Since legalizing weed in 2016, California’s cannabis scene has been a hotbed for creativity. And at the heart of it all, Barcelona and LA-based agency, SLAPS, has been helping budding brands like Desert Underground to flourish.
Discover how switching from WhatsApp to Filestage’s online proofing software helped them cut design time in half, freeing them up to focus on creating their best work.
✔️ SLAPS creates 16-30 social posts every month for Desert Underground
✔️ WhatsApp was their go-to tool for feedback and approval, but it was messy
✔️ Filestage gives their clients an easy way to view content and share feedback
✔️ The team has halved design time so they can focus on boosting social engagement
SLAPS is a Gen Z-focused creative agency based out of Los Angeles and Barcelona. (In case you’re wondering, “slaps” is slang for excellent or amazing – like “Hey, this song slaps!”)
In an era of constant overstimulation, SLAPS is on a mission to enhance the experiences people have with brands. They collaborate closely with their partners, encouraging them to reflect on why and for who they were created. With this approach, they build brands that feel authentic and inspire loyalty long into the future.
One of these partnerships is with Desert Underground, a leading craft cannabis cultivator based in the oasis of the California desert. They’re on a journey to bring the wild west roots to the modern world through cannabis.
“During our calls with the cultivation team it became clear how much passion they had for growing cannabis. Our mission was to translate this love for the plant into captivating and intriguing content that would help separate Desert Underground from all its competitors.” – Sébastien Vandecasteele, Founder and Creative Director at SLAPS
Collecting feedback on WhatsApp is messy
When SLAPS started working with Desert Underground, they were tasked with creating 16-30 social posts every month. This covered everything from vibrant macro photography to short teaser videos about upcoming strains. And when you extrapolate those numbers across a double-digit client base, you’re looking at hundreds of posts every month.
There lies the problem.
Since the social media boom of the noughties, the amount of content being produced by brands and agencies has exploded. But while post volumes were reaching dizzying new heights, the technology was stagnating, giving teams no choice but to wrangle feedback over email and messenger apps.
Finding the right design proofing tool for the job
To help get a handle on their messy feedback rounds, SLAPS started looking for design proofing tools. They were spending huge amounts of time consolidating comments over WhatsApp, so they wanted one central space to collect feedback.
Another problem was lack of control. There was no cut-off point between one review round and the next. So the team could start working on the next version of a social asset, then suddenly get another bunch of comments on WhatsApp.
❌ Before Filestage
- Files and feedback were shared over WhatsApp
- No way to draw a line under each review round
- Difficult to interpret feedback on creative work
✔️ With Filestage
- Feedback is automatically consolidated in one place
- Comments can be disabled between review rounds
- Collaboration between the agency and clients is easy
After booking a demo to see how Filestage works, SLAPS started a free trial to put it to the test. Fast-forward five months and the team hasn’t looked back. Now they have a clear view of everyone’s feedback. And when they click on a comment, they jump to that part of the video or image – saving time going back and forth over WhatsApp. This has halved the team’s design and development time, freeing them up to create higher quality content that boosts engagement.
But one of the most helpful features for SLAPS is the ability to disable comments between review rounds. When a file is “In review”, clients can add as many comments as they want before choosing to request changes or approve the file. Then, when everyone has shared their feedback, SLAPS can switch the file to “Needs changes” and disable comments until the next version is ready. When you’re juggling hundreds of assets across a wide range of clients, this level of control has a huge impact on productivity.
“Working on social media, we have people both client and agency side. We’ve got a copywriter, social manager, and designer – and on the client side we have 2-3 people in the feedback process. Filestage gives us a place where everyone can easily interact with each other and give feedback.” – Sébastien Vandecasteele, Founder and Creative Director at SLAPS
The full package
When California legalized cannabis, the game changed. Throughout the two previous decades, Californians had enjoyed a liberal, look-the-other-way culture. But the closest weed came to brand and marketing was the creative names given to each strain. Granddaddy Purple. LA Kush Cake. Super Lemon Haze. These names were all designed to reveal the stories behind each strain and help people remember their favorites.
But since 2016, the opportunities for brand and marketing have exploded – and SLAPS is right at the heart of the action. With Desert Underground, they’ve developed vibrant packaging that’s bold, eye-catching, and informative. And they’ve also created hoodies for the cultivation crew, making teammates and customers feel like part of a growing community.
“There’s still a huge stigma facing cannabis companies. And with limited advertising resources and censorship, branding is the most powerful way to challenge those perceptions.” – Sébastien Vandecasteele, Founder and Creative Director at SLAPS
Less feedback management, more headspace for creativity
With their WhatsApp woes far behind them, Seba and the SLAPS team are enjoying the benefits of design proofing. Feedback is collected in Filestage automatically and can be turned on and off like a tap. So instead of getting interrupted mid-flow, they can switch between creative time and project management on their own terms.
Finally, creative agencies can focus on being creative. ✅