OPINION: He who collects the most stories wins

David Alberts
By David Alberts | 12 February 2014

My philosophy in life is 'He who collects the most stories wins’

My greatest fear is not being relevant. And my guiding rule when it comes to work has always been ‘if it was my money, what would I do?’

It’s for this reason that I left the agency world in 2006 and went on the journey that has led me to MoFilm.

I was running Grey London and had taken it upon myself to cancel an £800k commercial during a pre-production meeting after I learnt that the annual media spend was a mere £1.2 Million.

I proceeded to replace it with a series of 5 minute animated films featuring the wonderful short stories of 5 famous writers at a more realistic cost to client of only £150k.

It was a wonderful through the line campaign that won the hearts of consumers and won creative accolades, but in doing so Sir Martin pointed out lost the agency around £187k in potential revenue.

It was the right thing to do but it made me realise the agency world was the wrong place for me. I simply no longer believed that the business model of the agency world matched the business needs of today’s clients.

The reality is we no longer have a captive consumer audience. They simply don’t have to watch ads. Yet they choose to watch content. In fact there appears to be an insatiable appetite for ‘authentic’ content given the ‘always on’ world that we live.

Which has led to what I call the Marketing F Words, the need for content that is Fresher, available Faster and comes at a Fraction of the cost. Something the agency process simply does not allow. At MoFilm we have created a content model based on a curated crowd sourcing system that can deliver.

We have thousands of Film Makers, in over 100 countries who download a brief and send us films everyday. In essence we collect stories. We are curators rather than creators. We act more like an agent than an agency.

We have launched MoPhoto, MoMusic and recently we have launched MoThinking a global network of planners and creative directors with over 15 years experience that can put old heads on the young shoulders of our Film Makers. 

And all of these delivered in weeks not months at costs of tens of thousands not hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s a new model (not the only one) but that’s what is needed because it’s a new world.

As Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said, he never planned to change an industry he just wanted to make an Encyclopedia that was right for today and the rest is history.

David Alberts is Chief Creative Officer of MoFilm London. He is a keynote speaker at the IAA 75th Anniversary half-day Leadership Forum What's Coming Next? on 18 February at Hilton Sydney.

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