Talk us through your team and your role specifically
As the marketing landscape shifted and brands began to more frequently engage with The Mill directly, we formalized a team to ensure we provide the highest level of support to all our brand clients. Through this team, we enabled the origination of strategy and creative ideation, allowing The Mill to become an integral part of the creative development process, collaborating with brand marketers and product teams.
In my role, I work closely with the senior creative and strategic teams to refine our offering and ensure our current and prospective brand relationships flourish. The nuance of brands themselves, in their structure, audience, challenges, ambitions etc.. require a bespoke approach. Our team looks to apply the full breadth and talent base of The Mill to find any creative solution required to meet the challenge at hand.
If you had to choose one example of a project from The Mill that encapsulates our end-to-end capabilities, what would it be and why?
We feel privileged that clients come to us with their most sophisticated communication and marketing challenges in order to seek creative solutions which require the diverse Mill capability toolkit. The beauty of partnering with The Mill is that it offers the opportunity for brands to get closer to the production of their messaging, by tapping into our expansive capabilities – from creative strategy, experiential design to more traditional production and post-production needs. One recent example which employed multiple disciplines across The Mill was the partnership with Verizon, pertaining to their CES Virtual Keynote. The brief was to apply our expertise in narrative development, motion design, creative technology and real-time production to evoke the wonder and possibility of 5G in a purely virtual environment. We created a design to visualize the relationship between data and our natural world and brought this to life in a 45-minute virtual production, captured in real time on a XR stage. The execution required the full scale of The Mill and is a fantastic example of multiple storytellers, artists, designers and technologists working in unison to create breakthrough communications.
With so much noise in the digital world – what can brands do to really cut through and make an impact? How do we help them to do that?
It’s challenging to rise above the flood of messages we receive daily and whilst it’s impossible to apply a formula for success, there are certain qualities which can help brands achieve their desired KPIs.
Brands need to stand for something. They need to be deliberate and overt about their mission and have a point of view, which is translated through their business culture, the products they sell and how they communicate. REI is a great example, who have a clear and core mission to ‘inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship’ and back this up through actions, such as closing their shop doors on Black Friday to encourage people to spend their day outside. We also work closely with Avocado Green Mattress, who we have partnered with to develop communications which amplify their brand eco-conscious ethos. However their authoritative voice in this space is reinforced by their sustainable business practices, which led to them becoming the world’s first mattress brand to go Carbon Negative.
Brands also need to become part of the conversation and responsive to culture. HBO, who we work with closely on a number of different projects, have shown this sensitivity to cultural shifts reflective in their LGBT representation in shows and content subject matter. Lovecraft Country is a great example of programming that reflects today’s political and social climate. The social VR experience which The Mill created in partnership with HBO equally reflects a cultural sensitivity, with original artworks crafted by Black Afrofuturist artists and a musical performance by one of today’s biggest music stars, Janelle Monáe.
Our team of original thinkers, artists, and creative technologists work with brands to simplify the complexities of any project and ensure the approach is both culturally relevant and audience-centric when answering any brief.
Hear more from Lydia in her article Mill Insight | Digital Avatars, the Virtual Stage & Extending our Realities. If you’d like to speak to Lydia about an upcoming project you can reach out to her here.