Jess Ruderman
Aug 2, 2023

Ruder Finn launches AI creative studio

RF Studio 53 brings together the agency’s global creative team and TechLab with teams from acquired agencies Osmosis Films and SPI Group.

Pictured: Kathy Bloomgarden. (Photo used with permission)
Pictured: Kathy Bloomgarden. (Photo used with permission)

Ruder Finn has launched an artificial intelligence creative group known as RF Studio 53. 

While it’s not named for the legendary Manhattan nightclub Studio 54 — the title was inspired by the location of the agency’s headquarters on 53rd Street in New York — its city vibe and creative spirit emulates its perceived namesake, said Ruder Finn CEO Kathy Bloomgarden.

“Creativity is a fundamental core value of Ruder Finn. What we wanted to do is further empower our activities in this area and reinforce our leadership in the agency world by having a powerful hub that's driving the creative across all the teams across all geographies,” she said. “We realized bringing everything together into one unified team had a huge impact and influence.”

RF Studio 53 combines existing creative and tech teams from Osmosis Films and SPI Group with Ruder Finn’s U.S. and U.K.-based design and video teams along with developers from the agency’s TechLab teams based in the U.S. and India. 

The global teams have been working together internally to implement the combined studio tools across Ruder Finn’s client work. 

Agency head of creative Michael Schubert cited Ruder Finn’s own teams in combining Osmosis’ motion design, animation and video storytelling; Tech Lab’s next-stage platforms and SBI Group’s digital storytelling and web development in design and internal engagement.

Ruder Finn acquired Osmosis, a Brooklyn, New York-based video content agency, in 2020 and New Jersey-based healthcare internal comms agency SPI in 2019.

Schubert said that RF Studio 53’s AI tools will have a more curated approach than generative and open AI platforms such as ChatGPT. 

“It's not saying let's take creative and turn it over to AI,” he said. “It's about working with really controlled, creative elements that are core to what a brand is trying to accomplish and using those to customize and personalize assets almost on a one-to-one precision.”

The international creative and digital team consists of more than 70 people led by Osmosis creative director Zach Russo, Ruder Finn chief technology officer Tejas Totade, SPI Group MD James Koppenal and Ruder Finn U.K. global head of design Lee Manning. The studio heads report to Bloomgarden.

The firm plans to grow the studio to incorporate more creative talent and technology into its repertoire. 

“We're constantly going to be experimenting and piloting new technology tools,” Bloomgarden said. “Things are, as we all know, changing and we want to make sure that our culture and our mindset is to pilot and adopt the emerging technologies that can really be game changers.”

RF Studio 53 is the second practice launch for Ruder Finn this year, following Hispanic Network RF Comunidad Collective in February. 

The agency reported a 43% revenue increase to $160 million globally and an estimated 34% increase to $80 million in the U.S. in 2022, according to PRWeek’s 2023 Agency Business Report


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