Interview with Head of Advertising at Dog Digital, Adrian Jeffery

Dog Digital is a full-service creative agency that uses the very latest technology to create contemporary communications for brands and businesses. Established in 1996, the agency has offices in London, Glasgow and Singapore, and has produced numerous advertising films for clients including VisitScotland, Aberdeen Asset Management and Baillie Gifford. Head of Advertising, Adrian Jeffery speaks to us about the benefits of film within advertising and offers advice to upcoming directors.

ASFF: When producing a film, what things do you consider?
AJ: First, you remember that it is advertising. So we consider all of the usual commercial considerations: who is it for; what is the single message you want your audience to take away after watching your film; what they should do next. Then, obviously you focus on finding the best director, production company and film technique to bring your script to life.

ASFF: What are the benefits of a film over print for advertising?
AJ: Advertising films allow you to tell stories more easily. The narratives can unfold, they can also carry an element of surprise. And film allows you to heighten the power of emotion and grab attention. You have music and voices to add extra layers of feeling and to create a connection with the audience. We are also living in a world where, increasingly, visuals are seen as more powerful shortcuts to share messages than words (there are no long copy ads any more). The world is more global now too, and as a result film and imagery is used to speak a more global language.

ASFF: What advice would you give to filmmakers starting out?
AJ: The best thing to do is to keep telling stories and to be original at all costs. It is also important to have an opinion and to stand for something. Make the most of the freedom you have now, to have total control over your vision. With bigger budgets (and other people’s money) there are more compromises.

ASFF: Are there any people working in advertising at the moment that we should look out for?
AJ: I go to short film festivals to find new talent to replace the people who inevitably, if they are good, leave advertising to make feature films. So rather than talking about people who are going to leave I’d rather look for people who can fill their shoes. So I would say: “Are there any people in short films who I should be looking out for, for advertising?”

ASFF: Do you have a favourite advert, or one that has particularly stuck with you?
AJ: I have lots of favourite film ads from different decades but here are three that I particularly love for the power of their one single simple idea:
VW Beetle: Snowplough
The Guardian: Points of view
Metro trains Melbourne: Dumb ways to die

For more information on Dog Digital visit www.dogdigital.com.

Credits
1. Film courtesy of Dog Digital.