In the latest installment of our series that dives into the world of production, we chatted with Claire Young, Managing Director, at Girl&Bear, about their integrated structure to production that allows for agile, and creative content solutions.
Could you give a brief overview of your structure?
We’re a global content creation studio and the home of all of the makers of everything at VCCP. You’ll find us wherever VCCP are, and beyond that we have Girl&Bear ‘making hubs’ and talent situated around the world.
Having all of our highly talented and skilled makers collaborating together enables us to be agile and deliver some of the best and most effective solutions to produce world class work.
How would you describe your company’s POV?
Our promise is to always deliver ‘craft without compromise’. Whatever the ask.
With VCCP’s inherent challenger spirit, we created Girl&Bear in 2021 to challenge the compromises agencies are often faced with when bringing brilliant ideas to life. Be that scale, channels, markets, value or budgets.
A big compromise was that we felt clients were too often being asked was to make a binary choice and select an agency that delivers either craft, value, speed or scale. This is not how we work at Girl&Bear. We are fully integrated, which enables us to give the love and craft you get at the ideation stage to every single asset.
When bringing a concept to life, how do you incorporate your creative style while keeping in mind the client’s vision and brief?
We do not have one creative “house style” per say, but when we created Girl&Bear it was important to us to make sure production thinking was brought upstream. This allows us the right time to immerse ourselves in the client’s brief and vision from the very beginning of a project. It also empowers our makers to bring their experience and influences during the concepting and ideation phase, meaning by the time we bring an idea to life we are already fully immersed with the ambition of the output and the creative style that is desired. We’ve found that this has often led to unlocking new approaches and ideas, in all channels.
In the past few years, a lot has changed rapidly given the pandemic and the worsening effects of climate change. How has the structure of production companies adapted and in what ways has this shifted agency-production relationships?
The past few years have been some of the most challenging in our history; first the global pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis. However, it has shown us how creatively capable we are when forced into unconventional circumstances and old norms have been challenged for the better. Both the pandemic and the consideration we give to climate change has made us rapidly change the way we make to introduce more variety.
It has also made us more aware of the possibilities to have and operate with a borderless global mindset, making great work happen anywhere in the world. Which perfectly complements what Girl&Bear is all about.
It was very important to us that we had a strong Environmental Social and Governance strategy, so that everyone at Girl&Bear is able to be a conscious maker and is why we created our ‘BE NICE’ Policy. This is where we’ve pledged to create in a way that always puts our people and our planet first. Within the policy we provide our makers guidance on how to go about their day jobs, whilst always “Being Nice” humans and sharing our commitments with our partners so that anyone we work with is committed to helping others on their journey too.
More and more we’re seeing production companies have the opportunity to work directly with brands and clients. How do you see this trend evolving?
At Girl&Bear we work differently with each of our clients. It's about finding the right solution, understanding their needs, and giving them a structure that works for them and their ambitions.
The future is about being agile and unprecious. It’s about learning from each other, and always evolving our approach and capabilities so we can always give the right team structure and approach to our clients.