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Dec 19, 2022 9:07:00 AM | 8 Minutes read

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Halloween is done, and we’ve crossed Thanksgiving off the checklist too, so now onto the holidays! Before you take that well-deserved time away from your desk, we want to thank you for choosing EKCS to help solve your creative production challenges.


Last Christmas, well, earlier in the year…

It’s been great to meet so many industry people at the events we have attended and sponsored this year. The most recent was the 2022 IHAF conference in Boston. This year, EKCS was the title sponsor, and I took to the stage to speak about going ‘In Search of Creativity.’ It seemed to resonate, what do you think? Watch the talk here.

EKCS was also delighted to sponsor the Henry Stewart Creative Operations Los Angeles event in October. I spoke about how to create a creative work environment (noticing a theme emerging?) You can find out more here by downloading your free guide: How Do You Create a Creative Work Environment?

Earlier in the year, the amazing location technology company what3words announced their partnership with EKCS. We supported their marketing campaign aimed at consumers in the UK, Germany, India, and Korea. Our fabulous team in India also created a series of ad variants. This included turning static banners into animated ones to test their effectiveness. I’ve recently interviewed Ivan Pols, the creative director at What3Words, for the Inside Jobs podcast, so look out for that later. Meanwhile, how’s this TVC for its sheer brilliance?

We’ve also delivered in-house training and team-building activities. Our most recent was here in the UK, where senior leadership from India, the USA, and the UK team gathered for three days of strategy planning, coaching, and good times! 

i-love-team-buildingI love team building - it’s my most favorite time of the year!

Creating the perfect ballista wasn’t competitive at all, and modesty forbids me to mention which team won (mine), but it was so good to witness the team building, collaboration, and creativity of everybody. Skills that help us benefit our clients each day!


Sing along with me

Looking ahead! In March, we will be back with Henry Stewart. This time, it will be in London for the Creative Production 2023 event. And we will, of course, be back in the States too in May, and I’m sure you’ll find us once more at the In House Agency Forum annual conference and awards in the fall.


Santa tell me (what trends will we see?)

2023 will be here before you know it. It’s exciting to think about what’s to come. Next year is likely to be tricky, as many countries will fall into a global recession. I’m hearing so often about the dreaded “restructuring” taking place among our clients and contacts. The need for reliable offshore outsourcing becomes an even more important part of their creative strategy going forward.

From what we are hearing about our clients’ resourcing requirements and despite the impending financial gloom, digital marketing is likely to grow. Web designers and agencies are reviewing their web strategies once more for their online presence and competitive edge. I blame the ongoing negative press around social media leading to a desire to raise the game of brands’ owned and operated online presence. 

We are also seeing material upticks in volumes among our media clients; it feels like a flight from social media is benefiting them too. 

So, you can expect to see fancy stuff like animated cursors and asymmetric styling becoming more prevalent next year. Demand for video assets is still growing as it is core to any current strategic marketing plan. Whether our clients’ objectives are awareness, consideration, or priming consumers for lower-funnel objectives like conversion, video has a role.

As for ChatGPT, the AI sandbox everyone is talking about, it’s generating huge amounts of interest, but it’ll find its place. The best take on it so far I’ve read is by one Professor Bender (yes, really), who refers to it as a "stochastic parrot:" that is, a system that parrots words and characters back based on what it has seen in texts before, without making any connection to an underlying meaning. It reasons and understands nothing. It only generates human-like texts that we then fall for as a narcissistic block. It sounds like a lot of what I see in Medium, quite frankly. 

As for the AI-driven DALL-E, I simply asked for "a pastel showing happy creative people enjoying Christmas with pens, pencils, paper, and paint."

merry-christmasDALL-E is intended to be used by artists and designers to rapidly explore different visual concepts


Driving home for Christmas

If you’re driving home for the holidays, why not give our Inside Jobs Podcasts a listen? You’ll learn all about the secrets to running a successful in-house agency from the leaders of the top brands in the UK and the US. Innocent Drinks, Specsavers, Universal Orlando, HP, Gallo Wines, and Johnson & Johnson are just some of the interesting and diverse brands you can listen to. You can listen on Apple, Spotify, Google, and Overcast, and your family, if they are traveling with you, will thank you for it. Check out all episodes here.


Winter Wonderland

Here in the UK, we currently have snow and minus temperatures (Celsius that is). With our long, dark nights, I’m spending more time indoors catching up on reading and watching TV, which is full of amazing holiday ads (this one is far and away my favorite) that got me thinking. 


Small budget, big ideas

You may not have the budget of John Lewis, Norway’s Posten, or Asda (Walmart), but there are still lots of ways you can put some magic into your advertising. This ad from Sam Teale’s production company was done on a low budget but with their audience in mind. It is viral, and, dare I say it, it’s better than John Lewis’ famous ad. It’s not on TV, but you can watch it here on YouTube. A warning. Watch with tissues at the ready.


Not just for Christmas

Did you know that we have a number of free guides for you to download? With the holiday season in full swing, sometimes we have a bit of extra time for reading. All guides are here

We wish you a great holiday season with your friends, family, and loved ones, and we look forward to working with you again in 2023.


Robert Berkeley


To find out more about outsourcing and explore how it can help your team to solve production challenges

Download our FREE GUIDES. They look at the benefits of creative production outsourcing, what to consider in a production partner, and tips on how to get started with outsourcing.

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