The rise in Digital Content Creation (DCC) in TV commercials and children’s movies worldwide is taking the world broadcast industry by storm and is rapidly infiltrating the South African design industry.
“As a discipline, DCC signifies the overall creation and modification of digital content, encompassing 3D graphics, audio editing, compositing, authoring, character animation, photorealistic visual effects and motion graphic design,” explains Gerhard Painter, owner and creative director at Luma.
Also known as creative media or multimedia production, DCC is making waves within the business industry and evoking curiosity among business people intent on knowing how the world of digital animation might benefit their brand presence.
“Which begs the question: How does one go about choosing the correct digital agency? Apart from the obvious important aspects of time, information and commitment, I believe there are a few basic guidelines of what to take into account in order to make a wise decision,” says Painter.
- Does their website look impressive?
“To judge how a digital agency presents its corporate ethos and design credentials, judge it by its cover. Look at their website. If it’s poorly designed or promoting their services in a half-hearted way, expect their results to be of the same poor calibre. While deciding upon potentially suitable digital agencies take time to navigate their website and read any articles written about their team, including campaigns that they have completed. If the digital agency has the staff and the technological resources to have created an impressive website and content for themselves, then they should be able apply this skill-set to your projects,” says Painter.
- Look at their client list…
“While researching, look at the digital agency’s portfolio. They should be proud to illustrate their previous and ongoing work. If their website lacks an online portfolio, feel free to contact the agency and request one. It’s a good sign if a digital agency has both large and small clients within their client base as this shows dedication to a range of project sizes plus the ability to manage large scale campaigns. If you appreciate work that has been undertaken by them historically, there’s a greater chance of compatibility with regard to the management of your campaign,” he continues.
- Is the agency in it ‘for the long haul’?
“I feel that the words ‘partnership’ and ‘commitment’ have become a cliché in the design industry and the world of commerce. Many companies talk about their ‘partners’ when in fact they have arms-length and strictly commercial relationships with their suppliers. It’s easy to call someone a partner, but true partnerships take time, effort and commitment to develop fully.
“Ensure that in choosing an agency, their commitment with you and your company is unwavering. Agencies that ensure that their client is consistently being engaged and informed will deliver partnerships that represent the most productive, collaborative and rewarding work. Consequently their clients will see greater value being derived from their agency relationship. Such partnerships are built on mutual respect, trust, adaptability, realistic expectations and open communication,” says Painter.
- Look closely at the team
“When choosing a digital agency, look at the team that they employ plus their overall attitude towards design, including your campaign in particular. Ideally, staff members should specialise in one field, whether 3D graphics, audio editing, compositing, authoring, character animation or visual effects. This will mean that each member of staff dealing with your account will have a brief to work to and can focus on their task instead of spreading themselves too thinly across the project.
“The less work a member of staff has to do, the better they will do it. The agency’s team should be able to clearly define their concepts from a neutral perspective that both the agency and client understand. The agency team should get you excited about the approach and plans that they have for your brand. As a result the client should feel that the project is absolutely the most important thing in the agency’s life – that all their decisions, efforts and activities revolve around it,” says Painter.
- Recognition and referral
“Professional awards are prestigious. There is huge competition for every nomination. Judging panels take the process very seriously. Specialist accolades from search engines, media publications, industry and regional business organisations all reinforce the digital agency proposition. Client referrals also add valuable weight to the agency’s name. A positive response to all the above reinforces and affirms that you have made the correct choice from among a range of candidate agencies,” Painter concludes.