Hybrid Creative Production Studio - London Production Company
 

OK, ENOUGH…

 
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THE WORLD DOESN’T NEED MORE CONTENT

And yet that’s exactly what audiences want. More content.
What the world doesn’t need is more nonsense. More disposable self-serving promo-clutter. Content that exists solely to sell something, not enrich the experience of the person who spends time watching it. And that’s why content for marketers has become a dichotomy. Because we live in the media age of choice. Ignore it to your detriment. Make it at your peril…
Which is why we choose to tell stories that need to be told. Because the audience wants them. And they deliver attention for those who make them. No more. And never less. It’s that simple.
But the journey that began our story was less straightforward, starting with a drunken comment in a bar, spoken over a century ago…

 

1841. New york city

 
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BARNUM SAID IT BEST…

It was the night before the greatest showman bought his first theatre. In an Irish bar on the corner of Broadway and Cedar, a man asked whether he was mad. “You’ll lose your shirt sir,” the man proffered. “Then it will be a worthy exchange,” Barnum replied. “If you want to survive in this business my friend, you must be your own show.”

Exactly one hundred years later, and 2,796 miles west across the same country, the legendary American comedian George Jessel observed a large crowd gathered in front of a church for the funeral of a loathsome studio boss. “You see?” quipped Jessel as he passed, “Give the people what they want, they’ll come out for it.”

Little did he know that his sardonic remark would be twisted and repurposed to power Hollywood through its golden age. Nor could the two unlikely titans, from opposite ends of the entertainment industry, and separated by a century, have imagined that eighty years later, their words would be so pertinent to the modern-day marketer…

 

YOU KNOW WHAT

HAPPENED NEXT…

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VISUAL ENTERTAINMENT EXPLODED

TV grew unabated. Advertising boomed. The golden age of strap-lines riding Technicolor’s coattails. Brands flocked. Agencies procreated. Consumers preened, polished and purchased.

Then the chip came. Digital. Channels multiplied. Smart devices. The Internet. Connected life. Advertising was declared ‘dead’. TV was given notice. Long-live social. Here’s Facebook. The web was king. Everything was supposed to change. But no-one told the consumer. Advertising experimented. People still watched TV. But they started adapting. Gorging. Technology advanced. And became more accessible. Advertising ‘died’. Again. TV’s last rites were read. Again. But no-one clicked a banner ad (not intentionally anyway).

Channel growth became an avalanche. Creatives became hipsters. Their focus moved online. The work got shorter to appease the social set. More meaningless by the micro-minute. Advertising and TV died for a third time. But everyone watched Game of Thrones. And Breaking Bad. And every other big-budget drama and comedy on offer. Money was pouring into small screen entertainment, but marketing was struggling there. Despite the eyeballs. People were ignoring it. How dare…

Marketing money, desperate to find some purchase to provoke a purchase, flooded into the even smaller screen. Mobile boomed. Location. Intelligence. Programmatic. The king of all connected devices they called it. “No-one will watch TV again!” they said…as the audience’s cursor hovered eagerly, waiting to skip…their fingers demonstrating their ambivalence.

Everywhere was now hard work. Nothing was cutting through. Marketing debated. The audience didn’t notice. They were too busy watching; on every screen; making use of their technological freedoms. Time-shifting and scheduling; downloading and streaming; socialising and sharing; watching everything that delivered them value; ignoring, skipping and blocking anything else that intruded on their eye-line. Everything had changed. Yet nothing had really changed. The world still wanted to watch. Just not what you were making…

 

A new world…

 
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AND OLD MINDSETS…

So marketing tinkered. Not with ideas. But with the channel mix. Moving creative online. Budgets to digital. Do the same, just somewhere new. But that missed the point. Because when the world changes, you evolve WHAT you do, not just how you do it. Just ask Darwin and the dinosaurs…

