Unified Content: An end-to-end solution model

The new Toronto studio hopes to offer a full end-to-end service for brands and agencies

Unified’s executive producers Michi Lepik-Stahl and Laurie Kerr Jones each bring more than 20 years of experience to the table.

A mere six months into its existence, and Unified Content has already racked up the frequent flyer miles. Since its October 2018 launch the Toronto-based production-and-post studio has traveled to 16 different countries and traversed Canada for its work with brands like RBC, Lincoln and WestJet.

Businesses today are inundated with a need to produce high-quality content quickly and efficiently, says executive producer Laurie Kerr Jones. To keep up with the changing demand, Unified Content is hoping to carve out a unique approach to help advertising agencies achieve their brands’ goals.

She points to recent work the studio did with DDB and VW. The English and French spots combat various misconceptions around the cost of owning a Volkswagen, with the tag “Just the facts with Justin Facts.” Working with director Tom Feiler and editor Peter Miller, the creative takes a comedic look at the everything from the car co’s Prepaid Maintenance Plan, to the fact that Volkswagen offers warranty coverage that’s 33% longer. VW needed four high-production value social spots, and to help manage overhead, Unified handled everything from production through to delivery on the campaign, which launched in early February.

“Agencies need to deliver such a wide range of content for their clients on faster timelines and smaller budgets, and new models are required to meet these challenges and make these projects happen,” she says.

The shop’s approach is relatively straight-forward: Agencies can tap Unified for specific needs (such as photography or direction) or for a full end-to-end production solution (from line- to post-production). And unlike most studios, a single producer will work with a client throughout the process, which means there’s no hand off between the pre- and post-work being completed, says Kerr Jones.

WestJet_IcelandBlueSanta (1)

Unified ventured to 16 different countries to create 25 videos for WestJet’s holiday calendar campaign.

“The traditional model tends to start with a line producer, who takes on the production side. Once the footage is delivered, it’s handed to an edit house, where a post producer oversees it,” she says.

“That works well for some people, but we think a more streamlined approach will be more efficient. This model also makes sure that the content is living up to the standards demanded by the client – there’s nothing lost in translation along the pipeline.”

The studio has a well-rounded roster of directors, photographers and editors, says executive producer Michi Lepik-Stahl.

“We love to surround ourselves with amazing talent,” she says.

With an in-house staff of 15, Unified has everything from editors and animators to technical assistants to producers. The production-and-post house has a collection of camera equipment, a small shooting studio available on site, as well as a couple of multi-purpose suites (editorial, audio and colour correction) – and the plan is to grow its post-production capabilities, says Lepik-Stahl.

“Everybody talks about integrated production, and that’s what we can offer,” she says. “Our vision is to truly be ‘Unified.’”


Laurie kerr Jones
Executive Producer