Can fully integrated campaigns be created in less time, more cost-effectively, while still maintaining high production values? Blacksmith Culture Collective says yes and are fresh from delivering 3 integrated content packs for top brands, on TV, digital and social.
‘Now, more than ever before, brands need more content around campaigns. But so often we found that when on set, the different production teams and departments end up fighting with each other for time or space on set. There simply wasn’t adequate communication between the teams to let everyone flourish. Whether it’s the team in charge of digital content, behind-the-scenes footage, the stills, the GIFs or the actual TVC team, there isn’t enough space and time for everyone. What ends up happening is that the content suffers and the brand loses. We saw that there was a huge demand and opportunity for a company that understands these needs and specialises in managing and producing all the different departments and teams to create high-end integrated content while still having only one shoot set up.’ Says Blacksmith Co-Founder Diogo Mendonça.
Blacksmith Founding Partners; Marcus Von Geyso and Diogo Mendonça.
Let’s bring you up to speed on Blacksmith. Founded back in 2016, Blacksmith Culture Collective entered the scene as an agile and collaborative team, ready to hit the ground running no matter how complicated the brief. Representing over 500 experts in the creative, strategy, film, digital and innovation fields, with offices in Cape Town, Joburg and EU soon, the collective has always maintained that they are the go-to for creative problem-solving. Used to adapting to unique project requirements through collaboration while still delivering high-end work, Founding Partners Diogo Mendonça and Marcus Von Geyso began noticing that often times a traditional approach to production would get in the way of what the brand’s or agency’s needs were.
On set; Marcus Von Geyso and Diogo Mendonça with Costa titch and Sho Madjozi
Blacksmith saw the need in the market for one company to fulfil the role of content creator and production company. A collective that can carefully curate 3 or 4 crews on set simultaneously, all capturing the various content required to pull off a 6-month integrated campaign.
Using the same lighting team, make-up, styling, art department, etc means there’s not only a synergy between the work, but with one company behind it all, which means the budget can be spent in the right place – the content. Diogo adds ‘Integrated content allows brands to still spend their R1-2m budgets, but get way more content out of a single shoot.’
Over the past 18 months, Blacksmith has focused on just that, the content. From the full content piece and key visuals to moving stills and considered short-form AVs, that aren’t just cut-downs of the full content piece. Already they have worked with 3 big brands and delivered content packs with over 300 pieces of content for each brand. For Smirnoff, Blacksmith managed 4 different teams of filmmakers on set, moving around each other and creating enough unique content for a 6-month digital campaign, and that was all done over a two-day shoot!
From set design to pack styling and lighting, directing and droning, Blacksmith manages it all to create full commercials, and various pieces of supporting content to increase the reach of each campaign on multiple platforms. ‘At Blacksmith we immerse ourselves in culture and conceptualise ways for brands to credibly integrate into the culture. I.e. a music video can be an extension of your brand by integrating various brand elements and personality, as opposed to being an added-on afterthought like a product placement. This way allows for brands to integrate more authentically.‘ Says Blacksmith Co-Founder Marcus von Geyso.
Here’s a small taster of just some of the elements for Smirnoff, Play and Castle Lite x Bathu created by Blacksmith in their fully integrated content packs.