Sunday, March 24, 2019

2018 Mid Year Report Card - Phil Koutsis

1) What trends, developments or issues would you point to thus far in 2018 as being most significant, perhaps carrying implications for the rest of the year and beyond?

2) What work (advertising or entertainment)—your own or others—struck a responsive chord with you and/or was the most effective strategically and/or creatively? Does any work stand out to you in terms of meshing advertising and entertainment?

3) Though gazing into the crystal ball is a tricky proposition, we nonetheless ask you for any forecast you have relative to the creative and/or business climate for the second half of 2018 and beyond.

4) What do recent honors on the awards show circuit (Cannes Lions, AICP Show/Next Awards, AICE winners or Emmy nominations) tell us in terms of creative and/or strategic themes and trends in the industry at large?

5) What new technology, equipment or software will you be investing in later this year or next year for your company or yourself personally, and why? Or, tell us about what new technology investment you’ve made this year and why it was a good decision—or not?

6) What efforts are you making to increase diversity and inclusion in terms of women and ethnic minority filmmakers? How do you go about mentoring new talent?

Phil Koutsis
Executive Creative Director
We’re Magnetic

1) There is no doubt that the trend of the year is experiential marketing, and it will only continue to be the next big thing that every brand, marketer and agency will look to leverage. That also means we will see more and more clients look to bring experiential to the forefront of their overall marketing strategy and leverage the scale of live experiences through social and content planning.

Another trend that will continue to define 2018 and beyond is how brands are realizing that they can–and should–play a vital role in the world around us if they want to connect with today’s modern consumer. As brands find their purpose, they must stay authentic and relevant or consumers will take notice.

Finally, shorter timelines, tighter budgets and project-based work will continue to challenge the old agency model. Those that figure out how to be nimble enough to move at the speed of culture will be the ones that win.

2) I loved the simplicity of McDonald’s outdoor campaign that used slivers of the iconic arches as directional signage pointing to the next store. The “Today at Apple” campaign was also a great blend of advertising and entertainment that felt true to the Apple brand. At We’re Magnetic, we helped create Netflix FYSEE – an immersive experience that brought to life over 40 Netflix Emmy nominated shows and was programmed each night for over a month, letting judges hear from the creators. It then opened to the public, letting fans get closer to the shows they love. It also played an important strategic marketing role in helping Netflix become the most nominated network at the Emmy Awards for the first time.

3) We’ll continue to see an uptick in marketers moving more of their traditional advertising spend to experiential marketing, and finding ways to scale the live experience through content and social to better connect with their audiences.

4) Creative that authentically plays a role in social activism and ignites change is clearly important to judges and has the power to move the business needle. Work that delivers transformative innovation has also earned respect from renowned judges across some of the world’s top award shows.

5) To us, a highly skilled and motivated team is the ultimate technology, and first and foremost, we’re continuing to invest in our people. From consumer insights and research to technical production expertise like architecture and lighting design, it’s key to us to have all of these complementary skills in-house, as well as a diverse team that broadens our perspective and creative solutions.

Of course, technology plays an important role in our work too, and we’re continuing to invest in the latest 3D software, engineering and architecture programs, and VR/AR tools and devices.

6) In any facet of our industry, it’s important for teams to be a reflection of our broader society, and the consumers with whom we aim to connect. Within our own walls, we’re proud to have a multicultural diverse team, with well over half of our staff and leadership team being female. We think that it’s incumbent upon all agencies to truly consider the other creative partners we are working with too–whether that’s a filmmaker or a production crew that is helping to bring ideas to life in video or live event formats. Broadening our consideration set needs to be a part of everyone’s process to bring more diverse, great talent into the fold.

Mentoring is key too, and something we all need at various stages of our careers. At our agency, that translates into a culture that emboldens employees to bring their ideas and new ways of doing things to the table - and also fosters regular dialogue and feedback to improve upon these ideas, and get better together in this process.

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