The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is MediaMonks!
Locations: Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, New York and Singapore
Year Founded: 2001
Specialties: Digital is such a broad church that we specialise in one thing only, and that’s talent. We hire the smartest, most-dedicated production people out there, making sure we get them a steady stream of amazing briefs and let them loose in a culture that prioritises quality and ambition over margins and money.
What inspired you to start your company?
I think the official term is youthful exuberance (or arrogance). All of our founders were part of a dot-com-company that personified everything that was wrong with digital back in the day. Great chairs, too many buzzwords, and no actual product or production to back it up. We wanted to do something that involved craft and conviction, creating something worthwile after spending a few years blowing hot air into ‘the bubble’.
What was the most technically challenging work you’ve created?
In the past 14 years, there have been so many challenges that is has become almost a given that projects start with a series of unknowns. We love the Universal Typeface project as the initial prototype and proof of concept work became the reason we collectively decided to do it (BIC, DDB and ourselves). It’s a great example of technology being an invisible catalyst that allows a brand to do something truly creative and interesting.
Which work or brand are you best known for?
Our international breakthrough must have The Desperados Experience. These days it’s quite broad, from super shiny campaigns like Adidas: Nitrocharge Your Game and KLM Space for DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, to Geox: 7 Days of Rain produced for SFMB by MediaMonks Films, to projects that hit a nerve and become part of popular culture like Google: Night Walk in Marseille for 72andSunny Amsterdam and BIC’s Universal Typeface Experiment for DDB Tribal Düsseldorf. We’re also honoured to be a part of Lemz’s Sweetie – it’s amazing to see advertising translate to political and social impact on a global scale.
How has the business changed since you started?
The biggest change is that our business encompasses so much more now. We can still remember geeking out on 15KB GIF banners and Flash intros, so it’s quite humbling to see our industry incorporate so many different technologies, ambitions and disciplines these days. The work we do is also much more integrated, when we started out digital was more of a playground, a nerdy place people got to geek out on the periphery of campaigns. These days it’s often the fulcrum.
What advice do you have for agency producers or creatives?
Make sure you work with people that you regard as partners, not vendors. If you feel like you’re having to babysit your prodco, you’re working with the wrong people. All the good production shops will tell you the same thing: the best work happens when there is a meeting of minds and everyone is working towards a shared ambition. Most people go into production to build something interesting, so make sure you tap into that drive and you’ll have better work to show for it.
What is the best thing about working at MediaMonks?
Doing great work is always hard, but we focus on making it as comfortable as possible. We don’t do timesheets, which allows our talent to focus on a very simple rule: Make the work as awesome as it can possibly be, and launch it on time. We also have some pretty decent perks, my favourites of which are probably our annual winter sports trip and Summer Soirée.
Any wild company party stories?
Our MD tends to get arrested during the winter sports trip, and we have a lot of agencies that come to our Amsterdam office for a review or two, which can become quite interesting. But our wildest company stories originate at the MMMM-party we throw in Cannes together with our magnificent friends MassiveMusic. It’s where we celebrate and/or commiserate the Cannes results with clients, friends and family.