6:00 AM. My working day starts early, checking emails that have come in overnight from the US; from studios, record labels, costume designers, Producers etc. I never reply straight away but it gives me a head start on the day as I can start prioritising what I need to do on the school run.
7:45 AM. Luckily my middle child’s school gate opens at 7.30am, which means I can be at my desk by 7.45am. The next hour I have the office to myself and is probably when I’m most productive; working on presentations, pitches, reading scripts and responding to those US emails from my most recent trip to LA.
8:00 AM. I also follow up on the trades as even though I don’t contact productions on a day-to-day basis like I used to, I still like to know what is going on, especially when there are big projects that I have a personal interest in, like Blade Runner 2049.
9:00 AM. The rest of the office starts to arrive and we have a catch up about last night’s television and any clients that may have appeared on screen, with any exposure clipped and sent to clients with the corresponding media report. We will then usually re-tweet, post a link or image relating to the placement.
The office is open plan which is what I like, to be in the heart of the office, as opposed to being shut away in my own office. It means that everyone hears and is involved in everything, which is really beneficial especially when coming up with ideas.
We have a great team who are brilliant at what they do and I don’t think there is anyone better with their skill set, from tracking down productions to client liaison.
We are currently working across a number of pitches in the office, so whoever is working on a presentation will always share the document for everyone to review, to make sure it answers the brief and always good to get a different perspective.
The nice thing about our client list is that the brands we work with are so varied. So one minute you could be talking about the costume for the latest Marvel movie, the next you are sourcing a 1930s whisky label, to filming on board a cruise ship or negotiating brand exposure for a music video.
11:00 AM. After meeting with an old client for coffee; who has moved on to a new company and is interested in our services, I head back to the office via Oxford Street and Selfridges. Not for shopping but for inspiration and new brands that we could potentially approach.
13:00 PM. Lunch is usually at my desk and done in 10 minutes!
13:10 PM. My background is a copywriter and so I am always looking at AdAge.com or the recent advertising award winners from D&AD and Cannes Lions for inspiration. I share them with the office and encourage them to share things they have seen too so we can discuss and see how we can apply them to what we do.
What’s especially interesting, is that more than ever advertising and PR agencies are looking at creating engaging content and finding out ways to get it in front of the biggest and most relevant audience possible, which is what we have been doing for the past 17 years through product placement.
14:00 PM. It’s now 9am over in Atlanta, where there are a number of productions we are currently working on. We begin to get emails/calls and start speaking with production crew about supplying products.
15:00 PM.In London, I’m on the phone to the UK distributor of a forthcoming big Christmas release where we’ve product placed a client, to discuss potential opportunities for them to promote their association.
16:30 PM. The emails from LA start to fill up the inbox…speaking with the studios about forthcoming releases, touching base with our LA office and see what the status is of upcoming productions.
18:00 PM. We arrive at a preview screening of “Transformers –The Last Knight”, the latest summer blockbuster we worked on. We always try to make sure we see a cut of the film before it is released, so we can let our clients know what their exposure is like and then help them leverage their exposure.
For Transformers, with the placed item in question being a leather jacket worn by Mark Wahlberg’s character and having already appeared in most of the trailers and promotional posters in Cannes, we are confident what the exposure will be like. And sure enough, within the first 10 minutes the jacket is there in glorious IMAX 3D.
After the movie, I WhatsApp the client in Italy to inform them and the response I get, is simply ‘Top!, which from a client of few words means they are pleased.
20:30 PM. After the screening, we head off to Volvo’s Midsommar Party (nothing to do with Midsummers Murders, which coincidentally also features Volvos) being held at the stunning Kensington Roof Gardens. It’s a great opportunity to socialise with clients who we have been working with for over 7 years now and know them well on a personal level!
00:00 am. I respond to a few emails from our colleagues in LA before plugging in my phone and switching off.
Darryl Collis is Director of Seesaw Media-the Industries leading Product Placement agency.