series I’m sharing my inside knowledge about bringing top people from disparate industries together to make magic.

At Stimulated-Inc., Adhoc Cohorts let us innovate content for great partners like Carnival Cruise Line. Customer satisfaction and critical acclaim are just two examples of the value this creates for Carnival.

Driving repeat business with the world’s largest cruise line. “Celestial Strings” onboard Carnival Horizon 2018.

The Adhoc Cohort™ is SEP™ (standard experimental procedure) at Stimulated-Inc. Because when ‘best-in-class’ people from disparate industries are brought together to make something new – magic happens.

Case Study #1: Carnival Horizon

In Stimulated-Inc.’s latest entertainment collaboration with Carnival Cruise Line and Director Paul Roberts (One Direction, Sam Smith, X Factor), we reimagined LED screens as a flying bumble bee view that would transcend surreal landscapes. We carefully considered this idea through the lens of Carnival’s guests, envisioning endless time-travel through a fantasy incarnation of the four seasons. We imagined seamless interactivity between live performance and digital content, every photon inciting an emotion. Our dream for Carnival’s guests was bigger than letting them just go ‘to’ surreal destinations, but deeper ‘into’ them instead, in a 40 minute fantasy journey.

How? Who? Impossible? A lesson learned from Michael Jackson. When people said “It can’t be done”, he said, “That’s why we have to do it.”

Enter the need for the adhoc cohort.

The bumble bee POV inspired us to R&D video game technology during our Phase One. We deep-dove with the experts and explored a theory that adding video game creative development and technology to our strategy was worth exploring. We successfully experimented. But this was only one piece of the experiment. We also found reasons to draw from other industries such as feature film for its VFX innovation, and live-events for its big-format motion graphics innovation. We sought-out and brought together top global talent from each of these industries and molded them with ourselves into an Adhoc Cohort.

This is when things get exciting. When great people are pushed out of their comfort zone great things tend to happen.  It often takes a beat-or two-or three, for the individuals in the Adhoc Cohort to figure out what the heck we’re trying to do and how they’re possibly going to help. They start-off thinking we’re crazy. But there’s always that ‘a-ha’ moment when “You mean I’m not doing the same thing I did yesterday?” ignites a spark, and the work goes crazy.

Carnival Cruise Line’s “Celestial Strings” exceeded even the greatest of expectations.

“The theater’s LED screens provide not only a background but interact with the players becoming performers in their own right.” – Beyond Ships

The art of the Adhoc Cohort takes years to master. They take a sixth sense to bring together, require specialized project management, and are unwieldy without specialized workflows, procedures and tools.  Adhoc Cohorts are global so they work 24/7, a blessing and a curse. All the extra effort we put into Adhoc Cohorts is worth it to us, because nothing is more satisfying than exceeding expectations for great partners like Carnival Cruise Line and their guests.

“The audience had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to this sophisticated programming.” – Beyond Ships

Feel free to email me if you want to know more. -Robb Wagner