Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

Craft At Scale: Delivering the Creative Production Model of the Future

Production Agency
New York, United States
Building a global production studio that is uncompromising on creative quality, MD George Rex reveals how Tag Americas is leading the way for craft at scale

In recent years, consumer demand for content has expanded more rapidly than ever as a result of the pandemic, with digital consumption rising by over 30% and most marketers budget’s remaining static. On top of this, the want for highly-targeted personalisation is also rising sharply. In fact, a recent Gladly’s Customer Expectation Report revealed that 77% of consumers recommend a brand to friends and family if they provide a more personalised experience. As an industry we have been debating for some time over how to reimagine the way in which content is produced in order to satisfy demand and stay highly relevant on a global scale.

As an independent marketing production company, Tag has supercharged its global production model with clever investments over the past three years to build a creative production model that meets the continually evolving demands of consumer brands. Now spearheading the development of this forward-facing model is managing director George Rex, who joined Tag as part of the agency’s acquisition of integrated production studio Taylor James in 2018.

Looking to understand how Tag’s model might be addressing client demands in practice, we pick George’s brains on the evolution of Tag and why the business believes the key to production is craft at scale...

Smart Investment

Starting his career within Omnicom Media Group, George’s ambition and tenacity saw him quickly move through the ranks in the advertising industry. Head hunted by Taylor James as Americas COO in 2018, he recognised the huge growth opportunities a craft-led injection would afford Tag’s operations in the USA. “Content demand was already ramping up globally and a rising number of brands were taking creative in-house. That was only set to grow in coming years - which it has! To me, the convergence of Tag and Taylor James was a very exciting prospect.” 

“What I learned prior to joining Taylor James, while working for a holding company, was that brands require a collaborative marketing ecosystem approach and must find a way to fix or replace fragmented partnerships. What I love about my opportunity with Tag, is that we are the glue that holds together the marketing ecosystem for brands.”

Quickly amplifying the creative services provided by Taylor James operationally to Tag clients, George stepped into the managing director position at Tag Americas in 2021 to spearhead a more formal offering underpinned by bespoke technology - a dedicated Solutions Hub. He describes Tag’s new Solutions Hub as “craft at scale - a truly collaborative global network of on-demand creative production resources and disciplines with the ability to be highly flexible, agile and relevant to local markets.”

A Solution Underpinned By Technology

The Solutions Hub works round the clock, made possible by Tag’s global partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) which provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs, helping businesses communicate and connect all over the globe. “We can create, animate, design, collaborate, and edit, virtually. It’s removed any physical barriers to talent around the world and allowed us to continue to push the envelope in having the greatest minds in every corner of the planet working on our clients’ businesses.”

Through its smart-shoring capability, Tag places work wherever it needs to go. “It’s about ebbing and flowing, providing solutions to a client’s particular requirements as and when they need it,” George explains. “With that, we also ensure quality is kept consistent through best practice playbooks and highly trained talent all working on the same creative technology pipeline (AWS).”

In practice, Tag’s 2700+ employees, globally, are now a melting pot of graphic designers, CGI artists, creators, writers, producers, linguists, account managers, sourcing experts, technologists and strategists, connecting across time zones and borders to share creative thinking and insights. It means the business can serve more than 140 countries and covers everything from shoot management to post-production and shopper strategy to sustainably sourced print solutions. All of which is underpinned and connected by technology in the form of the Solutions Hub. This, he tells us, also includes client-facing tools that give Tag’s clients control over every touchpoint, from planning and briefing to reviewing, asset storage, and reporting.

“Tag has always been a powerhouse in bringing ideas to life, providing production solutions, and amplifying campaigns,” says George. “With the acquisition of Taylor James back in 2018, these capabilities were bolstered to include an increased level of creative origination power, enabled by an in-house production team and facilities, allowing it to be truly first-in-market to originate, adapt and optimise all under one global independent brand.” 

No Cost To Creative Quality

Industry-wide we are seeing a sharp upward trend of production businesses developing direct-to-brand solutions or offerings. However, these are often on a project-by-project basis and many claim not to have the scale or strategy that could be provided by an agency. This is where what Tag is doing, really stands out. 

The Tag business already had a deep understanding of working direct-to-brand and the depth of global resources, talent and experience to provide marketing solutions on a global scale for the likes of American Honda Motors, Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser. The addition of creative chops and investments in tech, digital, social and e-commerce has allowed them to now deliver an even higher level of production at a scale that might take years for other businesses to build. Their current client list boasts of Heineken, Toyota, AbInBev, Ralph Lauren and GSK to name a few.

In the process of scaling content, George tells us that “the creative integrity of the idea is always retained through Tag’s teams who localise the content - something that is becoming ever more essential with the rise of targeted and personalised advertising. Brands need data and metrics on their production investments to help deliver exactly what the market is asking for. We must create reactive content that drives customer behaviour. But you can only do that if you have speed to market, scale and technology behind your production - and in most cases brands are left to choose between scale and quality.”

“For me and my team, efficient scalability doesn’t come at a cost to creative quality. We’re a global production studio that is uncompromising on craft, giving clients confidence that their brands are safe with us.”

The Future Of Creative Production Is Now

So what does this mean for brands “When working with creative production partners, brands should look for marketing production partners who not only have speed and agility but also top quality creative to match,” George highlights. “That’s where you can drive real effectiveness - through an ecosystem led by creativity, production, data and output.”

Concluding, George adds: “To achieve this for brands, creative production agencies need multidisciplinary talent fused with multicultural talent. Your people are the core of your business. Tag really understands this, which is why we bake humanity and human intuition into our business. Ultimately, we are who we are because of our people and our focus will always be to deliver iconic collaboration to service our clients rather than ourselves.” 

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