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Margo Mars’s Lief Evolves into a Platform for Artists


Platform injects a fresh way to make creative decisions and adds a new studio Increation to push the industry further forward

Margo Mars’s Lief Evolves into a Platform for Artists

After five years of representing artist-filmmakers in advertising, we believe the way talents are sold is outdated. Acting as a catalyst for a grand vision, Mars designs and creates a platform for artists and clients that is more applicable to today's cultural landscape.

Since founding award-winning production company Lief in 2017, Mars has been working towards a solution that directly challenges the bias of who gets to create brand stories that shape our world. Acting as a catalyst for a grand vision, Lief’s brand-new website launches a platform for artists that injects a fresh way to make creative decisions and adds a new studio Increation to push the industry further forward. 

The new site quashes the traditional commercial reel, which limits what storytelling can be, by showcasing talents in a new and inspired way. From her founding involvement in Free The Work to her TEDx talk focused on diversity in advertising, Mars has always championed diverse major talents as artists who should contribute to brand storytelling. These artists spend their time shaping and defining culture today, and brands must be culturally relevant. Working with them is vital to contribute to culture in a meaningful way. Showcasing these gifted new points of view more richly and holistically gives them an impressive platform, inviting a deeper understanding of the positive impact they can bring. Lief recognises that you must be in it, shaping it, curating it, and contributing to it daily to speak the evolving languages of culture.

“After a career pushing gifted, experienced new talents forward in advertising and not getting into the pitch, we are certain that marketers and ad agencies are consistently time-poor. They cannot do extensive work to discover, let alone trust, the wealth of artists available to them. As a result, decisions are being made remotely based on scanning a reel without understanding personalities outside their usual circles. It’s too easy to pick the big commercial reel and too comfortable to work with a familiar director, more so in this world of uncertainty.” shares Mars. “It is our obligation to dismantle this cycle as it’s well documented that authentic cultural involvement positively impacts purchase decisions.”

Through impeccable curation by Mars’s watchful eye, Lief represents some of the biggest names in filmmaking who share the company’s culture of championing new voices in advertising: Alma Har’el, who gave Lief her wings, new global powerhouse filmmakers Shannon Murphy and Oliver Hermanus - to name but a few – sit alongside fresh voices such as award-winning Luo Jian, filmmaker, activist, model and gamer Florence Kosky and Gen-Z comedy filmmaker Emily Cohn.

Each gets a beautiful platform to showcase all aspects that inform their practice, which enables a broader understanding of their personalities within a quick scroll. But don’t be fooled; you’d want to stick around longer as the site is like a big game and hugely fun to get lost in and connect your own dots. Getting to the bottom of a page or experience, you start to appreciate the individuals behind the work, and the larger community, and know what they represent. For many artist filmmakers who can bring a lot to advertising, filmmaking is often just one of their modes of expression. Reducing them to a limited commercial reel means you are left without a clear sense of the myriad possibilities of working with them.

“I want everyone that visits to leave sharing my level of excitement when I see these artists and the charisma they all share. We have built a platform for them. This same raw emotion is injected into the work we will create for the brands we tell stories with.”

Feeding into this is Increation studio, a complimentary service within Lief that brings to life visionary work by forging a unique path for each project curated by Lief. Increation brings cultural insight to the heart of the process. In her years of experience working with often artist-led brands, for example, fashion houses, she recognises every creative challenge requires its method and unique set of skills to design the perfect artist-to-artist collaboration.

“Tapping into our unparalleled knowledge, taking advantage of our taste and ability to connect the dots, let us be an artistic director you can trust. Acting as your Increator, we will curate, inspire, advise and bring into existence unique projects. Be it in commercials, art or entertainment, the work we create with you will be full of heart and amongst the best in advertising. We are thrilled to continue to lead the way.”

Googling the Dutch word Lief, you get ‘I love you dearly’, which is in fact central to its philosophy: a deep, passionate emotion infusing every project, every director, and all the people that work with Lief. The studio is deeply rooted in Europe with offices in London, Marseille, Paris and Amsterdam. “Facing up to new realities we physically want to be in places that embrace opportunities for change and radiate positive energy. We see the richness and texture of the world and combine this with our desire to offer clients to experience the world as it really is through our internal culture.”

Since every creative piece is unique, the directors making the work should be just as unique. Guided by a powerful winged lioness, one anonymous quote lingers on the page: “Respect the cat; it’s the start of a sense of style.”

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Lief, Fri, 11 Nov 2022 11:08:00 GMT