16th Jul 2019
Claire is the Founder and CEO of Claire Randall Consulting (CRC), a global production consultancy with its headquarters in London. Claire started out as a TV Producer at Saatchi and Saatchi London. In 1996 she formed the company to manage all TV production for Mars Europe, across all categories, on an exclusive basis. Mars is still one of CRC’s longest standing clients. In 2000, CRC extended its coverage to the US and over the years has expanded into Asia Pac and the Middle East. CRC now works with a wide range of advertisers including adidas, McDonalds, Kellogg’s, Axa and Beam Suntory, helping them manage their production needs across broadcast, digital, print and radio.
Claire is a well-known figure in the industry, consulting and advising for industry bodies such as ISBA (Incorporated Society of British Advertisers), the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) and the ANA (Association of National Advertisers). Today, Claire is sharing her thoughts on the cross-cultural communications industry.
As content is expected to travel across more media touchpoints and extend to more markets (in order to maximise ROI on production costs) and the controls on this media are less stringent in terms of legal approvals and brand guardianship than TV, brands will struggle to control the content and in turn its relevance to local markets.
In addition, as advertisers force agency networks to close their local offices in order to cut costs and centralise operations in London or Paris for example, I question how strong the capabilities are for true cultural transcreation in some of these network production facilities. The ecosystem is so fragmented and the consumer has a shorter and shorter attention span, brands in general are struggling to deliver the sheer volume of content (in multiple formats) required, let alone ensure it’s culturally relevant.
Influencers – big challenge for brands to find relevant influencers in market who are vetted – big risk area for many brands.
I don’t think there is enough focus on cultural relevance in advertising, which is actually critical to any campaign created for more than one market. You hear a lot about transcreation and versioning but I’m not sure that many of these companies that offer this service are actually checking cultural relevance as well as transcreation of copy. I think that advertisers assume this is part of the process but I’m not sure it’s consistent.
As a Company that works with many global advertisers, I thought I may be able to help highlight the importance of this function. I also thought I may be able to offer insight to CC on the challenges for large global advertisers. Finally, as a small, women-owned business myself, I wanted to support another one!
I think the importance of companies like Creative Culture having a seat at the table when creative is first developed is critical. There are many times where we have seen supposedly ‘global’ scripts that have included dialogue or scenes that clearly would not work in certain markets. Often the lead creative agency is based in somewhere like NYC, where they have no understanding of localisation or local market challenges. If the agencies don’t have the capabilities or local office infrastructure to assess the viability of an idea and how it might travel, having a resource like Creative Culture to sense check creative / messaging is very valuable.
I think this is where the greatest potential lies – in making creative agencies aware of this resource that would allow them to pair down their own local resources and outsource to CC, in the face of their fees being challenged. For the brands, perhaps it is consultants like us who make advertisers aware that this capability exists?
Sounds obvious but a way to ensure brands and agencies are aware of the risks of NOT having a process for this. I think the greatest potential for growth for Creative Culture lies in partnering especially with creative agencies without a network, creative agencies that have a network but may have had to reduce their local teams due to fee pressure and with ‘in-house’ agencies..
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