July 28, 2023
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Spotlighting Digital Marketing Content with Framework Studio

Anna Keizer
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Digital marketing content has become an integral part of promotion for entertainment studios, networks, and brands. 

With social media a mainstay of connecting people with entertainment, digital marketing and social media marketing services have only grown in demand for film, television, live entertainment, sports events, and more.

Framework Studio is here to supply that demand. Wrapbook recently spoke with Framework to discuss its evolution as a premier creative agency and production house that provides digital marketing services to clients such as Disney, Fox, Netflix, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Universal, Warner Bros, and more.

Meet Framework Studio

Founder and Managing Partner George Cawood began Framework Studio in 2004 as a motion graphics company with a focus on production needs. Trailer graphics and opening title sequences, for example. Over the course of Framework’s almost 20-year span of work, though, that work has evolved.

Framework’s President, CEO, and Executive Producer Rajan Patel came on board and “identified quickly that graphics were changing.” Social media, streaming, portable entertainment via cell phones and tablets… Changing technology and consumer interests over the last several decades have altered the landscape of entertainment. 

To ensure that Framework would continue to thrive in this ever-evolving industry, George and Rajan decided to turn the ship to “focus primarily on entertainment marketing and brand development.” 

This pivot provided them with an opportunity to expand upon a sector of the content market in which they had already been working. Moreover, they could focus their time and resources more directly on the growing demand for digital marketing services across the industry. 

What has now become a prominent part of Framework’s scope of expertise can be seen in the videos that follow, which highlight their work on films and television shows such as Barbie, Asteroid City, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, The Bear, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Entering the world of digital marketing content

Even from its earliest days – when social media marketing was not yet a staple of the industry – Framework was already trailblazing a path to it through its work for clients in the electronic press kit (EPK) space.

George notes that it was a “natural evolution” of their work, as Framework "had a small division where we would do behind-the-scenes work for clients…We already had a foot in the live production space.”

While post-production was a fundamental part of Framework’s work from the very beginning, George notes that their own interests likewise made for an instinctive shift into digital marketing.

George states, “I was always passionate about production, being on set, and shooting.”

Between those interests and the company’s experience and proficiency in doing EPK and behind-the-scenes work, they kept getting more opportunities to do so. Eventually, it all converged and led to their reputation as a go-to digital marketing agency.

Finding digital marketing opportunities

Even as a growing yet busy digital marketing company, competition for work is ever present. Framework’s willingness to evolve with the changing entertainment landscape was one key factor in their rapid social media marketing success. But what else played a factor in it? 

Getting started

The importance of nurturing relationships is true across all sectors of entertainment, and Framework’s swift success in the digital marketing space is an example of it.

“We’re very fortunate that the direction we chose for this company happened to be where the relationships were,” Rajan notes.

Framework had established connections with their clients, which worked to their advantage via the natural shift and changeover seen across all parts of the industry.

George adds, “We’ve always had a core group of clients who come from the world of entertainment marketing… What happens is that those people move around. They go to another network or studio.” 

Because Framework has always prioritized maintaining robust relationships with their clients, those people would keep coming back to them with new work.

Framework is always open to new opportunities and marketing themselves to new clients. However, from the strong professional connections they’ve built and a portfolio that speaks for itself,

“The majority of [our work] is word of mouth, referrals, and people seeing our work.”

Tackling new territory

With the growth of demand for digital marketing services across all brands and industries, so too has Framework’s reach as a social media marketing company.

Rajan explains, “Now we have more of a traditional agency approach with our account executives who are bringing their relationships… We were able to overnight build an amazing sports division that focuses on integrated sports content, as well as athlete direct and sports brand direct work while maintaining and growing our network, studio, and streamer [work].”

This growth also extends to more possibilities for content from Framework – from streaming specials to television series to film – as well as live experiential events. In fact, just this year Framework announced their merger with Core Creative Labs to further their reach in providing marketing and experiential content across various industries.

Again, Framework’s ability to see where the world of entertainment is heading and capitalize on it has allowed them to not only stay competitive among their industry peers but also become leaders of them.

Collaborating on digital marketing projects

George and Rajan both note that Framework’s social media marketing services often entail a very collaborative process with both their clients and talent they may be working with on a project. Given the many mediums through which their clients highlight their digital marketing work, though, it also frequently involves intense work schedules.

A comprehensive approach

George elaborates that a studio might tell them that they will provide access to the cast for a movie for a day or two “to create as much content as possible to promote the film.” Some of what Framework shoots with them may go on air, have a tie-in with the network, or be specifically for social media.

George and Rajan mention that this often means the creation of a script book – which is sometimes hundreds of pages in length – with a range of different social media marketing content ideas.

Keeping the work fresh

Over the years, part of the collaborative process with clients has meant an evolution for all involved regarding what works and what doesn’t. 

With Framework’s growing expertise in making digital marketing content, they could better understand who their audience was for each project and what they would gravitate toward.  That has also meant tailoring the specific needs of each project with the right creatives and digital marketing strategy experts.

Rajan explains, “We try to bring in a lot of fresh bodies and fresh minds. The person who may be awesome at editing, writing, and creating that horror spot may not be the person you want doing your drama spot. We bring in fresh takes and fresh approaches… That has been a big part of the development at Framework.”

Yet they’re never tied to a single methodology. As always, fluidity and flexibility are key to Framework’s success. 

Says George, “It can also be good to have someone who’s not necessarily so deep in the weeds in a genre come at it because they might have the oddball idea that stands out. If they’re not a horror guy, but you put them on a horror project… Seeing something as an outsider can sometimes be really helpful.”

All to say, the way Framework approaches collaboration as a digital marketing agency means being open to not only what strategies work well externally with clients but also who is the best person internally for a particular project.

