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Anatomy of an Ad podcast: Rankin spills all about taking on adland’s traditional agencies

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By Amy Houston | Reporter

October 3, 2022 | 4 min read

In this week’s episode of The Drum’s Anatomy of an Ad podcast, we hear from world-renowned photographer Rankin about what it has been like launching his own agency.

Rankin01

In conversation with world-renowned photographer Rankin / Rankin Creative

As a photographer, Rankin has shot some of the world’s most famous faces, including Kate Moss, Madonna and even the late Queen Elizabeth II. And in a career that has so far spanned more than three decades, he has also launched magazines, published photobooks, been a familiar face on TV and, more recently, started an agency – Rankin Creative – where all of his creative outputs come together.

“What we do is create cultural content,” he tells The Drum’s Anatomy of an Ad podcast. “It cuts through the noise and has the ability to really touch the audience, to connect.”

Rankin saw a gap in the market to cater to a new ‘always-on’ audience, which marked the starting point for his own agency: tapping into new technology, listening to those using it and treating them like people rather than consumers.

“We don’t talk about ‘consumers‘. That word is very old-fashioned. Most brands that think of ‘consumers’ are living in the past.”

With his own agency, the aim has been to unravel the old ways of working and bring everything from account handling to production in-house – this, he says, allows you to produce campaigns very quickly and to a higher standard.

“We work so fast and reflect that digital-first approach. I could see the traditional approach from the traditional agencies was always going to lose out. Fashion was where I thought there would be a big gap because I could see that the mono, singular view of a few images every three to six months wasn’t going to work. They [brands] were going to need content and great creative.”

To listen to the full interview and hear more about Rankin’s experiences of the ad industry so far, tune in to this week’s installment of the Anatomy of an Ad podcast.

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