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We have recently entered an exciting new chapter in our company's journey as we announce the appointment of our new Managing Director, Neil van Ginsburg to lead our strategic growth plans.
Bringing with him a digital agency background, Neil will continue to bolster our offering and drive new business for Preen and the Cherryduck Group pillars; The Nest Post and Cherryduck Studios.
Neil joins us as Group Managing Director from his previous role as Commercial Director at Digital Agency Coolr. During his time at Coolr, Neil was behind the digital and social work for the prestigious Platinum Jubilee Pageant marking the agency’s first foray into royal family work. He also helped secure the agency as an official creative marketing partner to TikTok.
Further accolades during his time at the social-first content agency included winning EMEA Digital Agency of the Year at the 2021 Sabre Awards, Large Social Media Agency of the Year at the 2021 UK Social Media Awards, and Digital PR Agency of the Year at the 2022 PRmoment Awards. He previously held senior roles at Havas and The Economist Group.
With a proven track record of agency growth success he will bring an exciting new energy to our already thriving production agency.
Neil van Ginsburg - Group Managing Director of Cherryduck Group / Preen said: “It’s a really exciting time for the group and I’m looking forward to propelling us into a new chapter of growth, working alongside our fantastic client partners. I have ambitious plans for 2022, scaling the agency to the next stage of creativity.”
James Vellacott - Co-Founder of Cherryduck Group / Preen adds: “We are absolutely delighted to appoint Neil as the new MD. Success in this highly competitive industry is being able to adapt quickly to the constantly changing landscape, providing key relevant and captivating content for our partners and clients. We are confident Neil will bring a new & exciting chapter in our growth.”
Preen are proud to support the fantastic work of The Shiny Awards, a not-for-profit limited company showcasing marginalised and diverse directing talent. Founded by Caroline Bottomley, The Shiny Awards have a 7k+ strong network of creatives, directors and exec producers who all stand in the firm belief that amplifying marginalised voices will lead to more compelling stories and a better industry.
Alongside creative agencies including Mother, Atomic and VCCP and production companies such as Prettybird, Somesuch, Preen take part in judging films entered into the awards and also supporting their mentoring programme.
A little more about what Shiny do -
Paying it forward to the next generation of creatives is something very close to our hearts here at Preen and we've most recently been able to do this through our partnership with Media Trust. Media Trust believes in the power of the media to change lives and they work in partnership with the media and creative industry to give marginalised groups a stronger voice.
Media Trust's Creativity Works Futures is a free, intensive eight-week bootcamp of high-impact media masterclasses and employability skills training for young adults from underrepresented backgrounds. Preen played a key role in hosting one of the workshops alongside workshops hosted by other Media Trust’s industry partners which could include, BBH, Edelman, Facebook/Instagram, Google, Nickelodeon, Snap, TikTok and Verizon.
Our workshop, the Charity Brief Challenge, centred around interpreting a live brief put forward by mental health service 'Men's Minds Matter'. Men's Minds Matter is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the prevention of male suicide by building psychological resilience and emotional strength.
The trainees were split into four teams, each team came up with their own agency name, and then had two days to develop their ideas. They then pitched their campaign ideas to Preen and the team at Men's Minds Matter. The overall winners were team MAZE and their idea will be brought to life with our support and the support of TikTok over the coming weeks. Watch this space!
Joel French, COO at Cherryduck Ltd highlights how the key to creative companies reducing their carbon footprint is to start where you are, and offers a few learnings for businesses embarking on their green journey.
World Earth Day 2021 is upon us, and the wheels of change are gathering pace when it comes to real impactful carbon footprint concerns within all businesses, and the commercial production world is no exception to this. All creative companies have a real opportunity, and responsibility, to instigate and inspire positive action when it comes to climate change, not just in what we say, but in what we do.
Preen is a creative video production company working with agencies and brands to produce branded video. So, what can production companies like ours do within the advertising world do in order to assess our own carbon responsibilities and make real progress in changing our approach to what should be an environmentally sustainable industry? By working with BAFTA’s Albert, we’ve been able to see where companies such as ours can rate and improve their own environmental impact.
