Wonderhatch: What are we?

  • wonderhatch
  • May 29, 2019

Roy Baron / Wonderhatch – The Wonderhatch HQ Team

What is Wonderhatch and what does our market place look like. This is not meant to be a detailed scientific paper, it’s meant to be a straightforward view of the business as at May 2019. One thing is for sure: it will change.

We’ll look at:

  • The background to this question
  • Wonderhatch history
  • The Market Place
  • What is Wonderhatch

/ Background.

Since bringing two London based quality photography agencies together with a freelancer film company and setting up Wonderhatch, we’ve been working hard as a team to articulate clearly our vision, our core purpose and our mission. As part of that journey we’re also trying to understand what we do and for who?

Roy Baron / Wonderhatch – The Wonderhatch HQ Team

We have come from a background of new media and the internet, of photography and of film and video. Are we a Production Company? A Creative Agency? Some other type of Media Agency? To coin a relatively new phrase, a Content Agency? Are we just London and UK based or are we international? What are we doing now and what do we want to be doing in the future?

And what does our market place look like? These are important questions to ask.

There seems to be a lot of discussion and concern amongst the advertising agencies that due to a major shift in the marketing landscape, their business is changing significantly and is in danger of shrinking as their clients do more in the digital space and, perhaps even, more in house.

Bearing in mind that many of the specialist digital agencies have now been acquired by one advertising group or another, does this shift in fact matter?

Is the marketing landscape becoming ever more complex and is that, in fact, translating into more fees for the agencies, in particular around strategy and planning?

With public opinion and love for advertising at a record low, from a high of 80% approval in 80s down to 25% now, are all the young creatives looking to get into tech rather than advertising? And how does that affect Wonderhatch?

Creating content, our photography, video and films, where does Wonderhatch sit versus these other advertising, marketing, media, digital, full service agencies and the production companies?

Matt Martin / Wonderhatch, Behind the Scenes Filming Content for Gordon Ramsay Restaurants

And what about the freelancers – where do we sit next to them?

Are we guilty of eating, or could we eat, any of the ‘advertising pie’; or is there a new market opening up? And, if so, is it possible to measure it?

These are some of the questions I’m hoping to consider and answer in this blog.

/ Wonderhatch and our history, in brief.

Wonderhatch is a blend of three London based businesses. One was a photography business with roots going back to the first digital cameras in early 2000s, using digital photography as a sponsorship win and working on digital marketing campaigns, serving small and large business alike for more than 10 years. More recently, it covered everything from sports photography at the ATP Tennis to portrait photography for the financial services sector. From hospitality, hotel and restaurant photography to food and beverage photography. From event photography to luxury and consumer products, from property photography to architectural to fine interior photography.

Simon John Owen / Wonderhatch for the ATP World Tour Finals

The next business was a high-end photography agency, focused in the main on sport and touting the FA as one of its key clients alongside Rolex, The Jockey Club and others. Working with one of sport’s top photographers in the world, Bob Martin, himself an ambassador for Sony and the photography agency knew how to service clients at the very highest level. How to deal, how to interact, how to account manage and how to execute.

Our third leg, providing the strength of our stool, was a video and film outfit that had been running successfully as a freelancer business for almost 10 years. British Polo Day, Gordon Ramsay and Hackett were just some of Pat Gather’s fare.

These three businesses came together at the end of 2017 and early 2018 to form Wonderhatch.

/ The Market.

In 2019 our market place is the UK’s innovating brands and businesses that require help with their communications. It may be advertising or marketing, but it may also be investor relations, HR compliance or explanation, education, stakeholder management, internal or external training, thought leadership etc.

Whatever it is, clients are recognising the power of photography and, in particular right now, video to tell a story – and not only can they afford to make such a video, but also they can distribute it via the web, via digital.

To this end and to achieve their aims, our clients require:

  • A personal service delivered by a personable and trustworthy team
  • The highest quality photography, film and video content, produced and created
  • Regularly or periodically
  • That is well thought through and
  • Understands the digital landscape and its distribution
  • Is highly creative where it needs to be and innovative where appropriate
  • So that the content delivers on what is required of it
  • Produced by specialist professionals who are at the top of their game
  • And followed up by further ideas and bigger thinking for the next shoot and digital output.

Specialist professionals means:

  • Photographers, videographers, film-makers and editors who have significant experience for the specific shoot; an event shoot is very different to an architectural property shoot, which in turn is very different to a portrait or lifestyle shoot
  • Using the right professionals for the right genres and skill sets
  • Production and post production and editing all carried out by highly skilled, dedicated and passionate team members
  • A mixture of freelancers and in-house photographers, videographers and film makers, producers and editors who enjoy their work and will enjoy working with clients.
  • Well turned out and approachable as required.

