Some local entrepreneurs still believe that marketing professionals abroad offer a better value for money product when it comes to high-end productions. But local agencies beg to differ. David Darmanin visits ‘Brand X’, an event set up purposely to drive this point home
“Ironically, the biggest problem faced by the communications industry is that it does not itself communicate,” said Lighthouse Communications CEO Roderick Muscat Monsigneur while guiding a tour to an audio-visual exhibition he organised at St James’ Cavalier in collaboration with audio and video services company Studio Seven.
Communications agencies seldom organise marketing initiatives for themselves, but it seems that when they do, no penny is spared.
The two companies have come together to create the event in a bid to promote local proficiency in marketing communications, as “a number of clients tend to favour more expensive, and inferior-quality jobs done abroad”.
“In this space, we intend showing Maltese clients what we are capable of, and that we very easily match European and international standards at far cheaper rates,” Muscat Monsigneur explained. “This has been recognised by the numerous foreign companies that invest in our services here, while sadly, some local businesses do not take advantage of such opportunities.”
Lighthouse and Studio Seven have gone all out in flaunting their creative skills at St James’ Cavalier this week.
A fictitious product, ‘Brand X’, was created to take a central role in the theme of the event. In order to accentuate the product’s1950s glitzy identity - a reception room (with plush red leather sofas, 1950s posters in baroque frames, a functional flipper and a popcorn machine) was set up in one of the exhibition rooms. Voluptuous hostesses greet guests with wine and snacks, while suit and red-tie clad company executives make the introductions to a one-hour tour of the space.
In the next room, a miniature cinema is set up to show a video documentary on Brand X, explaining the process of brand building from start to finish using the fictitious product as an example.
“What you are about to see is very David Lynch(ish),” said one of the members of the production team, anxious to see what reactions the production would evoke. A spatial theme reminiscent of the film Star Wars is used for the introduction of the documentary. It then switches to an upbeat commentary to cartoon visuals in 1950s Americana style.
In the next room, three screen projections are set up – one facing a board table and the other two at right angles from the main screen, facing each other. Executives from Lighthouse and Studio Seven meet guests in this room to exhibit their work portfolio on the giant screens, running clips of their TV advertising spots and other edited footage of processes leading to jobs they were commissioned to undertake.
The exhibition is available for viewing privately and while “the initial target of appointments for viewing was of 55 in one week, the number now shot up to 85. Nonetheless, interested parties may call us to see if we can fit in a time for viewing,” Muscat Monsigneur said.
The event runs until Friday.
To book an appointment for a private viewing contact Lighthouse on Tel: 21 387 900.