Hybrid Creative Production Studio - London Production Company
 

OK, ENOUGH…

 
Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 16.30.46.png

Barnum said it best...

It was the night before the greatest showman bought his first theatre. 1841 New York City. In a 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 become your own show.”

One hundred years later, and 2,796 miles west across the same country, the legendary American comedian George Jessel quipped, “You see? Give the people what they want and they’ll come out for it.” Little did he know that his sardonic remark, made whilst observing the funeral of a loathsome 1940s studio boss would go on to inspire the philosophy that powered 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…

 
Barnum.jpg

VISUAL ENTERTAINMENT EXPLODED

TV grew unabated. Advertising boomed. Brands flocked. Agencies procreated. Consumers preened, polished and purchased. Channels multiplied.
Then the chip came. Digital. Smart devices. The Internet. Connected life. Advertising was declared ‘dead’. TV was given notice. Long-live social. Here’s Netflix. The web was king. Everything was supposed to change. But no-one told the consumer. Advertising remained. People still watched TV. But they started adapting. Increasing. Technology advanced. And became more accessible. Advertising ‘died’. Again. TV’s last rites were read. Again. But no-one clicked a banner ad.

Budgets still flowed into ads. But channel growth became an avalanche. Creatives became hipsters. Work moved online. Advertising and TV died for a third time. But everyone watched Game of Thrones. And HBO. And every other big-budget drama and comedy on offer. Money poured into the small screen. The silver screen looked on amused. Box office was still fine. Why? Because what they’d gone to see wasn’t being interrupted…

Marketing was struggling on the small screen though. Despite the eyeballs. People were ignoring it. How dare…

Everything had changed. And yet nothing had really changed. The world still wanted to watch. Just not what you’re making.

 

TWO MODERN

TITANS…

 
Falling Down.jpg

THEN IT ALL CHANGED…

With the small screen proving a challenge, money flowed down the chain and poured into the even smaller screen. Mobile boomed. Location. Intelligence. Programmatic. The king of all connected devices they called it. “No-one will watch their TV again!” they said. But no-one clicked an ad or watched a pre-roll. Not willingly anyway.

Marketing money turned into an aimless torrent. Trying to flow. But unsure as to where. Still TV? More ads? So-called (paid for) Brand Entertainment? Sponsorship? Print and Outdoor? No chance. What about digital, PR, those ‘Influencers’, YouTube?
Marketing debated. The consumer didn’t notice.
They were too busy watching. Ignoring everything else. Making use of their newfound freedoms. Time-shifting; scheduling; pick ‘n’ channel-mixing; socialising and sharing; lapping at every form of media and entertainment that delivered them value. And ignoring, skipping or blocking everything else…

And hidden in the middle of 60 years of change, two new cultural champions of change had quietly stepped into the story and abruptly left their legacies. Audiences watched in awe as Bill Foster ‘fell down’, swinging his bat at the irksome driver in front. And then three short years later, Jerry Maguire stood up, and said to hell with this, there must be a better way… the same words echoed as we stepped out of two decades in brand communications and TV, swung our metaphorical bat at what we’d always known, and set out to create what we thought should be. A better way. One that would please P.T. and George…Become your own show. And give the people what they want. That’s what they said…
Be the entertainment, not the interruption, we said. A mode of marketing made for the modern world. And a mission to find the model for the new-style production company…

 

creative

production

studio…

 
GettyImages_108916673_ColourBalanced_CMYK_SMALL.jpg

SO WHO ARE WE...

Perhaps it’s easier to say who we’re not. We’re not your archetypal agency, who thinks the thought, but delegates the do. Nor are we your traditional production company, proficient at producing, but short of the required rigour. Nope, we’re neither, and yet we’re both...

We’re a hybrid studio that thinks and solves as much as it makes and produces. We understand brands; but also dramatic entertainment. We’re equally at home solving a marketing director’s problem; as we are filling a hole in a TV commissioner’s slate. We work with brands, causes, cultural organisations, broadcasters, and all sorts of others.
But we work FOR the audience. And that’s why we understand to how make them want to watch what we make. Ideas strong enough people tune in and stay.

Twenty years in marketing taught us how brands and organisations need to communicate. But the same time in entertainment taught us how to get people to pay attention. And time served in both taught us to not ignore the reality of the modern media world. The one billion hours watched on YouTube every day. The half of the TV audience choosing when they watch, and fast-forwarding all forms of marketing. The other half of the internet audience ad-blocking everything…except those they allow in. The majority who now expect the brands they choose to support to stand for something beyond themselves. To contribute. To something. Anything that proves they want to use their scale for good. Not just to make more scale. Not something ‘worthy’ for the sake of ‘doing good’. Something relevant to you, AND TO THEM. Something authentic. Something that matters. 

For all the change trumpeted over so many decades, none of it has happened, and yet all of it is true. TV is king. And so is mobile. And the internet. And film and visual content. And everything else that the consumer wants. Because technology now allows them to determine what they want. And what they avoid. And that’s marketing. So keep making the interruption if you like. Or the preludes to the things the audience actually wants. They won’t watch them. 

 

WHAT IF…

 
Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 15.05.32.png

WHAT IF INSTEAD...

What if instead of interrupting, you actually gave them something they wanted? Would they skip you then? Do they have an issue with the principle of marketing? Or do they take umbrage at the way you’re doing it? Only talking about yourself. Interrupting. Plastering digital media with banner ads that follow them. Content that tells them what you want to say, but not something of use to them. Nothing on their terms. No value exchange. Nothing earned. Everything taken. Therefore everything skipped, ignored, blocked, and now socially…slated and berated.

Look at what they want. They’re watching more content than ever. Drama; factual; historical; comedy; personal narratives. So why are you still making content they don’t want to watch? Why not tell dramatic stories they actually will? After all, stories are the threads that run through those. And there’s always a great story that can be told, you just need to know how to look for it…

So we use the blended creative, strategic and entertainment backgrounds of our partners to craft those stories; ones the client has the permission to tell, that the audience wants to hear. Which allows a brand to communicate more effectively, and an audience to watch what they actually want to. Stories relevant to both parties. Not just one of them. Stories that deliver a message AND improve the world of the person watching it. Informative, educational, empowering, hell even just interesting. But stories that deliver for the client, and matter to the audience. 

 

THE POWER OF

A STORY

WELL TOLD…

 
Disney_Finding_Dory_02.jpg

AND why we believe... 

Browse through the site and you’ll learn more about our people, a group who’ve built storied careers in the creative, filmmaking and TV worlds, but who now also tell stories with us. Because like us, they believe there’s a more effective way, and because they believe the stories matter. 

Take a look through the work. You’ll see the campaign where 2 million people watched our live broadcast; the work that created 220 million impressions on the client’s website; the campaign for the global entertainment brand that ended up delivering their most-watched piece of YouTube content ever that wasn’t a studio trailer, as well as product sales AND preference AND did something good for the wider world! That’s proves the power of the right story, well told. And our purpose.

So whatever that makes us; a hybrid, a media mongrel, the Bad Madam of the advertising world for daring to do different; regardless, it leaves us fervent in the belief that it doesn’t matter whether the purpose is commercial, causal or cultural, only that having something to say now matters more than ever. Something important. Something interesting. A story that’s about something bigger than you. That benefits someone other than you. Even if only through the experience of watching it. And that’s why we believe in.... 

TELLING STORIES

that need to be told

Murlough 9_EDIT_v5.jpg