Tag Archives: We Are Royale

Behind the Title: We Are Royale CD Chad Howitt

NAME: Chad Howitt

COMPANY: We Are Royale in Los Angeles

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We Are Royale is a creative and digital agency looking to partner with brands to create unique experiences across platforms. In the end, we make pretty things for lots of different applications, depending on the creative problem our clients are looking to solve. We’re a full-service production studio that directs live-action commercials, creates full 3D worlds, designs 2D character spots, and develops immersive AR and VR experiences.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Creative Director

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Anything and everything needed to get the job done. On the service side, I’ll work directly with clients and agencies to address their wide variety of needs. So whether that’s creating an idea from scratch or curating a look around an already developed script, I try to figure out how we can help.

Then in-house, I’ll work with our talented team of art directors, CG supervisors and producers to help execute those ideas.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
While the title stays the same, the responsibilities vary by location, person and company culture. So don’t think there’s a hard-and-fast rule about what a creative director is and does.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
Seeing a finished project out in the world knowing the hard work the team put in to get it there. Whether it’s on TV, in a space as a part of an installation or online as a part of a pre-roll… it’s a proud moment whenever I see it in the wild.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Seeing the results of a job we lost or had to pass on knowing that the creative we were planning will never see the light of day.

IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I’d probably be in the video game industry, but that wasn’t really a feasible career path back then.

HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
As a little kid, I was obsessed with drawing and computers. So merging those into a profession always seemed like the most natural course. That said, as an LA native, working on film sets just seemed like what out-of-towners wanted to do. So I never saw that coming.

Under Armour spot for its UA HOVR running line

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
I’ve wrapped a few projects with Under Armour, a trio of spots for NASDAQ, and a promo for Billy Bob Thornton’s series on Amazon called Goliath.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
It’d probably be the first project I worked on at We Are Royale, which was an Under Armour spot for its UA HOVR running shoe line. It allowed me to work with merging live-action, CG and beautiful type design.

NAME THREE THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Fire, indoor plumbing and animal husbandry

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
The last social media I had was MySpace, unless you count LinkedIn…which you really shouldn’t.

CARE TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO WORK TO?
Some of my current go-to tracks are “We Were So Young” by Hammock, “Galang” by Vijay Iyer Trio, “Enormous” by Llgl Tndr, “Almost Had to Start a Fight” by Parquet Courts and “Pray” by Jungle.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I stress eat. Cake, cookies and pizza make most problems go away. Although diabetes could become a new problem, but that’s tomorrow.

Heidi Netzley joins We Are Royale as director of biz dev

Creative agency We Are Royale has added Heidi Netzley as director of business development. She will be responsible for helping to evolve the company’s business development process and building its direct-to-brand vertical.

Most recently, Netzley held a similar position at Digital Kitchen, where she expanded and diversified the company’s client base and also led projects like a digital documentary series for Topgolf and show launch campaigns for CBS and E! Network. Prior to that, she was business development manager at Troika, where she oversaw brand development initiatives and broadcast network rebrands for the agency’s network clients, including ABC, AwesomenessTV, Audience Network and Sundance Cinemas.

Netzley launched her career at Disney/ABC Television Group within the entertainment marketing division. During her seven-year tenure, she held various roles ranging from marketing specialist to manager of creative services, where she helped manage the brand across multi-platform marketing campaigns for all of ABC’s primetime properties.

“With our end-to-end content creation capabilities, we can be both a strategic and creative partner to other types of brands, and I look forward to helping make that happen,” says Netzley.

When Netzley isn’t training for the 2018 LA Marathon, she’s busy fundraising for causes close to her heart, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, for which she was nominated as the organization’s 2016 Woman of the Year. She currently sits on the society’s leadership committee.

The value between screens

The new world of three-dimensional branding.

By Jayson Whitmore

In this day and age of “getting what we want when we want it,” viewers don’t want to be bothered by ads any longer. The ability to skip commercials while viewing content has been a long time coming, thanks to the development of the VCR, then TiVo, and now streaming services like Apple TV and Hulu, which enable commercial-free viewing.

Jayson Whitmore

Audiences view commercials as disruptive — especially unsolicited and untargeted ones — to the viewing experience. Furthermore, we, as a culture, have shorter attention spans and less time to watch live TV. When was the last time you continued watching a YouTube ad before hitting skip after the five-second grace period?

So, the million-dollar question for advertisers has become, “How do we target, engage and reach our viewers more effectively and less intrusively?”

When I attend trade conferences, I hear buzzwords like “branded content” and “user-generated content” casually thrown around. Meanwhile, brands still see the need for the 30-second spot — this is not going anywhere as live TV and sponsored digital content will always need this format. However, the TV commercial as the hero strategy, as it once used to be, has evolved with technology. It’s now a much smaller part of a larger integrated strategy where you have to hit the brand from all sides. So the paradigm shift will be more about establishing and promoting your brand values, particularly the ones that consumers associate themselves with. And telling a story that’s related to the brand attributes helps reinforce these values.

Playing off the original message of the brand, this new way of targeting audiences and building brand awareness and values will present a remix of the content in each medium. Again, the point is to engage viewers with the core values of the brand. Some are new and some are tried and true, so how do you discover that great idea for engaging content that’s on-brand without giving it some shelf life?

Coke Site Images_2_0016_Layer Comp 17      Coke Site Images_2_0004_Layer Comp 5
Coke Zero Sweater Generator: We Are Royale helped Droga5 and Coke Zero create the Coke Zero Sweater Generator, a microsite that allowed users to create tacky holiday sweaters.

The biggest question I get when pitching an idea is, “Why?” followed by, “What are the metrics?” The ad dollars are there, usually for the media buy, but my question back to the brands looking to take content viral is this: “Is there a better distribution model that might cost a little more upfront, but much less on the backend?”

The 30-second spot is a great start, but what if you back it up with relevant content, such as a live experiential piece, a web game, or a social media push — short digestible spots that can be consumed on many platforms?

In the end, the opportunity is to think about campaigns more three-dimensionally. So if the traditional spot or print ad doesn’t get to the user, the new media and mobile content just might.

(Our main image is from the Samsung Try On A Six campaign: Working with R/GA, this WebGL microsite showcases the Galaxy S6 features with a series of CG and video vignettes, and emulates holding the GS6 in your hand, via a desktop browser, using a mouse or phone to control the virtual S6.)

Jayson Whitmore is partner/executive creative director at Los Angeles and Seattle-based We Are Royale, a concept-oriented design and digital production studio.