Raise Hells! Camden Town Brewery Champions Individuality in Inaugural TV Campaign

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

Captivating films by Royle Productions and The Garage Soho put distinctive characters at the heart of the Camden Hells Brand 

British beer success story, Camden Town Brewery, launches its first ever TV campaign ‘Characters’ celebrating the eclectic and inclusive spirit of its birthplace. The brewery teamed up with The Garage Soho and Royle Productions to create ‘Characters’, which promotes its signature lager, Camden Hells, initially launching on September 4th with five-second teasers before the 30”s and 10”s launch. The campaign features Londoners, each of whom reflect the unconventional, ‘anything goes’ spirit of Camden.

Directed by Sam Washington, the compelling films feature monologues from four characters, each of whom exemplify Camden’s fiercely unique spirit: an actor, a drag artist, a visually impaired woman, and a blues guitarist. In the captivating and memorable character portraits, each individual shares their refreshing honest musings on life, which range from funny and insightful, to thought-provoking.

6e5568f8768dd97c522281aca1f338faTasked with discovering the stars of the campaign and bringing the idea to life, Royle Productions undertook extensive casting and full production. The team also partnered with the RNIB (Royle National Institute of Blind People) so as to share Anna Canning’s story in an authentic light.

Sir John Hegarty comments, “So much beer advertising is boring and clichéd. We wanted scripts which reflected Camden’s individuality, diversity and irreverence. Challenging and entertaining.”

“We were looking for distinctive characters who could bring their own unique energy to the scripts” added Sarah Marcon, Head of Production at Royle Productions. “Our casting process was lengthy and we interviewed many interesting people before whittling it down to the four strongest personalities. The sheer diversity we encountered reflects Camden’s rich identity and soul. Wanting the characters to shine, we opted for a stripped-back set up and minimal styling.”

‘Characters’ launches September 4th with teaser TVCs, to be followed shortly after by the full length 30” & 10” films.

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Swapping Shells: Zoopla Launches New Crabworld Campaign

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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‘It’s Complicated’: Why the Best Production Partners Aren’t Looking for Commitment

Posted on Little Black Book Online.  Click hereFrances Royle for original article.

INFLUENCER: France Royle, Founder of Royle Productions, explains why decoupling allows for better value

With all aspects of the industry shunning the AOR and retainer models, Frances Royle, Founder of Royle Productions, explains why decoupling allows for better value, and how her unique business model has risen to the challenge by taking all of the risk.

Our industry is evolving, whether we like it or not, with the advertising landscape becoming increasingly project led. From Amazon to Google, brands across the world are picking production suppliers on a project-by-project basis. They’re using multiple agencies at any given time and, in turn, an ‘agency of record’ is becoming a thing of the past.

Gone are the days of being remotely complacent – no matter how big or brilliant an agency you are. With so much incredible creative talent and competition, the penalty for not delivering amazing work is harsher than ever, so there really is no room for mistakes in production. Agencies can be dropped as fast as they’re hired, and clients simply move onto the next shinier offering.

With uncertainty surrounding where the next project (and inevitably the next pay-check) is coming from, there is growing concern as to whether agencies can sustain the current model, operating vast, expensive and often inefficient production teams.

If clients are approaching creative on a project-by-project basis, then agencies must follow suit and approach production on a project-by-project basis too.

As far back as 2008, you could sense that things were changing. Production was being scrutinised and there was a lot of talk about decoupling. Clients were realising that they weren’t getting good value, great production or, worse, both. With client work drying up, it just wasn’t making sense to have producers around all the time, especially if you weren’t a busy agency.

It was this change in climate that led me to leave BBH after 25 years in an agency I called home. Without the security of the agency production world, I set out to test out my theory that long-term commitment didn’t always deliver the best production value, and in 2013, Royle Productions was born.

In setting up my own production offering, I wanted to address this new way in which the industry is working. I didn’t want clients to use us because they’re contracted to – I want to be enlisted on our merits. I knew that I had to start a unique model that allowed for better work, eliminating the cost concerns that so often stifle the creativity.

Royle Productions operates as an outsourced production team, comprised of best in class producers who specialise in one area – film. From big budget commercials and online films, to smaller budget corporate and behind-the-scenes jobs, we’ve built a team of hybrid producers who, alongside our brilliant business affairs team, have the ability to craft great ideas into amazing films on both sides of production. Whether it’s on an agency or production company level, our production team can take on every aspect of a job.

