Business showcase
Creative Quarter, January 2014

Creative Quarter is Nottingham’s flagship project for Nottingham’s economic growth. Following Studio Output’s recent expansion into China, Managing Director Michelle Jamieson provided her perspective on how the Nottingham studio would continue to develop with thanks to the Nottingham Growth Plan initiative.

The legacy of the Beijing Olympics combined with a spectacular internet viral campaign has launched ambitious Nottingham creative business, Studio Output, into the booming Chinese marketplace.

The growing company, benefitting from Nottingham Growth Plan initiatives, was commissioned to provide a spectacular digital backdrop for a huge cultural show staged in the Chinese capital’s 91,000-seat Birds Nest Olympic stadium.

Michelle Jamieson, who heads Studio Output’s operation in the city, said: “Part of China’s Olympic legacy pledge was cultural use for the stadium.”

“The client, Nestyle, saw a viral we’d created for the Sony Entertainment Network to promote movies and they loved it. They came to us and asked us to create and deliver the concepts for the digital backdrop to the stage.”

“It was a major undertaking and a major contract for us and proved to be our breakthrough in China.”

The company is a “multi-disciplinary agency, where ideas come first”, working in areas including image-making, strategy, branding, design, campaigns and art direction. One of the Nottingham’s Growth 100 companies, the business was launched 11 years ago by Rob Coke, Dan Moore and Ian Hambleton. All remain with the business as creative directors and partners.

Now Studio Output boasts offices in Beijing, London and in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter on Broadway, employing 35 people, seven of them in Nottingham, with two more likely to taken on next year.

The company last year created the re-envisioned Glastonbury identity for the BBC, The One Campaign’s Agit8 projection on Tate Britain and Ellie Goulding’s No.1 Music Video “Burn”.

Jamieson welcomes the development of Nottingham’s Cultural Quarter as part of the city council’s ten year Growth Plan. She said: “Things are starting to move now, which is great. It helps to promote the sector in the eyes of the rest of the country and the world and it hopefully makes the city more attractive to come to and invest in, which will, in turn, help in recruiting the best people.”

Studio Output sees moving image as core to its creative future and is looking towards further possible acquisitions, having snapped up London moving image studio, The Found Collective, early this year.

It is also looking at potential expansion into further emerging markets, after its success in China.

Studio Output said the acquisition and move into China has had an impact on growth targets for the year “as we need to integrate these teams into the new group and consolidate our position.” That means, the business is targeting a turnover of around £3 million in 2012-13, rising to £4 million in the UK and £400,000 in China.

In 2014-15 Studio Output (UK group) is forecasting a UK turnover of approximately £6 million, with the China operation looking at £1m. Studio Output’s UK clients include Speedo in Nottingham, the BBC, Sony Music and Ministry of Sound with – Durex, Hyatt and Greenpeace among those in China.

In mid-November, it launched a major awareness-raising campaign in the fight against sexually transmitted diseases for Durex in conjunction with MTV. The company was charged with the branding, strategy, design, event management and implementation of the entire ‘Someone Like Me’ campaign across digital channels, targeting young audiences wherever they socialise and connect.

Nottingham’s Growth 100 scheme was launched by Nottingham City Council under its Growth Plan with The University of Nottingham to provide businesses with practical advice through specific themed workshops and also mentoring from business experts.

Jamieson said it had proved an invaluable opportunity for Studio Output to benefit from expert, and motivational speakers across a whole range of business sectors.

She said: “It has been exceptionally useful to meet a cross-section of business leaders from different industries and gain advice on commercial challenges, as well as dedicated professional learning and support provided by the course lecturers.”

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