Simon John Owen / Wonderhatch for Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard

Ultimately our clients are looking for brilliant output that will help them communicate what they want and need to communicate. Help them sell, or educate, or inform, or build relationships.

What innovative businesses and brands are we talking about? We have divided our business into five industries in order to focus on them and focus at being specialist and becoming market leading in each of these sectors:

  • Travel and Hospitality
  • Sports and Rights holders
  • Property and construction
  • Professional Services and
  • Luxury and Consumer brands

Can we be more specific as to who to expect our briefs from?

Historically, the largest brands have briefed their advertising agency and as part of the agreed output there might be some photography and a tv advert or series of adverts. For tv or cinema adverts, the agency would come up with the creative concept and the script itself and then approach a production company to make it. On the photography side likewise.

The SMEs (less than 250 employees), that make up 99% of businesses in the UK, historically are less likely to interface with the ad agencies. They are more likely to have used freelancers to help them when photography was required. Video and film were not on the radar for these businesses until recently; it is only in the last few years, with video becoming easy to view on computers and mobiles alike that video and film productions are becoming a viable and often necessary marketing expenditure for these larger SMEs.

Now, brands are just as likely to spend their marketing monies on digital as they are elsewhere. The advertising sector agrees that the world is now digital. Brands are spending 60% of their budget on digital versus Cinema, TV, Audio or OOH (Out of office and home).

News brands and Magazine publishers are more and more online rather than in paper and print format. Digital includes the digital broadcasters like YouTube, the big social networks like Facebook and Instagram, the online publishers as well as, of course, Google. But it also includes their website and all communications that use digital, including email and whatsapp and any internal / external webinar or distribution capability. Customer comms as well as investor, stakeholder, supplier and all other comms are now predominantly digital.

Only in the last 5 years has video on the internet worked properly for the masses. Download and streaming speeds and other technical factors had prevented it from becoming mainstream and easy to view on laptop or on mobile until the last few years. With the marketers catching up and the public’s appetite seemingly insatiable, video has exploded in popularity.

The last few years have also seen content become everything. ‘Content is king’ is repeated time and again.

And video is now king of content.

In a crowded and busy world, brands that can be heard, that can reach their audience, often by telling a story and so tuning into their customers at an emotional level, the part of their brain that we know has to be accessed for people to make decisions and to quite literally fall in love with the desired product or service; these brands are set for glory.

These innovative brands realise they now need regular, high quality, highly creative and constantly refreshing content for sharing on digital. Video can help them get their message across. Photography and video in particular can help their audience to understand and behave accordingly.

The largest brands are doing the same – looking to produce regular, high quality and creative content. They are continuing to go to their agencies, as well as to new specialist content agencies. So you have David Abrahams, the ex-CEO of channel 4, launching a ‘new kind’ of agency, Wonderhood, to provide for them. Some of the biggest brands are also looking to bring some services in house and hiring firms like Lead to help them do that so they can move quicker and be more agile for their content needs.

Our analysis shows that our clients are divided into a few big brands, while the majority are those SMEs that historically would have used freelancers. This latter group may have never produced any kind of video content previously. So they want the comfort of an agency type service, providing consistency and quality and a good level of service, while giving them the affordability of a freelancer; as a specialist service, as an end to end service and one stop shop, we are able to bring that affordability. They are harder to reach and harder for us to get in front of, but where we do, then we can build a long term, regular and successful relationship.

Our clients from some of the largest brands are either those that want us for our specialist capability like world class sporting photography; or they are content specialists themselves and recognise that we are the end to end service that they have been looking for to provide them with regular quality content; or they may be divisions within that large brand that are not consumer facing and so have not interfaced with the advertising companies before. They now need video content too and are looking for the right partner to provide it to them. These marketers know what they want and they recognise that we are highly skilled in creating digital content; in giving them just what they need. Content that works.

/ So – What is Wonderhatch?

We are a combination of creative, digital strategy and production. We are not alone. We recognise there are a number of other businesses out there calling themselves anything from corporate film makers to branded content production companies; firms like Marmalade, The Edge Picture Company, Pukka Films, Chrome Productions and Recipe are all doing similar work to ours and all trying to find their niche. What is clear is that we are part of a new type of agency come production company that straddles these functions for the good of our clients and of the emerging market.

Eddie Keogh / Wonderhatch for The FA at the FIFA World Cup 2018

What makes us unique is our heritage – we come from a digital background, from a photography background and from a film background. It is these three legs to our stool that make us strong and give us an edge on our competitors.

We are a digital content and production agency. Specialising in creating the very best in photography, video and film. Regularly.

And how does this fit in with our vision, our mission and our core purpose?

Our mission is to create inspiring content that works. Our core purpose is simply to make awesome content, and our vision is to be globally recognised as a leading content innovator.

I think it fits quite nicely 😊