Imagine-ative solutions in tough times

Imagine-ative solutions in tough times

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Almost two years after it was launched ViacomCBS’ creative solutions unit, Imagine, has built a reputation as an innovative and highly creative TV commercial production business. Working side-by-side with our premium integrated marketing solutions division Effect, 10 Imagine is delivering the goods – including during the pandemic.

Michael Stanford, Head of Imagine and National Creative Director, says that the despite the impact of COVID-19, the business has conceived and produced more commercial content over the past six months than it did during the first half of 2019.

“We have been able to pivot and work with clients to produce new commercials quickly, offering production solutions while responsibly and safely managing COVID-19 restrictions. I am so impressed with our production team. Their agility and positive approach continue to build on a strong reputation in market,” he says.

“The growth we’ve seen is also reflective of the success of Network 10’s audience numbers and the importance of aligning creative to formats to drive ad recall and campaign success.

“When people ask me what 10 Imagine is, the answer is simple: it’s where strategy and creative are let loose in our ever-expanding playground to help brands thrive and innovate,” Michael says.

The “playground” covers Network 10’s free-to-air channels 10, 10 Bold, 10 Peach and – come September – 10 Shake, plus 10 Play, 10 All Access, 10 Speaks, the MTV channels, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr and all their digital, social and event properties.

“It’s a big playground, one that gives clients great opportunities to talk with consumers across different brands and different media,” Michael says.

Since the arrival of COVID-19, Imagine has found new, innovative ways to make commercials. There has been a marked increase in the number of graphics-based ads it has produced. Several live-action commercials have been made via Zoom, including a Menulog ad starring The Project’s Tommy Little and an eBay ad with former Gogglebox Australia stars Angie Kent and Yvie Jones.

“Making ads via Zoom has been an overwhelmingly and surprisingly positive experience,” Michael says. “Everyone is aware of the challenges and this leads to a more collaborative process between our team, the client, the agency and the talent.

“You need to make quick decisions on the fly and our clients have embraced the new normal, in many ways contributing more to the creative process. There is a lot we have learnt at this time and I’m sure we will apply these learnings in the future.”

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