Audiences have proven they want to watch. Over and above any other format. Technology, combined with channel choice, now simply allows them to watch whatever they want, wherever and however they want to. But combine their changing media habits with their greater expectations of the entities and entertainment they allow into their lives, and you’ll see it’s not just about where or how they’re watching; but what they’re CHOOSING to watch. Because let’s be honest, few people are eager to get home, excited to see which ads they’ve recorded…

They want entertaining, inspiring, educating, empowering, hell even distracting. What they don’t want is brands interrupting. Especially when they have nothing to say. People know the value of their attention. And they know you need to earn it by telling them something of value, not wallpapering your way to awareness. So until you say something that matters, you’re speaking into a vacuum of wasted media money…because the audience isn’t even listening.

Not until you ‘give ‘em what they want,’ as George said. Stories that help the brand ‘be their own show’ as PT said before him. So that’s what we set out to build. A team capable of creating the stories that would make you the search, not the interruption; the content they seek, not the irritation they skip. And a better model for the new-style production company…

 

creative

production

studio…

 
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SO WHO ARE WE...

A team of partners who learnt through twenty years in marketing how to grow brands; and twenty years in TV, how to tell a story. One who’s blended that spectrum of skills, to know how to give audiences the content they want.

An agency of sorts. A production company for sure. We’re neither by the classical description. Yet we’re both. A team of classically-trained creatives, strategists and communications folk sitting with our producers, writers, directors and documentary-makers; united by a passion for telling stories that need to be told; for brands, broadcasters and causes; and a belief in a better style of modern marketing.

Why? Because great stories make the social world turn. They’re the threads that run through everything the audience wants to watch. What they choose to share; not the marketing they choose to ignore. Because (proper) stories provide them value. Entertainment. Escapism. Education. Empowerment. Because they’re made for their benefit. To enhance their sense of self, and station within their world. Where everything is offered, and nothing is taken. Their value disproportionate to the time taken to consume them.

Because after all, for all the futuristic fantasies and fallacies, none of them have played out in how they were proclaimed…and yet all of them are true. TV is king. And so is mobile. And the internet. And film and visual content. And the stories consumed simultaneously across them all. It’s just that marketing’s not making them. So choose to make the interruptions if you like; the ads with nothing to say, the pesky pop-ups that chase them down the page and the pre-rolls they’ll skip every time. They won’t watch them. Not until you change what you have to say…

 

Say something,

or risk everything

 
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MAKE SOMETHING THAT DOES SOMETHING, AND WATCH THEM TUNE IN...

We believe the work should matter. It seems wrong to know the audience you work for can ignore everything you do, should they choose to. But that’s the truth of the world we live in. So we choose to make work that matters. Commercial, causal, cultural or commissioned…it doesn’t matter. It’s the story that matters. That it’s important. That it’s bigger than the person telling it. That there’s a purpose to it and that someone else is better off for having heard it. That’s work worth doing. And work it’s worth putting media around; not because it’s the only way to be heard; but because it’s work the audience will choose to, and benefit from watching.

Our people believe that. A group who’ve built storied careers in the creative, filmmaking and TV worlds, but who now also tell stories with us. Because they believe there’s a more effective way, and they believe in telling stories that matter. The stories we’ve told together, and their results, prove our point. Work directed by Oscar-winners nestling next to important stories directed by debutants. The campaign where 2 million people watched live; or the one that created 220 million impressions on the client’s website; or the films for the global entertainment brand that ended up delivering their most-watched piece of YouTube content ever, as well as product sales AND preference AND did something good for the wider world!

That proves the power of the right story, well told.

So whilst that might make us hard to describe, it should remain easy to understand why we do what we do. Because whether we’re a hybrid, a media mongrel, the Bad Madam of the advertising world for daring to do something different; regardless, it leaves us fervent in the belief that messages will be skipped but (proper) stories will be shared. That there is always an important story you can tell, you just need to know how to look for it. And that if you want to make work that’s watched, you need to give ‘em what they want; become your own show…and…

TELL STORIES

THAT NEED TO BE TOLD

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