2021 Mid Year Report Card Survey Response

Steve Red
President & Co-Chief Creative Officer
Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners




What’s the impact of the pandemic on you, your company, your approach to doing business in the future? What practices emerged that you will continue even as restrictions are loosening?

We’ve fully embraced the notion of working from wherever. We’ve reopened our offices and continue to have a thriving culture both virtually and in real life, but we’ve found that there’s no need to be in the office every day. And in some ways we’re more productive and creative from all over.

How has the call for equity, racial and social justice affected, honed or influenced your sense of responsibility as a company in terms of the content you create and/or your commitment to opening up opportunities for filmmaking talent from underrepresented backgrounds?

It’s motivated us to go beyond being open-minded and open-armed to work hard at uncovering and proactively pushing for underrepresented partners.

While gazing into the crystal ball is a tricky proposition, we nonetheless ask you for any forecast you have relative to content creation and/or the creative and/or business climate for the second half of 2021 and beyond.

We’ll make this prediction mainly because it’s the track we’re on, but we believe content will continue to be made within the walls of agencies by resourceful creatives doing whatever it takes to tell stories. Don’t get us wrong, of course we love to collaborate with talented directors, cinematographers, producers and makers, but more and more the world dictates that we get it done ourselves.

What are your goals, creatively speaking and/or from a business standpoint, for your company, division, studio or network in 2021?

To the above point, we want to continue to hone our ability to bring ideas to life with our own resources and wits.

What trends, developments or issues would you point to thus far in 2021 as being most significant, perhaps carrying implications for the rest of the year and beyond?

Business travel, business meetings, massive awards shows and boondoggles will not disappear but they will continue to be less and less normal.

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

Bo Burnam’s Inside was a pitch-perfect example of what a truly creative person can do on their own. Not only was it an incredible demonstration of how it felt to be stuck in quarantine, but the social commentary captured throughout the special was on point. And while Burnam’s always used music in his act, with the rise of TikTok, the special came at a perfect time — clips and sound bytes from the special are running rampant on TikTok and Instagram Reels. It truly was the right content we all needed at the right time.

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