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Discussing the secret to ITV Studios' uniqueness with Senior VP of Marketing & Creative Michelle Asik | #BehindTheBrand

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If you are looking to partner with or impress ITV Studios, be prepared to demonstrate your unquestionable love for creativity in every way possible. Creativity and passion for the audience is at the heart of everything ITV Studios do – which is clear to anyone who's been following them for long enough.

From a successful strategy during the pandemic crisis to a range of incredibly beautiful projects from their in-house team (some of which have even won several awards in The Annual), there is plenty to say about ITV and how the team operates to ensure the brand remains strong and consistent over time.

But since it is always best to hear from the people themselves in these cases, today we are getting Behind the Brand with Michelle Asik, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Creative at ITV Studios, to learn more about what it means to be part of such an ambitious and unique brand.

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What is it like to work for ITV Studios?

ITV Studios is an exciting and interesting place to work at. We work with over 60 productions in 13 countries, and broadcasters across all platforms all over the world.  Every day is different and we have a team of people who are creatively ambitious.  It’s fast paced and at times challenging, but we are supported and encouraged to push boundaries and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  This year alone we have already produced over 7000 hours of content.  

What are the unique aspects of the ITV Studios brand?

We produce and sell content globally. Most people think we look after ITV, but we don’t.  We represent such a wide range of content and productions. From Vigil, Bodyguard, Line of Duty (BBC) and Brassic (Sky), through to Love Island, The Voice (ITV), Snowpiercer and Schitts Creek (Netflix). It enables us to work on many different campaigns and makes our brand unique as we appeal to broad audiences as we distribute all these shows around the globe.

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Can you describe your brand’s personality in one sentence?

Warm, friendly, diverse and ambitious.  

What makes your brand successful?

We know and understand our audience, and they are always at the heart of what we do.  Creativity is so important, but the commercial business objectives are always equal and aligned. 

What opportunities exist for your brand in the near future?

We have managed to pivot really well into reaching our customers through digital innovations and we are very much focussed on increased personalisation embedded in all of our marketing touchpoints. However, nothing beats hosting your clients in person and immersing them in your brand. I think a hybrid approach is going to be the future, and it’s making sure our brand is consistent so anyone touched by an ITV Studios event or campaign gets the same experience no matter how they are consuming it.

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How important is creativity to your brand’s success?

Hugely, it’s what makes us stand out.  We are in a very competitive space, we have to cut through the noise and make sure that ITV Studios is the place our customers come to and consider first.  

Do you work with an in-house creative team, an agency or both?

Both, we have an amazing in-house creative team who deliver all the ITV campaigns.  Where we have ITV content, we often work together with the wider Media & Entertainment team to ensure we get maximum impact globally. We also have a roster of brilliant creative agencies and freelancers that we work with across all our productions, shows and campaigns.  

What do you look for in a creative agency?

Everybody in our team, whether at ITV Studios or across our agencies, have a real love for what they do – and that automatically comes through in their work.  We are always on the lookout for different ideas, anything that is a unusual and unique.  Whoever we work with, we always want to push the boundaries and take an idea as far as we possibly can.

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Does your brand run pitches for creative agencies? How?

Sometimes, when it’s a large project we will run an RFP, but mostly we work with whoever is best suited to the task.  

What tips would you give to an agency looking to land you as a client?

Do your research, so many people come to us and don’t know what we do at ITV Studios.  Be creative, we get so many speculative e-mails full of jargon and boring text in their spec e-mails. Be patient, there is a fine balance between a follow up and bombarding people.  

Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

I think it’s just about really seeing things around you.  It could be from an exhibition or gallery visit, or some nice branding in a shop, to a walk through a forest, inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere.  I don’t believe a specific book or website will give you that.  It’s just about keeping your senses open to what is around you.   

COVID definitely made that more challenging, but it’s amazing what you draw upon when facing adverse conditions. 

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