Rankin launches creative agency, industry heavyweights and key brands are on board
Rankin, the globally famous photographer, is morphing into Rankin the brand and has opened a creative agency pulling together his existing creative activities and expanding on them.
Called simply Rankin (but spelt in capitals), it’s an operation that’s an amalgamation of the independent photographers agency Tonic Reps, ad agency The Full Service, plus Rankin Photography and Rankin Film.
As well as being a film and photography studio, the new operation is also all about ideas generation, editorial content, brand identity, talent management and start-to-finish production.
The one-stop-shop has a staff of 80 and also has leading industry players Richard Pinder (formerly of Publicis Groupe and Crispin Porter) as CEO, and Christine Jones (who was previously at Ogilvy & Mather and WPP) as Executive Creative Director.
The Rankin agency officially launches this month but has already completed work for big names including Samsonite, Unilever and Rolls-Royce.
Pinder said: “That’s what Rankin is about — taking [his] reputation as a cultural provocateur and providing that same creative agitation for brands that need to cut through all the media clutter.” And Jones added: “This goes beyond providing creative ideas. It’s about helping to make brands freshly relevant to a complex world that, frankly, needs to be impressed to pay any attention.”
SHAKING THINGS UP
Rankin told Fashionnetwork.com that it’s an interesting time to launch such a business but it’s a moment when brands need such a concept. “Now is exactly when we should be offering something new,” he said. “The world is changing faster than ever, and building or sustaining brands that really matter to audiences is way harder than ever before. Especially when those audiences are quite rightly worried about climate, government, their security, honesty and so on. The most interesting businesses flourish or have been born in difficult times.”
But is it truly different? He believes it is and said that “we constantly hear from our clients that [our] approach is unique. We have spent the last 30 years thinking about what’s next. Instinctively, we live in the future and that helps brands fit into tomorrow’s culture, to find their place there and to live there in a relevant and interesting way.”
And he feels that as an agency with a huge team of creatives, he can magnify what he’s been able to do on his own. “Rankin is a cultural provocateur, he’s never been afraid to tell people the truth or predict the future,” he explained. “Rankin the agency is an entire company of cultural provocateurs, who want to be part of the changing the world. We’re not afraid of the new, or how to talk to an audience. Who the fuck else does that?”
And the focus is very much on creativity, so it’s hoped that brands will really buy into that. “Standing up and creating culture is absolutely a definition of creativity. That might feel frightening for a brand, but the audience knows it’s normal and welcomes it,” Rankin added.
As mentioned, the company has already hit the ground running with its most recent piece of work being for the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Featuring Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, it wasn’t what we’d expect from a luxury car brand.
“We have broken almost all the rules of how a Rolls-Royce is perceived and yet the audience accepted it, loved it and told us we could have gone further,” Rankin said. “Also we’ve sold more Phantoms. I’m sure we could do that for more brands.”
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