2022 Mid Year Report Card Survey Response

Max Rose
Executive Producer/Partner




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?

We’ve seen it happening over the past few years, but are really now seeing brands put a strong emphasis on the connection and relation to Gen Z demo. Brands are seeming to take more creative risks to connect to their younger audience and making social content a priority as opposed to a secondary thought.

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?

We (Tuff) have always had inclusion and equal opportunity objectives at the forefront of our company objectives. We’ve definitely noticed a heightened awareness around these issues from our clients and agency partners. More conversations are being had during pre-pro to ensure there’s an inclusive POV showcased in the work, and we are doing our best to help tell stories of underrepresented groups and communities in the most authentic way possible.

What’s the biggest takeaway or lessons learned from work (please identify the project) you were involved in this year?

Our most recent project for the global food company Ajinomoto challenged the well-known wellness and lifestyle brand, Goop, to a #dinnerwithgoop about the misconceptions around MSG and clean eating. Tuff director Paul Cummings created multiple spots with celebrity brand spokesperson Jenny Yang who invites “Goop” to dinner.

This was a cause-focused campaign that really forced us to heighten our awareness around the brand’s mission with the spots, as well as more closely align with our Edelman agency partner to ensure the message walked along the right line of balance between funny, informative, and engaging without being too forceful or shaming.

We really enjoyed this challenge and the opportunity to be a part of a campaign that was focused on changing people’s perspectives on food and highlighting the false stigma around MSG.

What work (advertising, entertainment, documentary) -- your own or others--struck a responsive chord with you this year and why?

Vans Record Store Day, “Portraits of Her” about women in music, was one that particularly struck a responsive chord with myself and Tuff. We had the opportunity to interview and hear the stories of women working in music who were flourishing in their respective career paths. In this doc style campaign, two women who had never met before sat down and shared their experiences of climbing the ranks in the music industry and making impactful change.

What work (advertising, entertainment, documentary) -- your own or others--struck a responsive chord with you this year and why?

Attention is everything. We’re excited to see brands and our agency partners taking more creative risks as we believe they see the importance of standing out from everyone else and holding the attention of their audiences. I cannot forecast that this will be here forever, but we’re excited at the trajectory of where we’re seeing the creative landscape going.

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)?

While we did rebrand and slightly change our approach to be more of a hybrid production company/agency, our main goal is the same – be a bold creative partner to agencies and brands. We like our company being boutique and agile to help brands adjust and execute well to keep up with rapidly changes cultural trends, news, and economy.

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