Working together toward innovation

But when it comes down to it, just how much creative freedom does Framework get on a project?

Rajan answers, “Sometimes they have an idea. Sometimes they have just a spark, and we have to make a wildfire out of it.”

An example of the creativity that can come out of collaborative process with a client and talent is a fake 30 for 30-esque ESPN piece that George creative directed with the cast of Zombieland: Double Tap and ESPN CreativeWorks.

The initial premise was a retrospective of sorts that highlighted Woody Harrelson’s character, Tallahassee, as the world’s best zombie hunter. The piece was interspersed with interviews with other cast members also in character, as well as sports commentator Scott Van Pelt in this faux post-apocalyptic world.

ESPN's internal agency, the filmmakers, and Framework all collaborated on the creative for the project. However, given that the actors knew their characters better than anyone else, they too were given the opportunity to give input on the script.

What resulted was a hilarious, brilliantly executed piece.

Overcoming the complexities of digital marketing content

As Framework began providing social media marketing services, George and Rajan note that there was an education involved for everyone, talent included.

A learning curve had by all

At times the actors for a project would be sent to them with no idea of why they were there or what they were doing.

George states, “We tried really hard to educate the talent in the early days of getting into this of what we wanted to do and how to make it fun and collaborative.” 

His example of the ESPN CreativeWorks/Zombieland: Double Tap project is a perfect example of how Framework gets the talent involved. By listening to and incorporating their ideas, Framework gives the actors of each project creative agency and assurance that they are being shown in their best light.

What was once a challenge as a digital marketing company has actually turned into an asset. George and Rajan explain that some of their longstanding client relationships have come through previous projects with talent who now specifically request them for new opportunities.

“That’s something that we’re pretty proud of,” George adds.

Leading colleagues and collaborators

Given the growth of digital marketing, Rajan notes that Framework often works with the social media marketing departments of their clients.

“With how big the publicity departments have gotten at the studios and how big the content creation departments have gotten… You start working with all these various arms… Our specialty has become getting that institutional knowledge and implementing best practices, maybe helping a younger department as far as experience goes into maturing like a well-oiled machine through our interactions with them.”

To ensure that Framework creates a smooth and successful collaborative process with their clients, they have streamlined their own in-house practices. That being said, the digital marketing company still embraces varied approaches according to the needs of each project.

“We continue to use experience, technology, and the reality of production – timing, resources, etc. – to dictate how long and how deeply we can go into a project.”

Rolling with production hiccups

And though Framework’s evolution as a digital marketing company has been a successful one, their earliest work in the post-production space continues to be a resource in the present day.

George remarks, “One of our strengths has been knowing the post world and knowing what we can fix… We have a very robust post team and a lot of great editors who know tricks and a visual effects team.”

In part what has helped Framework be so successful in digital marketing strategy is not isolating production from editorial or editorial from visual effects. Rather, they execute their digital marketing services in a fully integrated manner from the outset of every project.

Exploring where digital marketing content can go

With the recent launch of Threads, it’s clear that digital marketing services and its subset of social media marketing services will continue to be in demand. So what does that mean for Framework and its future?

Leaning into technology

Rajan answers, “What’s great about production companies like Framework is being able to push the creative boundaries of what’s possible and really think outside the box… People want highly produced, intelligent content. Our goal is to continue to elevate content and keep authenticity in it.”

He adds that the growth of content creation is made possible through technology, applications, and software like Wrapbook.

With Wrapbook, Rajan notes that a digital marketing agency like Framework can “set it and forget it” and use the time once necessary for running payroll on elevating the creative, production value, and scope of their projects.

Working with emerging creatives

Evolving technology – the rise and prominence of social media included – has become a part of everyday life for younger generations. With it, the gap between traditional entertainment like film and television and the digital marketing content that supports it is closing. Those generations are now becoming filmmakers and creatives themselves who see the intrinsic importance of having a digital marketing strategy for their projects.

George states, “There’s a new generation of filmmakers who understand the value of social media… They see the value of integrating our work into the machine of what’s going on… It’s a good thing for us because it allows us to be more creative. That brings a lot of opportunity.”

While they still occasionally cross paths with those filmmakers who don’t own a cell phone, Framework is seeing more and more creatives who enthusiastically want to participate in the making of social media marketing content.

Evolving with the industry

With two decades of experience and success under their belt, Framework exemplifies how to thrive in an entertainment landscape that can dramatically change from one year to the next. 

The company identified early on the growing importance of digital marketing content and embraced it as a part of their overall scope of work. By doing so, Framework has shown how to stay dynamic and resilient across film, television, streaming, live entertainment, and beyond – because it will only be a matter of time before the next “big thing” comes along. 

And when it does, Framework will be there to welcome  and create new opportunities from it.

Wrapping up

A big thank you to George Cawood and Rajan Patel of Framework Studio for taking the time to talk with us.

Wrapbook is fortunate to work with multiple creative agency, digital marketing agency, and production company powerhouses to facilitate the incredible work they do. Check out what some of our commercial clients have been up to lately.

Disclaimer

At Wrapbook, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding free resources to producers and their crews, but this post is for informational purposes only as of the date above. The content on our website is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for legal, accounting, or tax advice.  You should consult with your own legal, accounting, or tax advisors to determine how this general information may apply to your specific circumstances.

About the author
Anna Keizer

Anna Keizer originally hails from the Chicagoland area. After receiving her B.A. in Film/Video from Columbia College Chicago, she moved to California and finished her M.A. in Film Studies from Chapman University. She has also graduated from UCLA’s Writing for Television Professional Program and is currently in post-production on the short She Had It Coming, which she wrote and is executive producing.

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