Shuttlerock formalizes global expansion plans

Business has won briefs from major global clients during Covid-19 looking to create personalised social assets efficiently and at scale.

New Zealand-headquartered firm Shuttlerock, which produces and optimises video creative for social platforms, claims to have witnessed "exponential" growth during Covid-19 and is now formalising its structure with the creation of a global client team.

The video advertising company was founded in Nelson, New Zealand in 2011 by Jonny Hendriksen to provide brands and agencies with rapid-turnaround, mobile-optimised ads. 

But it only recently "took off" after becoming an official partner of major platforms Facebook and Instagram from 2017. This year, Shuttlerock added six more partnerships in Google, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, Hulu and Twitter.

Through these partnerships, Shuttlerock has attracted the attention of global multinationals, including Nestle, Procter & Gamble, McDonald's and Carlsberg, for which it produces social ads.

In order to better serve these clients, the firm is now establishing a global client group in which individuals will be assigned to oversee one big multinational per region, rather than requiring each staffer to have knowledge of the entire client portfolio. This structure was first established in Asia-Pacific earlier this year with three client leads, and is now expanding to EMEA and the US.

Specifically, Shuttlerock has today (November 30) announced the appointment Angela Solk as the company’s North America head of global clients. Solk, who was previously the global head of agency partnerships at Spotify, will oversee North America efforts for P&G and Unilever. Solk's appointment follows that of Darren Jacobs as global client partner, working on P&G, Unilever and Nestle in the UK. Jacobs was previously vice president of international for Nugit. The global client group reports into global chief business officer Scott McBride.

McBride joined Shuttlerock in June 2019 from his prior role as chief digital officer of IPG Mediabrands. The ad agency veteran, who has held stints at Ogilvy, Verticurl and Neo@Ogilvy in Hong Kong, currently leads Shuttlerock's relationships with global clients and agencies from Singapore.

In an interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific, McBride says Shuttlerock's growth has been "exponential" during Covid-19 as online consumption has accelerated and advertisers are looking for economical ways to take advantage of this shift.

The company offers advertisers the ability to input any kind of base element—from a static image to a 16x9 TV campaign—and receive dynamic motion graphic-based video ads optimised for individual digital platforms. As well as optimising the ads for each platform, brands can also request assets to be personalised around audience segments. The assets are created by a team of in-house designers who form the Shuttlerock Studio. Turnaround times for the assets range from 72 hours to five days. The base level cost for a six-second video in Asia is US$700.

The concept of turning static images into mobile-optimised video ads is not a new one. Several social platforms already offer advertisers the ability to turn static images into basic video campaigns. Software firms like Celtra provide pre-defined templates for creative production at scale. Shuttlerock is looking to occupy "the sweet spot between absolute flexibility and creativity at speed, but using technology to scale exponentially and keep the price down".

"We've got this nice little niche, where we're not a creative agency, and we don't want to be a template house either, because it looks rubbish, it doesn't have the same beauty and craft. If you're the likes of a Coca-Cola, you don't want templates because you believe in craft and brand and storytelling. We have the ability to create volume at a good price and speed," McBride says.

The company employs around 200 staff worldwide and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, London, Berlin, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Auckland and its hometown of Nelson. It has raised US$9.8 million in funding to date, according to Crunchbase, and is aiming for billion-dollar status.

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