May 25, 2022

HOW TO MEET YOUR NET ZERO GOALS WITH “DIGITAL-FIRST” CONTENT

Consumers, retailers and brands are paying more attention to making sustainable choices. In fact, 40% of the UK population during the 2021 COP26 Summit listed the climate crisis and sustainability as one of the top-three issues facing the country. There’s no surprise then that so many brands are championing sustainable products - and let’s face it - If it matters to your consumers, then it should matter to you. 

From product sourcing and manufacturing, to packaging and transportation, to reducing returns and packaging/unnecessary waste. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to boosting your carbon credentials. 

However, digital services, media planning and content production are often overlooked in terms of their impact on the environment. 

FACT: Did you know that the operational CO2 emissions from the UK's ad industry is estimated to exceed 84,000 tonnes per year!

Keep reading as we discuss the role that brands, creative and media agencies have to play in helping brands to meet the 2030 net zero goal. We’ll outline how CGI is a better, greener and faster approach to advertising than traditional content production. We’ll also highlight a few examples of how ‘digital-first’ content can create a more sustainable future.

THE TENSION BETWEEN SAVING PROFIT AND THE PLANET

According to a recent article from McKinsey there’s a big behavioural gap between what people say they care about - and what people are actually willing to do. 

Typically, more sustainable means more expensive. Yet, “48% of consumers know they should care more about the environment through their purchasing habits” – but convenience wins over the cost every time. 

So, in the end - who needs to pick up the bill? Who does this responsibility to invest in sustainability fall onto? The manufacturers and retail brands themselves, not the end consumer. 

…There’s a catch 22 scenario where brands and retailers need to find a way to reduce their carbon footprint, without sacrificing profitability. How? 

We believe ‘digital-first’ content production is the answer. 

OUR ROLE TO PLAY

We play a critical role in reducing carbon emissions as a direct result of the vast number of adverts and images we produce every year in collaboration with our clients. All the work we produce at CCW is ‘digital-first’ and by its nature it’s more sustainable than traditional production methods. 

At CCW, we believe now’s the time to think differently about all aspects of content production… 

WHY CGI IS BETTER, GREENER + CHEAPER

CGI FILM REMOVES THE NEED FOR MOST IN-PERSON FILM SHOOTS

Tech that was once reserved for Hollywood blockbusters is now practical and affordable for most aspects of brand content creation, reducing the need for in-person shoots.

Rendering products using CGI and virtual production rather than shooting films from life - saves on costs but is also far better for the planet. There’s no need to ship products to a physical location, in the UK or abroad, cutting down on transport and unnecessary CO2 emissions. Also, the financial implications and restraints of studio hire, available time and production staff are no longer factors to consider… 

With CGI you no longer have the hassle and costs of:

CGI allows you to create hyper-realistic product renders (in a virtual environment) using remote, collaborative working – from this you can create photorealistic imagery (for roomsets, product advertising, key visuals and animation) that are indistinguishable from the real thing - without having to manufacture a thing – all from the comfort of your own home. 

Our 3D Artists and Art Directors use all the tricks of the trade to compose beautiful content, using virtual cameras to control shutter speed, focus and aperture just as you would with traditional photography. Don't just take our word for it, here's our showreel showcases what's possible with virtual and hybrid content production:

What's more, there’s no restraint in terms of time. Missed a shot? Screwed up the lighting? Weather was poor? … Your staff or stylists didn’t turn up? There’s no need to rearrange the shoot. 

These costly mistakes are avoidable using CGI technology. 

Saving the pennies, and the planet.

DIGITAL DOUBLES ARE MORE VERSATILE AND SUSTAINABLE THAN PHOTOSHOOTS 

Whilst the initial outlay for CGI production might be more expensive, your final CG assets or digital doubles live forever as digital assets that can be used for multiple shots, adverts and across all marketing channels. Making it a more sustainable content production choice, and the economies of scale make it much more affordable too. 

Unlike ‘fast-fashion’ or “fast-advertising”, once you’ve invested in CGI, your assets last a lifetime. 

DREAMS PRODUCE 60% MORE CONTENT, FOR LESS

Don’t just take our word for it. In our latest case study, Dreams showcase how we helped them to completely switch their product imagery from traditional photography to digital-first production using CGI. 

Speaking of CCW’s work, Simon Moore, Director of Marketing & Media at Dreams, said: “We produce over 4,000 images per year, and needed a new approach. Logistics to physically shoot are not easy with big beds, transporting from one location to the next, but with Creative Content Works the solution was significantly more cost efficient. Additionally, it provided agility and the ability to produce multiple looks with ease.”

If you want to learn more about the benefits of CGI vs. traditional photography then take a look at our “CGI vs Photography Benefits” infographic.  

THE FUTURE. DELIVERED TODAY

CCW CLIMATE PLEDGE

“We believe images speak louder than words. Equally, actions speak even louder…We’re committed to ensuring that the content we create and the processes we use are as sustainable and future-proof as possible. 

The climate crisis isn’t a problem that’s going to hit us tomorrow. It’s a problem now. Our industry can no longer create content, films and advertising in the same manner as we have done before without regard for the future impact on the environment. 

At CCW we can’t deny (despite our ethos and content production methods being more sustainable than traditional methods) that our virtual production methods leave an impact on the environment. Looking to the future, we’re exploring ways to act now and make a difference by offsetting our carbon footprint, for a better, greener future. More to be revealed in the coming weeks!”

– James McVitie, Managing Director at CCW

WORKING WITH CCW TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

If you’d like to explore how we can make your product imagery stills, motion and creative advertising campaigns more sustainable, get in touch. We can help you move to a ‘digital-first’ or hybrid approach that’s better for the planet, future-proof and more profitable in the long run. 

INFOGRAPHIC: HOW DIGITAL CONTENT PRODUCTION CAN REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

In our next blog, we’ll explore a typical content production journey with a step-by-step cost comparison between digital-first / traditional production methods. Check back soon!

USEFUL REFERENCES / FURTHER READING

Ad Net Zero - https://adassoc.org.uk/ad-net-zero/

Green Shoot - https://www.greenshoot.com/green-screen

eConsultancy - eCommerce Brands Grappling with Sustainability Challenges and Have an Opportunity to Stand Out 

ABOUT CREATIVE CONTENT WORKS

Creative Content Works is THE technology-driven creative production company. We bridge the "agency-gap" by combining creative ideas, technology and sustainable content production. 

With an impressive roster of clients including John Lewis, JD Sports, The White Company, Next, Magnet, Dreams, and Funkin’ Cocktails, we help brands to keep up with creative evolution and digitally transform at scale. 

CCW has a simple philosophy… produce amazing content, at speed and scale, delivered by experts.

THE UK’S FIRST NET ZERO CONTENT PRODUCTION BUSINESS

We believe images speak louder than words. Equally, actions speak even louder…We’re committed to ensuring that the content we create and the processes we use are as sustainable and future-proof as possible.

SUSTAINABLE CONTENT. WITHOUT COMPROMISE 

Unlike ‘fast-fashion’ or “fast-advertising”, once you’ve invested in digital-first assets using CGI, your assets last a lifetime. They can be recycled and reused across all your channels (online, in print and soon the metaverse). Need a new look? They can be rehashed for future campaigns. Keeping your content fresh and on-trend… The possibilities are endless! 

If you can imagine it, we can make it.

For more information visit the CCW website: www.creativecontent.works