To mark Create London’s 10th Anniversary, we spoke to some of our long-standing clients, key talent, and industry partners to reflect on how we as an agency, and the industry as a whole, have evolved over the last decade – and what it means for the changing landscape ahead.
Our expertise is creative messaging, and we are firm believers that the tenets that make effective messaging endure. However, there is no doubt that the expectations of our audiences, and the need to understand how to motivate and excite them, has grown significantly. What’s more, the technology to both produce and engage with creative has also been rapidly developing, with a profound impact on how we craft and think about campaign creative.
When we first set up our London offices in 2009 we built a vault for housing tapes, as was standard for agencies at the time. Within a few short years tape use was a rarity, and our vault was quickly converted into an a much needed additional edit suite. The era of running tapes around Soho streets came to a close: a symbol that the evolution of our industry from analogue to digital was complete.
And with digital advancement has come a change in pace. The speed at which material can be created, shared with stake holders (be they filmmakers, executives, or territory offices), and in turn put into cinemas, on broadcast, or online, has dramatically increased. With that, the time necessary to make decisions has shrunk, and the flexibility to change approach down to the wire more readily available to everyone. Ultimately that has meant that the skill-set and ability to be quickly reactive as a creative agency is no longer just an asset, but a necessity.
Creative advertising is an ever-changing medium, both reactive to and an influence on the culture and world around us. While the principles of storytelling and conveying narrative are core components, both in long and even short-form material, the pressure to surprise, innovate, and excite compels us to push new boundaries. Continued experimentation in musicality, motion graphic integration, editorial pacing, and sound design – have all been key facets of the emerging landscape.
With an increased array of platforms on which our work is being viewed, it’s opened up an opportunity to embrace and design in new formats. We have spent time in the past sharing learnings we’ve found in designing pieces for digital and social content. From multi-panels, breaking frame, playful annotation, and devising new ways of utilising and innovating with the space we are given, it has inspired us to expand how we approach creative as a starting place. It also is no secret that industry-wide we are seeing digital influences having a return effect on the style of traditional audio-visual trailer and broadcast formats, as audiences expect a new language to all their creative.
With new ways to break convention – the audio-visual world has become a playground across formats. An example of this was evidenced in pieces we did for DEADPOOL 2. Influenced by the tone we were capturing in our social pieces, there was an appreciation that the style and language we use to speak to audiences in social creative were worth harnessing back into the more traditional format of digital outdoor. Using some of our learnings from social creative on the campaign inspired original pieces that we created for digital outdoor display at Piccadilly Circus.
From THE KING’S SPEECH to the KINGSMAN franchise, THE BEST EXOTIC HOTEL to BABY DRIVER, there have long been an active array of talented filmmakers and creators producing brilliance out the UK. And as the entertainment industry continues to globalise, we are seeing further trends in regionalisation and decentralisation of entertainment output. What’s more, audiences’ interest and access to the content from a worldwide range of sources more than ever make so many of the projects we work on global in their potential.
The manner and formats in which we deliver creative campaigns has also multiplied. Gone are the days of singularly working on one trailer for months on end, and then moving into standardise phases of a campaign. We are now in a world of simultaneously creating multiple trailers, digital concepts, online and tv spots, some that are audience micro-targeted or regionally customised, and a host of other audio-visual elements that make up the arsenal of a campaign launch. That fragmentation has made the importance of understanding overarching creative strategy critical, alongside the ability to translate a creative message across a variety of media.
Looking back 10 years ago, we knew the move to London would not just be about bringing a new voice to an existing market, but also about harnessing and growing with the wealth of creative talent that London attracts. And 10 years on, despite Brexit politic, London remains a vital creative hub for not just Europe, but also the global entertainment industry. To think Director Gareth Edwards, sitting in our offices working on the trailer for his first feature film MONSTERS in 2010 would within the decade go on to direct ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY. But it just one small example of the outsized creative talent that exists in the UK, and a community we’ve been fortunate to become a part of.
Our own London team has also grown in leaps and bounds, whether it’s our editors or producers who have all emerged from unique backgrounds, influenced by the culture and design aesthetic of this dynamic city. Or visually present in motion graphic designers, inspired by the eclecticism of East London to the elegance of Mayfair. There is a sensibility and artistry available in London that remains vibrant, also evidenced in the musicians and composers we work with, who’ve helped us create award winning original campaign music from BLACK SWAN to recently THE CROWN. As a hub of creativity London shows no signs of slowing down, and neither does our ambition to continue growing with it.
– Suneil Beri. MD, Create London