Blink has long been at the forefront of custom branded content, focusing not only on production, but also understanding its function, and how it propels the experience of a brand. Sandra Whittington, Producer at Blink, has spearheaded some of the branded campaigns that have made Blink stand out from the rest. Here she discusses her work, methodology, and the red flags that can break an impactful campaign.
“Organization is key,” Sandra explains. “We are constantly juggling multiple projects at once, and often in numerous time zones. It’s the only way to be effective. That, and clear and open communication with every person you’re working with.”
Sandra specifically produces for high volume production (HVP), which differs substantially from custom shoots. First of all, HVP projects have many turning wheels, and all of them need to have direct oversight. “The biggest challenge is managing a lot of people. That means talking to photographers, videographers, and clients, as well as dealing with client contacts, building managers, and everyone in between. That happens all the time, every day — there are always a lot of things to juggle at any given moment.”
“This kind of content typically lives on the client’s website, and sometimes on social media” Sandra states. “These visuals are really important for brands and companies because they allow viewers to experience them, imagine themselves in these places, and ultimately sell the brand effectively.”
“At the moment, we are working with WeWork on a global scale to tell the stories of their employees, as well as document their new and pre-existing locations in South America, Japan, the United States, and soon — China. These series of shoots are a mix between branded content (styling, props, hair, and makeup) and HVP (many photoshoots in any given region with more emphasis on the documentation of a space, versus the creative side of things). The combination of branding and HVP requires attention to detail as well as teamwork to make sure all the boxes are being ticked and the client is happy on all fronts.”
“Another project that I spent some time on, and that really challenged me as a producer, was the Trulia Neighborhoods project. We sourced photographers living in 450 neighborhoods in four different regions of the United States, and then dispatched them to capture original photography to elevate stories of neighborhoods. It was a combination of street photography and polished travel imagery, complete with GPS tracking so images were placeable on a map. All of the technical details paired with the high volume and sheer number of photographers all made this a difficult project to manage at times. It was the first project I owned and got to sink my teeth into, so it has a lot of significance for me.”
Hiring the right creatives for production isn’t easy. “We are always sourcing talent,” Sandy explains. “One easy way to know if a photographer is right for the job is by gauging how transparent they are. We are also looking for reactivity and willingness to offer input or feedback — open communication is crucial to the success of a production.”
Thought of the Day: If you don’t agree with a rate, or to the terms of a contract, stay calm and be upfront, and honest about your issue with it. We are here to help.