With Standard Chartered as its first client, TBWA's Digital Arts Network is launching Flare Studio, an online crowdsourcing/commissioning platform for content production, in APAC.
"Video is eating the world," Ian Pearman, TBWA's Asia president, told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "Consequently, brands have an insatiable demand for content that can meet every long-tail audience niche. But they need more efficient ways to produce it."
Brands require a system that can build high-quality, highly relevant content that consumers love, at scale, at speed, and at appropriate costs, Sam Ahmed, global head of digital and retail marketing at Standard Chartered, told Campaign. "The traditional creative and production model was built for high cost and low volume over a three-month period that couldn’t be optimised," he said.
With Flare Studio, Standard Chartered gets access to a global pool of over 8000 filmmakers from 140 countries while also ensuring that it can maintain brand quality standards. "It goes through our agency TBWA/DAN, whom we have been with for over 10 years, thus they know what’s worked, our expectations and where we are going," Ahmed said.
Pearman presided over the initial launch of the Omnicom-owned Flare platform when he was CEO of AMV BBDO in London (he took over TBWA APAC in June last year). He refers to Flare as a "curated, crowdsourced, content-creation platform" and said it offers a distinct advantage over similar platforms such as Mofilm, Tongal and Eyeka. Like those sites, Flare lets brands post briefs and then evaluate submissions by thousands of creators, from individuals to established companies. Where Flare differs is in its "Plus" and "Pro" tiers. Producers need to establish a track record to see the briefs in those sections, and the agency retains control of generating briefs, evaluating submissions and managing production.
"There's a lot of crowdsourcing solutions out there," said Tuomas Peltoniemi, president and innovation director at Digital Arts Network Asia. "What we are conscious of is this notion of 'craftsourcing'. What this means is everyone who is on the platform is chosen based on their capabilities, building a network of quality makers from around the world. And then the platform works through TBWA\DAN, ensuring all briefs and output is on strategy and on brand idea for each client."
As an Omnicom property, Flare is also available for TBWA's sister agencies to employ, but Pearman said it was important for TBWA to launch it in APAC because it aligns so well with the network's calling card of 'disruption'.
"In a world where traditional agencies and clients are struggling to execute together, it feels like we are getting stronger," Ahmed said. "In this model I feel I am getting the global network of creative power behind our brand."