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Scooter Braun now has his eyes on transforming the advertising business.
In a clear case of joining his “social media firepower” with the creative muscle of British advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), the manager of Justin Bieber and Psy announced an alliance at this week’s Cannes Lion International Festival with his SB Projects to create The Creative Studio, describing TCS as “a next-generation content studio that brings ideas to life with best-in-class execution.”
Quite a mouthful, but Braun and BBH L.A. chief creative officer Pelle Sjoenell feel their affinity for one another — and the two companies’ synergy — spawned by the agency’s work on Justin Bieber’s best-selling Girlfriend and The Key fragrance lines, make it a good fit.
The London-based BBH has created award-winning ads for Levis and British Airways, while the Sjoenell-led L.A. branch has been cited for its recent Google Play campaign.
Braun’s viral muscle has been proven time and again, sporting the two most-viewed videos of all time on YouTube in PSY’s “Gangnam Style” and Bieber’s “Baby.”
BBH’s Sjoenell explains the partnership is the result of the advertising business facing the same technological disruption the music industry went through, and trying to come up with creative solutions to the problem of content monetization. While the Internet and digital distribution has changed the record business, DVRs, which allow viewers to skip commercials and tune out sponsor messages have plagued the advertising community.
“What has happened in the music business is happening to everyone right now,” says Braun. “We were just first. Technology forced us to adapt. People like Jimmy Iovine have raised the bar with how he took Beats out of the music business and built this incredible brand. We’re now in the multimedia business, the branding business… and that goes across the border to advertising/marketing agencies and film studios.”
“Scooter is a great example of people that are diversifying and changing the world right now,” says Sjoenell. “We are going to collaborate to make great things. “
The idea behind The Creative Studio is to create value for clients leveraging BBH’s creative, strategic and production capabilities and SB Projects’ progressive talent, entertainment and media clout, allowing the two entities to “control the entire creative process from idea inception to execution.”
TCS will be based in L.A. and led by Braun and Sjoenell, joined by what they call a stable of “Preditors” – “triple-threat” content creators who produce, direct and edit as individuals.
The original goal is to create music videos, TV commercials, B-roll and promotional/marketing films, working directly with emerging brands to come up with launch strategies, design, creative and production… a one-stop show for creativity. The long-range plan is to build a virtual studio that can produce anything, but ultimately long-form content and original intellectual property, including TV series, feature films and more.
“Creatives who’ve been building brands for others can now wake up in the morning and create cool shit,” boasts Braun. “That’s our motto. We want to put together an infrastructure where talented people can flourish.
“We wanted to create a new kind of company, a creative core within the larger organization, likw Pixar inside Disney, by taking the best storytellers from BBH, and teaming them up with our guys, so we can create the intellectual property and own it, too.”
“We had a great time working together on launching the Bieber fragrance lines,” says Sjoenell in discussing what drew him to team up with Braun. “It all comes down to collaboration. If you don’t have someone who makes you better, who questions and challenges you… that’s what effective partnerships are all about. Knowing we can do great things together. For someone who has worked in advertising for 20 years, Scooter’s built fan bases that are bigger than any brand. That’s the practical part. We saw the power of the combination of what we could do and wanted to make more of it. But if it wasn’t fun, this wouldn’t be happening.”
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