Can you compete with your biggest clients? It is a dilemma that all production companies have to face. Within the rapidly changing world of advertising agencies, production companies often have their hands tied. They see the possibility of growth in working directly with brands by offering creative services. Still, They do not dare to openly position themselves this way for fear of losing revenue from agencies.
Chuck Studios, who specialise in food photography and film, will officially launch their new “food creative” service this week. Olaf van Gerwen and Ellen Gaedtgens think that production companies should also show that they are changing with the times. “Consultants are entering the advertising business, brands are making their own campaigns, and agencies are doing in-house production. We thought it was time to offer creative services ourselves in collaboration with freelance creatives and strategists. In fact, we were already being asked for this by brands with whom we collaborate regularly.”
So the production company set aside its initial doubt about the new positioning. Gaedtgens: “Of course it is nerve-racking, but large clients of ours, such as TBWA\Neboko, understand it completely. Nowadays everything is mixed, but we still need each other anyway.”
You are specialised in food. Are production companies without specialisation at a disadvantage?
Van Gerwen: “If I made the sales for a broader production company, I would indeed find that more difficult. Where would you start? We know exactly who our potential clients are. We don’t search for work amongst non-food clients, so that is very clear. ”
Are you also going to participate in agency pitches?
Van Gerwen: “We will have to see. I am not totally in favour of it because it takes a lot of time and energy often without the creative getting any better. We do not have the workforce for this ourselves and can never invest as much as an agency. We are just entrepreneurs and doers, not talkers. This is how we work, and we want to work for clients who make use of this approach.”
Will brands have to pay just as much as they do the agencies?
Van Gerwen: “We make a rate card for products. We are going to budget creative services just like we do film production. We calculate the hourly rates of the freelancers with a mark-up of 20% and add that into the final amount. But the difference is, we can do it with fewer people and can deliver quickly. But our point is not so much that we are cheaper, we promise that you can trust us with your food problem.”
What makes good food advertising?
Van Gerwen: “The very first requirement is of course that the food looks good. If the food doesn’t look good, it’s all for nothing. Moreover, we love a food communication platform that stays close to the product and tries to tell a story. The main thing is an emotion or a great concept; we always try to put that back in.”
Gaedtgens: “A hamburger can be shot beautifully, but it remains a hamburger, not a Burger King or a McDonald’s Hamburger. This is only achieved by linking a concept and visual language. ”
Sustainability and health are major issues in food. Do you take a position there?
Van Gerwen: “Personally, yes, we eat organic and animal-friendly. Unfortunately, we cannot do that commercially, without decimating our market. We can’t grow if we shut the big fast-food brands out. ”