How Shutterstock Custom Solved Creative Scale

How Shutterstock Custom Solved Creative Scale
SHARE
THIS



Certainly in living working memory, the norm rather than the rule, was that no piece of content was released by a brand unless the CMO saw it first.

Since then, this little thing called the internet, in general, and social media, in particular, has turned such a notion into a laughing stock (no pun intended).

Thus, it gave rise to the ubiquitous brand style guides – normally enormous tomes nobody often including their creators can understand let alone adhere to.

The solution to the production of a brand’s image thus found its way into the hands of a full creative process. A creative agency directing a production company made TVCs, stills for billboards, magazines and newspapers often in the presence of one or more brand custodians, if not the CMO.

The results are almost always what the CMO wanted but the process is expensive and painfully slow.

For major brand campaign launches, where the visuals need to be pixel perfect, Shutterstock Custom’s senior vice president, Grant Munro, insists this high-touch process is still the correct way for a brand to go.

However, he noted there is so much more demand for content today than ever before, and trends such as customisation and localisation mean a need for a more scalable solution has arisen.

It was into this gap that Munro launched his start-up and quickly grew it from zero into a US$55 million business in three-and-a-half years.

Now a wholly owned subsidiary of Shutterstock, the need for the business continues to explode.

With the proliferation of social media, and Google’s decided lurch towards visual rather than text-based ads, brands need a mind-numbing amount of visual creative, and yet the need to preserve the brand’s narrative remains.

Sadly, budgets have not grown at the same rate as media channels – in many cases, they have shrunk.

When Munro started what was then Flashstock, his aim was to produce a digital solution to the problem of scalability of custom imagery. He admits the process was a little harder than he first thought.

“There was a lot of blood sweat and tears trying to figure out how to do this,” he told attendees at a B&T Breakfast Club event on Tuesday at QT Sydney.

Grant Munro (Shutterstock breakfast) [2]

“There’s this notion of upfront calibration. When you’re working for a brand, the concept of brand look and feel if you’re not in that world is somewhat abstract.

“The first brand we started working for was Anheuser-Busch InBev [Budweiser’s parent company]. Their brand guidelines was a 100-page PowerPoint deck, and I sent it to a few photographers and they rang up and said, ‘Hey, what’s PowerPoint?’ So, I thought we were in a bit of trouble here.

“We needed a way to take all of that information summarise all of that information into a really precise and compelling format that people could consume and react to. So, we developed this visual identity calibration.

Munro said the process involves a brand putting forward all of the images that are approved, then putting them together in this mood board.

“Then, with a group of the brand stakeholders, we extract the features the brand must have and we try and keep them to a minimum,” he said.

“Once these are agreed to, the key insight here was we kept them binary, so there’s no subjectivity. There’s three primary technical aspects: composition, tone and lighting. Then things like environment and subject matter.

“We can then start having conversations with the stakeholders as to what’s really important and end up with the perfect amount of information, because too much is too much.”

Munro said the output of this is a simple guideline that anyone can follow, and it allows you quickly see if an image is on-brand or off-brand. Shutterstock uses this a filter to source creators.

Shutterstock Custom’s senior vice president is in the midst of series of presentations across Australia and New Zealand in partnership with B&T.

Please login with linkedin to comment

B&T Breakfast Club creative scale Grant Munro shutterstock Shutterstock Custom

Latest News

Aussie Shoe Brand TWOOBS Embraces Anti-Marketing In Push For More Consumer-conscious Shopping
  • Marketing

Aussie Shoe Brand TWOOBS Embraces Anti-Marketing In Push For More Consumer-conscious Shopping

After relaunching in September last year, TWOOBS has become a ‘kinda’ shoe brand by also focusing on making the world a ‘kinder’ place and creating more consumer-conscious shopping. The vegan shoe brand founded by sisters Jess and Stef Dadon changed its marketing approach last year and stopped using social media to push sales the old-fashioned […]

Visit Sunshine Coast Hires New Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

Visit Sunshine Coast Hires New Head Of Marketing

Highly experienced tourism marketer Kelly Ryan has been appointed to lead the marketing efforts at Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC). During the past 12 years, Ryan has supported Canberra’s tourism industry in senior marketing roles, including as director of strategy and insights as well as director of marketing at VisitCanberra. Most recently, Ryan has been working […]

GHO Sydney And Family Planning NSW Launch ‘Planet Puberty’ Platform
  • Campaigns

GHO Sydney And Family Planning NSW Launch ‘Planet Puberty’ Platform

GHO Sydney has developed a new educational platform for Family Planning NSW to help parents and carers of children with disabilities navigate the changes to their bodies, emotions and social interactions. The project, ‘Planet Puberty’, was made possible through funding from the federal government’s Department of Social Services, and was co-designed with people with disability […]

JCDecaux Announces New Partnership With Bush Heritage Australia
  • Media

JCDecaux Announces New Partnership With Bush Heritage Australia

JCDecaux today announced conservation organisation, Bush Heritage Australia, as its major charity partner for 2021. The partnership is part of a series of ‘social impact’ initiatives the business is launching this year, under the banner of JCDecauxHEART. JCDecauxHEART focuses on three areas of social impact: health and mental health, environmental sustainability, and enriching urban communities. […]

Shameless Duo Michelle Andrews And Zara McDonald Launch New Podcast Exclusive To LiSTNR
  • Media

Shameless Duo Michelle Andrews And Zara McDonald Launch New Podcast Exclusive To LiSTNR

Shameless Media’s Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald’s latest podcast, The Books That Changed My Life, will launch exclusively on LiSTNR on Tuesday, 15 June. Throughout the series Michelle and Zara will talk with guests including Kevin Kwan, Laura Henshaw, Jock Zonfrillo, Susan Carland, Hamish Blake and Delta Goodrem about the books that have had a profound impact […]

Business and technology concept.
  • Partner Content

Make Your CX Stand Out From The Competition

It's top tips to ensure your CX stands out from the competition. Then again, you could simply plagiarise their stuff.

Partner Content

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why The Future of Work Is Hybrid
  • Opinion

Why The Future of Work Is Hybrid

This expert argues the future of work is hybrid. Which is sad news, as B&T'd preferred it was rhumba or the bossa nova.

Champion Launches Pride Campaign And Partnership With Queer Sporting Alliance
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Champion Launches Pride Campaign And Partnership With Queer Sporting Alliance

In celebration of Pride Month, cult streetwear brand Champion has announced an Australia-and New Zealand-first Pride range, Champions of Pride, and ongoing partnership with the Queer Sporting Alliance. Championing a cause, celebrating community, and aiming to create real change, the capsule collection proudly heroes the Pride colours in a selection of signature Champion tees, iconic […]

UK Based BankiFi Expands To Australia
  • Marketing

UK Based BankiFi Expands To Australia

Following the successful deployment of BankiFi’s technology platform at The Co-operative Bank in the UK, BankiFi has appointed Lloyd Parata to lead their expansion into the Australian Financial Services market. BankiFi’s technology platform ensures banks remain relevant by offering SMEs an innovative solution to operate their business, whilst avoiding common challenges like late payment. Parata, […]

5 Gum Announces New Twitch Partnership
  • Media

5 Gum Announces New Twitch Partnership

Mars Wrigley 5 Gum has partnered with Twitch to launch Team CLUTCH, a team of Twitch streamers who will assemble on for three live squad streams tackling popular games like Fortnite while embodying the brand’s ethos of ‘life happens in 5’. This partnership builds on 5 Gum’s 2020 Twitch activation, and is set to create […]