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Swapping Shells: Zoopla Launches New Crabworld Campaign

Posted on Little Black Book Online. Click here for original article.

Royle Productions collaborate with 101 as part of Zoopla’s biggest ever campaign

Zoopla, the UK’s leading property website, has enlisted the help of a cast of hermit crabs as it unveils its biggest ever campaign. Devised by creative agency 101 in collaboration with Royle Productions, the Crabworld campaign initially launches with 60” and 30” TVCs on April 18th.

crabDirected by 101’s Augusto Sola through RiffRaff, the films feature several hermit crabs –   the world’s most prolific movers – who move between custom-made shells, each adorned with a 3D printed property, to replicate the simplicity of moving homes through Zoopla.

Tasked with making the creative concept a reality, Royle Productions contacted several specialists, including wildlife documentary producers, to determine the likelihood of   creating the campaign without VFX. With the specialists confirming that the hermit crabs would indeed move from shell to shell, the team set about sourcing a location   which played host to hermit crabs, ultimately settling on Costa Rica.

Sarah Marcon, Head of Production at Royle Productions, explains: “The houses were 3D printed whilst the shells were more traditionally modelled, based on the shells that we’d source from Costa Rica, and were fused together by modelmakers.

“It was a pleasure to work with 101 again following on from the Costa campaign we collaborated on last year. Throughout the project, Gus (Sola) was immensely passionate about the idea”.

The fully integrated campaign, which will air across TV, cinema, online and VOD, launches on April 17th.

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Quorn Unveils Discovery Campaign as Part of Major Relaunch

Posted on Little Black Book Online. Click here for original article.

Royle Productions team up with Mawhinney Collins as Quorn overhauls brand positioning with nine film campaign

Quorn, the healthy protein brand, has launched a new global advertising campaign as part of a major relaunch, with Royle Productions teaming up with Mawhinney Collins to create a series of nine commercials as part of a TV and online campaign.

spagbolWith Alan Davies providing the voiceover, the campaign is anchored on discovery – ultimately exploring recipes you can make with Quorn, showcasing its versatility as an ingredient, with the added benefit of it being a rich and healthy source of protein.

Marking a departure from the brand’s three-year relationship with Mo Farah, which saw the Olympian star in Quorn’s ads as a brand ambassador, the new campaign brings a fresher, updated aesthetic.  Frances Royle, Founder of Royle Productions, comments: “The campaign showcases the fantastic range of recipes you can create with Quorn, all shot beautifully by our director, Richard Jung. It’s all about the food at the end of the day, so it was imperative for the food to look appetising and delicious”

The campaign was shot at London’s Black Island Studios across four challenging shoot days in which a broad selection of dishes and ingredients were showcased. “In total there were 35 actors cast across the nine commercials, each of whom had to be likeable, believable and interesting,” explains Royle. “There’s a lot packed into each film, and there’s a real energy surrounding each family, setting and meal.”

Richard Jung added: “A project of this size and complexity could have easily become overwhelming and credit is due to Royle Productions and the team at Nice Shirt Films for a smooth and very enjoyable operation.”

With the campaign set to air across several global territories – UK, ROI, Sweden, Germany, Australia and the USA – there was consideration when it came to the set design to ensure the films worked across multiple markets. A total of nine 20’ and four 10’ edits will be released for TV and online across a 48 week period, starting on 20th March 2017.

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Age UK Launches ‘Leave a Legacy’ Campaign to Highlight Loneliness Amongst the Elderly

Posted on Little Black Book Online. Click here for original article.

Royle Productions collaborates with Arthur London on Louise Osmond’s commercial directing debut

Age UK, the UK’s largest charity dedicated to helping and supporting elderly people, has launched a new TV and online campaign to raise awareness of the loneliness that many of our elderly generation experience on a daily basis.

The film, created by Arthur London in collaboration with Royle Productions, also aims to encourage people to leave a monetary gift in their will to Age UK.

Directed by Louise Osmond, the film depicts two elderly people as they struggle with the normal, everyday tasks that most of us take for granted. From going shopping, to crossing busy roads, the film – which marks Osmond’s directorial debut in the commercial world – carries a powerful and compassionate message as it encourages viewers to leave a legacy.

An International Emmy Awards for Documentary winner, Osmond’s titles include Deep Water, Dark Horse, and Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach. Having forged a successful career in longform documentary filmmaking over the last 16 years, Osmond has decided to expand her portfolio in the advertising and commercial world.