It seems obvious to state it, but every business needs a starting point, and a set of goals that it wants to achieve. There is no point in making wild outlandish claims about becoming ‘carbon neutral’ or ‘carbon negative’ by year XXXX, if you don’t know what position your business is in today. Following a simple four-step strategy, Preen are embarking on our own green journey for 2021 and beyond and want to share our learnings with other companies like ours.
Creative production companies can only make a positive change to the environmental impact of their productions if they have a baseline to work with. That old carpenter’s proverb of ‘measure twice, cut once’ rings very true here. Calculating your current carbon footprint will tell you a lot about what can be achieved in your future roadmap, and will give you a real sense of what goals are achievable on your productions. Look at the obvious areas. Travel, waste, energy usage, materials. Get a baseline figure from your current usage from the last year. Also, speak to managers and producers and get a sense of what they use on shoots. We’ve created a simple Google Form to record this information on a production by production basis.
It’s not an easy process to get this together (trust me, we’ve been through it in the last few weeks!) and there may well be gaps in your reporting, but in many ways, this at least shows you where you need to improve things. A good point to cover here is that it’s likely not going to be perfect on your first assessment. But having a comprehensive attempt is the way to drive the business forward to work out what it’s sustainability goals are and how to achieve them.
It’s all too easy to make massive promises to change your approach, and then struggle to deliver on these changes. From looking at our own internal assessments, we’ve been able to identify key areas where we can make changes quickly and easily, as well as setting ourselves longer term goals to adhere to. Banning plastic bottles and using cruelty-free and/or organic make-up for your talent may be a good way to get started. Using electric vehicles only for transporting cast and crew could be a longer term goal. It might be a stretch for us to change out our diesel van overnight, but aiming to change this out, alongside electric charging points at our studios in the next one to two years is more realistic. Aiming for real achievable quick wins is the best launch platform on which to base your longer term goals.
Preen’s big goal over the next few months is to really engage with our clients and our suppliers to bring about strong change to our production processes. We want to commit ourselves to a plan, but also want to work alongside other like-minded people to help deliver change across the industry. By being conscious about where we source materials, assets, and talent from, we can ensure that the measures we are taking to cut down on our carbon footprint are not being offset by the impact of others who may not be pushing in the same direction as us. If we are to deliver a sustainable approach to our clients, we must be prepared to scrutinise our own supplier’s commitment to the same project.
Our clients too, will have a massive role to play. Most major businesses are already well on the way to instigating their own carbon impact plans, and we must ensure that we commit to helping them to achieve their goals, by making our promise to change meaningful and impactful. A big aim for us is to send back to every client on every job an environmental report and rating, so we can assess what has been done well, and what could be done better in future. By making this rateable, this won’t just be a simple document to give out arbitrarily with some facts and figures, but it should generate conversation between ourselves and our clients on how we can each work to improve things beyond the debrief.
One of our biggest challenges across this will be to ensure that all our team members understand our goals, and are part of the process. Not just in terms of taking part, but actively adding to and contributing ideas to how we can better reduce our carbon footprint. Innovation can come from across the business, and the best way of affecting real change is to involve the people who will be doing the work daily. Preen’s production team will have a key role to play in regards to our commitment, and we need to support our team through training, education and communication to meet its goals.
In many ways, this all seems like a massive challenge, and a lot of work. It may also seem costly. But you will be surprised even what a simple audit will tell you. There will be ways that you can make changes that are not just environmentally sound, but actually will reduce your costs. Who is paying for all those plastic bottles of water on set? Ultimately, without doing the hard work that comes with all of this, very little will change going forward, If we make the commitment together, it will become a lot easier in the future.
KEY TAKE OUTS
Author: Kim French, Head of Marketing
Each month the team at Preen look at the data provided by Tubular Labs to find the top performing videos in multiple sectors. This month we have an analysis of the top performing video channels on Facebook within the beauty sector. We're able to learn so much about beauty video trends and what has captured people's attention. Here is the breakdown for August, top 5 videos under beauty video on Facebook in the UK.
Wow, what a year it’s been so far.
Despite the production world coming to a near standstill a few months ago, we’ve been busy behind the scenes, preparing for a new way of working and deciding what Cherryduck needs to do in order to evolve and flourish into the future.