From creatives to clock salesmen: The Monkeys enter product development

By David Blight and Paul McIntyre | 18 March 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Following its leap into the owned content space with TV series 30 Seconds and My Family Feast, The Monkeys will use its new design venture Maud to develop its own products to market and sell, starting with a range of clocks.

The Monkeys partners Mark Green, Scott Nowell, Justin Drape and Fabio Buresti have taken equity in design agency Maud, and have revealed plans to use the new tie-up to create products and services for themselves and for their clients.

Maud is currently working with an industrial designer to create a range of clocks, which the agency plans to market and sell. Green said the plan is to have control over the entire process, from initial design and product innovation to the final exchange with the consumer.

But clocks are just the beginning. On top of designing and developing a range of new products for clients, Green also said there are some other “owned” projects in the works. Rather than taking the focus away from clients, Green argued this process enables the agency to develop its skills and then take its learnings to brands.

“When we made our television series, we learnt so much about what we can actually do for our clients,” Green said. “Just as we saw television ads heading into the area of content creation, we see design heading into the areas of product development and innovation.”

He also suggested that product development opens up doors for “revenue sharing and equity opportunities” with clients. “Using design to make your own IP creates real opportunities. When we designed the chocolate dogs for Guide Dogs, we were creating a product, and there is much more IP in that, it is something that is tangible. This creates more avenues for revenue sharing, or equity opportunities.

“Design helps us to build that from the start, either with clients or when we come up with a product ourselves. We can explore new revenue opportunities.

“Lines of communication are blurring, and a branding message is so much harder to get to a consumer through comms alone. You can limit your thinking to just brand communications and you end up doing what everyone else is doing. We are motivated by being inventive and different.”

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