Frances Royle, Founder of Royle Productions, comments: “We are very proud to launch Louise’s advertising commercial career on the back of this project. We’ve been watching Louise over the past 18 months and looking for the right project for her. As we’re committed to supporting female directing talent within the industry, it’s great to be able to fulfil this ambition too.”

The success of this project required careful storyboarding and collaboration with Osmond’s editor up-front, to which Royle adds: “As Louise has historically directed projects of 60 minutes plus, part of our role was to ensure that all the planned shots would work within our time length of 40 seconds. Her enormous enthusiasm and clear vision were incredibly inspiring.”

Royle concludes: “It was wonderful to team up again with Arthur London, who always write such powerful and compassionate ideas and utterly rewarding to bring together such a passionate team, so generous with their time and commitment to the project”.

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Meet the Newest Addition to the Royle Family: Sarah Marcon

Posted on Little Black Book Online. Click here for original article.

Royle Productions’ new Head of Production, Sarah Marcon, on her new role and Costa Coffee’s new ad campaign

Meet the Newest Addition to the Royle Family: Sarah Marcon

Royle Productions were delighted to recently announce Sarah Marcon as the company’s new Head of Production.  We caught up with Sarah to talk about her new role and Costa Coffee’s latest campaign (which just happens to be their biggest yet)…
LBB> Why join Royle Productions?
Sarah> Having worked freelance for a couple of years, which I’d enjoyed, I felt it was time for a new challenge and something more permanent to get my teeth into. Royle Productions felt like the perfect fit for my experience and background.
LBB> What do you hope to achieve as Head of Production?
Sarah> It is already a brilliant company but I’m looking forward to helping build the business, the team, the client base, and of course deliver great creative work for our clients that we can all be proud of.
LBB> What differentiates Royle Productions from your previous roles or companies?
Sarah> Professionalism. Frances is all about professionalism and best-practice.  It’s a great rigour to maintain in this brave new world where processes sometimes get forgotten or missed, and incredibly important when we work on a project-by-project basis – you never get a second chance to make a first impression!
LBB> You have a really varied background, how has that prepared you for your new role? 
Sarah> Every project at Royle Productions is different; different clients, different creatives, different working models, different challenges.  Some jobs are in-house productions, for others we commission production companies.  We work with many different agencies as well as direct to client – so there are no rules really.  Having started out as an account handler, before moving into production both on the production company and agency side, as well as a long stint producing in-house for a client, I’m used to being agile and wearing many hats.  It keeps the job interesting.
LBB> Do you think that your account handler background benefits you now?
Sarah> Account Handling is a tough job and a thankless task but you are the lynch pin between the various agency departments and you learn your way around the industry fast. You have to know how to read a media plan, judge and have an opinion on creative work, handle clients, run meetings, have uncomfortable conversations, understand and adhere to shoot etiquette, and overall know when to speak up – and more importantly when to shut up! At Royle, we have to build strong working relationships with agency creative directors, account teams and client brand teams quickly so those account handling skills are no doubt invaluable.  In fact, I’m not the only producer with an account handling background at Royle so it’s obviously a valued attribute!
LBB> What projects have you been working on recently?
Sarah> We recently worked with 101 on Costa Coffee’s biggest ever campaign, also my biggest project since joining Royle, featuring a cast of just under 200.
LBB> I understand that you shot with real Costa baristas – how did that work? 
Sarah> Costa baristas from all 20,000 stores were invited to apply for a role. There was then a process of elimination to whittle it down in a similar process to normal ad casting led by the Creative Director and Director.
LBB> At what point were Royle brought into the project?
Sarah> We were involved at pitch stage, which is something we often do with clients – helping with the budget, shaping the project so that we’re good to go if the pitch is won. Getting involved early can also really help with the creative process, as it did here, as we’re thrilled with the final films.


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Quality, Not Quantity: Are We Producing Too Many Producers?

Posted on Little Black Book Online.  Click here for original article.

INFLUENCER: Frances Royle, Founder of Royle Productions, on the responsibility and accountability that comes with ‘the best job in the world’

Reacting to Louisa Thomson’s recent ‘The Increasing Need for Great Producers’ article, Royle Productions founder, Frances Royle, explains why the role of the producer remains so vital, and reminds up-and-coming producers to ensure they understand the responsibilities of their position.