One of our biggest differentiators is having no retainer fee, allowing agencies and brands to bring us in on a project-by-project basis. We also offer a fixed price. One fee per project and it absolutely won’t go over budget unless the client asks for anything else. There’s no longer a need to keep ten percent of the budget as a contingency for if anything goes wrong, because we eliminate all risk.

We believe in who we work with and what we can deliver – so we contract every party and it’s our name on the contracts on behalf of whoever we’re working with. We take all the risk; everything from creative to business affairs. And by eliminating risk – we allow for greater creativity. Everybody thinks production is so exciting, which it is, but there are many pitfalls. We’ve been there, done it and experience is key to all that.

There’s no reason why an agency shouldn’t be able to enlist the experience and mastery of a head of TV, without adding one to their payroll. A good creative producer should be seen as the third creative. They’re the one who hopefully, in collaboration with the creatives, can implement the magic.

We also take the stress out of finding the best people to work with. A big bug bear for agencies is when they use freelancers; it’s very hard to get good freelancers when you need them, and once they’re gone, people don’t often know what’s happened to the assets. We offer after-production services which entail the management of the options that need to be reviewed and renewed.

People need to want to change the model, work smarter and remove a massive overhead, because ultimately an agency can be an ideas factory. The creative agency will still come up with strategy and ideas that they so brilliantly do, but can bring in the right specialists depending on what they want to make.

The current model, with a massive overhead cost and multiple people with varying levels of ability and experience, just isn’t viable any more. You don’t need to work that way. You can work with production companies and directors as and when you need to; you can do that with the whole of production.
Despite being a model that makes total sense, the most challenging element is getting agencies to think in a different way. Royle Productions is a disruptive way of thinking; we want to change the way people approach production – not to compromising anything, but to make both commercial and creative success for all parties involved.

To be great you’ve got to have experience, creative understanding, and a passion for what you do, and we strive to work with like-minded people who want to craft content in a way that makes it the best it can possibly be. The way brands now interact with agencies may require a different production model but, ultimately, great ideas brilliantly executed will always be at the heart of everything we do.

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Frances Royle Reunites with Sir John Hegarty to Create Launch Commercial for ‘The Chapar’

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Sir John and his son Elliot Hegarty collaborate for the first time on comedy spot produced by Royle Productions

Frances Royle (ex-Head of Production at BBH) has reunited with former boss Sir John Hegarty as The Garage Soho unveils the launch film for innovative new retail concept The Chapar.

In a unique ‘double’ father and son collaboration, The Garage Soho’s creative team of writer Sir John and director Elliot Hegarty worked alongside Founders of The Chapar, Joe and Sam Middleton, to launch the exciting new brand.

The Garage Soho partnered with Royle Productions, who took on both the Agency Production and Production Company roles for the project, creatively managing the whole production process from the casting, set build and shoot to the post processes required to bring the commercial to life.

The brief for the launch commercial was to build an awareness and understanding of the new proposition by depicting the shopping nightmare of life without The Chapar, using comedy to build a memorable connection with their male audience.

Starring comic duo Elis James and Lloyd Griffith, the resultant film reinforces the torture that men can go through whilst shopping on the high street (when they really just want to be at home watching the football) and points them to The Chapar, as a painless and more rewarding experience.

Sir John Hegarty comments: “The Chapar is a really exciting new shopping concept and it was fantastic to be able to work with Elliot alongside Elis James and Lloyd Griffith, our two up and coming comedic actors, introduced to us by Royle Productions. It was also a pleasure to be reunited with Frances Royle whose expertise and talented team helped us to deliver a fantastically executed film.”

Frances Royle adds: “It was an incredibly enjoyable project to produce and working with Sir John again was just fantastic. The script, directing and acting are all perfect and, with two comedians on set all shoot, it was such a fun production to be involved with.”

The new online service has been developed to redefine how men purchase fashion. The Chapar’s personal stylists are on hand to curate a bespoke selection of premium items that suit the shopper’s own personal taste and body shape, which are then delivered by ‘trunk’ directly to their home or office.

The 60” commercial will break in UK cinemas from the 5th March 2016.

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Good Girls Eat Dinner

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