Saatchi & Saatchi invests in "stuff"
01 APR 2010
Saatchi & Saatchi Toronto has disbanded its broadcast production team and formed a department of "production stuff" to push the agency away from channel executions and towards executing ideas.
Agency chair Brett Channer said he wanted a team that could produce across multiple platforms and technologies based on their experience and ability to learn new skills quickly.
"It's not about getting a television spot done, it's about how to get an idea done," Channer said. "Ideas are transforming themselves into multiple disciplines, not just television and radio."
Rob Tunnicliff leads this new team, formerly of fellow Publicis-owned agency Leo Burnett in Toronto. He's backed by Matt Shipp, producer of stuff, and Kenia Pena, manager of stuff.
Each has experience in film and television production, but Channer hired them for their problem solving skills more than their expertise in a given media.
"Film production is where you learn how to just get stuff done," Channer said.
Channer said he first thought about changing his in-house production after meeting Ed Sayers-whose title is "Ed of Stuff"-at a global agency meeting last year. Sayers runs a similar operation at the agency's London office.
Saatchi & Saatchi Toronto at that time had a traditional broadcast production team led by Sumit Ajwani, known internally as "the Oracle." Ajwani left the agency last year and was replaced by Jen Mete on a contract basis in November. However, when Mete relocated to British Columbia this March and took a position at TBWAVancouver, the role was again left vacant.
"It was an opportunity to reinvent," Channer said.
Saatchi & Saatchi will still work with third-party production companies, especially when undertaking an execution that requires new skills, Channer said. He added that the move wasn't driven by a desire to bring another revenue stream inside the agency, but said it does give his agency more control over its product.