What trends, developments or issues would you point to thus far in 2022 as being most significant, perhaps carrying implications for the rest of this year and beyond?
Shrinking budgets and decreased focus on broadcast continue to reinvent how brands, agencies and production partners engage and execute campaigns. CMO’s seem to be reducing broadcast budgets across the board while looking for more quick content that lives shorter lives on social channels. Brands continue to invest in in-house capabilities which demands that we look at ways to partner with hybrid teams and get flexible on the make, buy, blend equation. It’s no longer one way or the other but how can we augment in-house teams and work alongside brands and agencies to bring work to life.
How have any societal issues--such as the pandemic, the Supreme court decision on abortion, calls for equity, inclusion, diversity, racial and social justice--impacted the way you do business, company policies and/or selection of projects/creative content?
So much to cover here! Bottom line, between COVID and the many charged social issues from the last few years, the creative community is really engaged and makers have important things to share with the world. This year we launched RESIDENCE, a director-in-residence program designed to amplify historically underrepresented voices and establish authenticity earlier in the creative process. The response to the program has been overwhelming and really encouraging that there is a market demand for inclusive storytelling and diverse points of view. We have to do better at creating inclusive economic opportunities in our industry. The industry needs change and we’re ready for it so it’s time for more companies to stand behind their DE&I values and produce more results. Show me with the data.
What’s the biggest takeaway or lessons learned from work (please identify the project) you were involved in this year?
Creative collaboration with our RESIDENCE program Directors. We had a client project that was an OLV and ultra-low budget. We took the challenge to our RESIDENCE Directors and in 48hrs all 12 filmmakers put forward really creative thinking for how to execute nimbly and create engagement around the campaign. Seeing how successful that upstream creative brainstorm amongst a collective of filmmakers was really opened our eyes to the ways in which content creators can infuse storytelling much earlier on.
What work (advertising, entertainment, documentary) -- your own or others--struck a responsive chord with you this year and why?
I loved the Nike 3D Air Max Billboard in Japan. https://musebycl.io/sports/story-behind-nikes-amazing-3-d-air-max-billbo.... Nike’s in-house creative studio partnered with the artist collective CEKAI (based in Tokyo and LA) for this and it’s just super dope. It’s a great example of how partnerships can push the work and ways that in-house studios can work with artist collectives to bring a lot of creative thinking to a project. This was a gorgeous execution in an emerging medium and the collaboration model was so smart.
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 2022 and beyond.
I’m inspired by digital and new media artists and the non-traditional works they are creating and ways they are driving engagement and impacting society utilizing AI and future forward technology. As we look ahead at what will life on our planet be like for future generations we can’t ignore the role AI and futurism will play. I’m a fan of Sougwen Chung, an artist who creates works with multi-robotic systems using spatialized sound and biofeedback. Her live performance is pretty remarkable. I also am blown away by what REEPS 100 (Harry Yeff) is creating with Voice Gems--data visualizations of the human voice. Nancy Baker Cahill is a new media artist who designs shared immersive experiences of embodied consciousness. If brands have the appetite and palette for these innovative platforms and emerging mediums there is a lot of artistic inspiration in this space.
Has the first half of 2022 caused you to redefine or fine tune the goals of your company, division, studio or network--and if so, in what way(s)?
Looking at how to get in front of the work faster and collaborate holistically with our clients further upstream. Being more platform lead. Really walking the talk when it comes to diversity and creating economic opportunities for more artists.