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Think Make Create: Changing the Narrative Through Global, Diverse Storytelling


How creatives Jacquie Beaumont, Andrea Kapos and Marcus Jones built a production agency to support a world we can all celebrate

Think Make Create: Changing the Narrative Through Global, Diverse Storytelling
After over ten years working within the creative department of the BBC (and Red Bee Media), creative directors Jacquie Beaumont, Andrea Kapos and Marcus Jones left to form their own creative agency. With a combined skill set spanning writing, directing and producing on both long and short form content, a multi award-winning creative agency with in-house production capability was born.

At the time of the company’s founding in 2011, the industry was siloed - with TVCs in one camp and long form storytelling in another. At Think Make Create, however, the founders were working across a huge variety of projects, both long and short form, and across all platforms, making them something of an anomaly in the market at the time. 

Today, the industry understands the value in having such varied expertise available in one place. This ability, to tell a story across any platform at any length, has always been Think Make Create’s superpower.

Jacquie, who started her career in long form and worked in specialist factual / documentary programming at the BBC says, “My forte across films of any length is telling compelling, authentic, people-led stories. I love the challenge of making films with multiple narrative strands and working out how they all converge.”

Marcus, who has a long list of successful TV sport campaigns under his belt says, “As a director my passion lies in sport and travel adventure. I also have a strong background in production, across both long form documentary series and short form content campaigns. I like having a foot in both camps.” 

“We’re all firmly grounded in creative and directing skills,” Andrea notes, “but we each have a slightly different flavour of expertise to bring to the table. For me, it’s working with ‘real people’, and my experience as a commercials director, drawing out authentic performances from kids.”

This combination of expertise in short and long form storytelling brings together the team’s strengths, allowing them to fully flex their creative muscles. Having identified Think Make Create as custodians of this expertise, Discovery Networks (now Warner Bros Discovery) has worked closely with the company for many years. 

Marko Lillemagi, director of strategy at Discovery Factual Portfolio, International Brand Solutions, says of the team, "During a decade of working together Think Make Create has become more than another external partner, they are part of the Discovery family. They understand our channels, our voice, our audience and the way we work with our clients." 

Two of Think Make Create’s most notable recent projects have been feature length documentaries - one for Discovery Networks’ Visit California and another for Expo 2020 Dubai. They also produced a campaign of short films to run in commercial airtime alongside the documentary work. 

“The California documentary was born out of a passion project” Jacquie says, “with us bringing Discovery Networks and Visit California around the table to make it happen. California has a long and fascinating history of counter-culture and we wanted to put that in a modern context, to seek out the change makers and disruptors who are forging new ways of thinking today. The Expo 2020 Dubai documentary gave us the opportunity to step into the future and showcase a vision of the world whose scale and ambition was simply breathtaking.”

With a diverse portfolio of clients, spanning both brands and broadcasters, Think Make Create have recently teamed up with Volvo to provide creative direction, strategy and content creation. 

“Working with Volvo gives us the exciting opportunity to create purpose driven content that authentically reflects the brand's values,” say Marcus. “Our ambition is to resonate with new audiences and spark exciting new conversations”

Nathan Mercer, global head of content and events at Volvo Cars, says, “Our teams are inspired and uplifted by Think Make Create’s input and truly value the partnership. They have extensive knowledge of the brand and media landscape, which gives us an edge in our communications. They’re also just a fantastic group of people to work with – genuine, transparent and not afraid to push us when we need it.” 

If You Can See It, You Can Be It

Across all of Think Make Create’s work, the team champions variety and diversity, tied together with one common thread: an idea-first approach. Their skill is turning insights into brilliant ideas that authentically connect with people. This is where they place great focus: every piece of content starts with a human truth.

Think Make Create are acutely aware of the responsibility they have as creators in the industry. “Advertising is seen by many people as a kind of throw away, temporary form but it’s also something that is absolutely ingrained in culture and can make a massive difference to our perception of the world - how we portray and see each other, what we aspire to and what behaviours are normalised,” Andrea explains. “We want to be at the forefront of showing our audience a world that we feel it should be celebrating - diversity, strong gender role modelling, a fair and equal society. If you can see it, you can be it.”

“This goes beyond our work in advertising into our passion projects too. We have a number of long form series and documentaries in development that all focus on changing or challenging societal perceptions in different ways. It’s what makes the engine of Think Make Create tick, and we try and get something of that into all of the work we do. Even if it’s by stealth!”

“Our approach to diversity and gender equality isn’t just on screen,” Jacquie adds, “we seek out opportunities to work with diverse crews and collaborators and always have done. We also believe in helping the next generation of filmmakers, whether it’s by running masterclasses or offering mentoring or work experience.”

“We’re not your average white male ad agency and we’re leaning into that. Hard,” says Andrea.

One of the most notable developments within the industry in the past couple of years has come in the wake of the horrific murder of George Floyd and the subsequent demonstrations worldwide. “This forced many brands to look at their own histories of racism and inequality,” Marcus comments. “We have seen some positive changes in how the media industry portrays people of colour and crucially, how it promotes diversity behind the camera. 

“This is something we have always championed at Think Make Create, working with brands and broadcasters as they continue to commit to changing the industry for the better.”

As diversity, equity and inclusion consultants, the three founders are particularly proud of their work for Warner bros Discovery, who approached them to undertake a fundamental internal piece of DE&I communication. Championing honest and authentic conversation, the resulting work created a cultural shift that is still reverberating.

Robin Garnett, VP of global brand and creative for Discovery+, who commissioned the work says, “I cannot praise Think Make Create enough for their Every Voice project for Discovery. Not only did they produce some beautiful films, with their interviewing skills eliciting extraordinarily honest and moving testimony from employees around the world, including our global CEO. They also challenged us on our initial brief, and throughout the process, ensured we avoided cliches, and instead initiated an open and real conversation that continues to this day.”  

“That’s typical of how we work,” Jacquie reveals. “We believe in open, honest communication and we always value client’s feedback. Our approach is very collaborative and transparent. When we create work we’re proud of, it’s always a combined effort.”

“We’re lucky to have such a diverse range of clients bringing us a wide variety of projects. We love travel briefs,” Andrea says. “Getting under the skin of a different culture, seeing some of the best parts of a country and making films about it - it’s a privilege we don’t take for granted. For Egypt Tourism we were commissioned to make a film about the Valley of the Kings and fought really hard to find a young, female archaeologist that would bust the stereotypes and bring fresh enthusiasm to an ancient place. Having the tombs to ourselves with a guide like Aliaa was an unforgettable experience.”

“Many of our projects focus on different forms of innovation that are making a positive impact in the world,” Marcus adds. “The sports enthusiast in me recently enjoyed shooting at racetracks around the world for Goodyear, filming inside their innovation centre and seeing the latest technology being created.”

Moving forward, Think Make Create is excited to connect with more brands who want to make purpose-driven work. “We’re excited about brands who are genuinely interested in pushing the narrative forward,” they say. “People trust brands more than they trust government right now and that is a scary and powerful place to be.”

“At times of upheaval and economic hardship, there is a real need for content to be authentic and meaningful, as it has the power to bring about positive change. We’d love Think Make Create to be at the forefront, partnering with brands to fund work that can make a real world difference. 

“That’s the big fat dream,” they say, “along with staying creative, nimble and keeping hold of the joy of doing what we love: telling authentic, entertaining stories that have the power to make a positive impact.”

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Think Make Create, Wed, 16 Nov 2022 10:16:28 GMT