I really enjoyed reading Louisa’s piece, and it got me thinking more broadly about the job a producer does and just how much the demands have evolved.

We lead the charge in all things execution. Our stealth and diplomatic leadership enable a creative collaboration with all of our amazing creative partners. Our hats change frequently, from account man to producer, creative, lawyer, A&R, diplomat, negotiator, talent scout or IP specialist, but ultimately we are the “Creative Problem Solvers”, here to make the impossible possible – and that’s the best challenge!

But what makes a truly great producer? Prior to Royle Productions, during my time at BBH, I was lucky enough to work with, and develop, some of the industry’s best producers – a legacy that has delivered at least 10 ‘Heads of’.

Whilst there are many great producers established in the industry, there seems to be a dearth of properly trained producers rising up through the ranks. Somehow, everyone seems to have “producer” as their title these days! Be it integrated, content, creative, super or project producer, many seem to be ‘Jack of all Trades’ with minimal experience to merit the title.

A producer’s role comes with massive responsibility and great accountability. Firstly, we’re responsible for breathing life into an idea… or killing it! Can it be made in the time? And within budget? Will Clearcast even approve it?

Brands trust us with their money, regardless of what end of the budget spectrum it is. If it’s a TV commercial, then the sum is usually the biggest spend after media, and producers should know how to skilfully negotiate – not just accept the first price given – as well as possess the expertise and knowledge to fully dissect a 14-page production company estimate. Believe me, that’s a skill.

Without wanting to sound like a dinosaur, when I was being trained back in the early ’90s, we were assisted and mentored by our producers for up to four years. We were sent on every relevant course possible (presenting, negotiation, APA, IPA), but these days, judging by the copious amount of CVs I read, it seems like the training period has been skipped and, rather than climbing the ladder, people take one step up to earn the producer title after their very first production project.

Like any specialism, producers need to earn their stripes and it takes time, passion and dedication to become great. Along with the creative vision, leadership, a can-do attitude and encyclopaedic knowledge of global directors from decades past to the current day, experience is the key. Whilst transforming an idea into a brilliantly executed spot is so exciting, there is huge risk and endless pitfalls, which require knowledge, rigour and a PHD in common sense and initiative to navigate. Without them, significant sums can be squandered, extravagant extras incurred and lawsuits brought, whether it be passing off a music track or infringing copyright.

Producing is the best job in the world. In my early days I would be reluctant to go on holiday as I loved my job so much. It’s a passion that I hope will never fade. But as more pressure is placed at our door to deliver faster and cheaper, with no compromise on quality, only the best producers will be able to adapt and, ultimately, deliver.

I want to continue to employ and train the best producers in the industry, given the impact they can have on our clients’ business as well as the work. So to the aspiring producers out there – learn your craft, stay calm, question everything, add value and remain positive at all times!

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Brands Want It All, and They’re Finally Getting it

Posted on Little Black Book Online.  Click here for original article.

INFLUENCER: Following PepsiCo’s decision to take production in house, Frances Royle explains why it’s agencies that should be worried, not just production companies

PepsiCo recently announced an increased focus on its in-house film content development studio; Creators League Lab. The plan is for PepsiCo to start producing content but, in reality, they could quite easily start making their own commercials – a supposed threat to agencies and production companies alike.

The decision to take a significant amount of its content creation in-house isn’t really a surprise. These days, brands want it all; faster, cheaper, higher quality output. Therefore In the current landscape, agencies and production partners have to be able to deliver against all three. If not, brands are going to do it themselves.

De-coupling has been on their agenda for years now, perhaps this could be the time to explore this seriously given the commercial and creative benefits. Brands are approaching creative on a project-by-project basis, increasingly casting aside the old model of agencies-of-record and picking the best creative and production partners as and when they need them. There aren’t any rules anymore and agencies should be worried as it signals yet another challenge for their production departments as well as independent production specialists.

The pressure is ramping up. It’s time for agencies to adapt, change and embrace the current climate. We know that the demand for film content is forecast to grow substantially so there are huge opportunities for all. However the approach to production simply has to be tailored for each project. There’s no doubt that brands want and will continue to enlist partnerships with creative businesses that can deliver both commercially and creatively.

Exceptional craft? Great value? Rapid turn-around? Whether it’s brands, agencies or production partners, to stay relevant we have to be adaptable and be able find different approaches that deliver on all three elements. After all, aren’t we supposed to be the creative problem solvers?

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