Agency: London Graphic Systems Ltd

MullenLowe Group is a creatively driven global marketing communications group with an international client list that ranges from luxury brands with centuries of tradition to 21st century internet behemoths, from charities to cruise lines, and from automobile manufacturers to furniture and fashion outlets. It employs 6400 people in over 65 markets and offers integrated creative services, a behaviour-driven activation brand, a full service globally-integrated digital marketing agency and a 350-person media shop.

Creating and managing digital assets, whether for print, web, mobile or TV, is always a challenge. When the clients and campaigns are global, that challenge of sharing, reviewing approving and distributing assets in the correct format is multiplied considerably.

MullenLowe wanted a centralised digital asset management (DAM) solution for one of its major global clients, which had a strict set of requirements. The solution had to to be easy to both configure and use, yet robust enough to handle being accessed from more than 10 agency locations and by more than 100 people each week, including the client’s staff. They required 24/7 System availability that needed to be able to support users in different time zones, with full backup and fail-over capability to provide a seamless service.

Security and legal compliance were also critical factors; a completely configurable file storage structure was essential, but it had to be accessible via a single sign-on and without compromising the security established by MullenLowe’s IT environment.

In addition to the uploading and downloading of assets – the DAM needed to offer strong reporting tools and the ability for it to be branded with the appropriate corporate brand assets was also very important.

MullenLowe looked at a variety of potential solutions – from larger systems to offerings from smaller developers, while also initiating a discussion with LGS with a view to benefiting from the latter’s expertise in DAM and workflow. LGS worked collaboratively with MullenLowe to better understand their needs, and after exploring several different solutions, it was agreed that Third Light was the best fit. This led to a pilot scheme being set up by LGS to prove and fine-tune the process, after which the Third Light DAM was placed into live production.

Commenting on the decision to work with LGS, Aggy Kouzos, Regional Technology Director, EMEA said:

”LGS stood out because they fully understood our needs, but importantly, also understood our business. LGS’s knowledge of the culture and processes employed within an ad agency were a great help in being able to run a successful pilot of Third Light and then to actually implement it.”

Enhanced collaboration

The adoption of Third Light has helped move the players involved with the project to a more structured way of dealing with asset creation and distribution and also influenced how client collaboration is conducted.

“Moving away from numerous emails and the use of FTP services to discuss assets and then distribute them has been very beneficial,” confirms Aggy Kouzos.

Thanks to LGS’s integration, the benefits are many. In security terms, the ability to link both MullenLowe and client staff into the firm’s security structure means that MullenLowe can manage users’ access levels and asset sharing from one simple interface. If a user leaves and is deleted from the security register, they are automatically deleted from the Third Light system.

Third Light’s advanced search capability, which reaches down to text level within documents, has significantly speeded up users’ searches. Previously, users had to rely on file names and metadata being up to date, but now they can search via multiple attributes, such as image orientation, file size or format.

Metadata management was improved too, as Third Light ensures that users add all the required metadata on upload, so that no assets can be added with inadequate tagging. MullenLowe was able to customise the mandatory fields to ensure that no asset could be added without the minimum required information.

Third Light’s ‘lightbox’ functionality allows users to share single or multiple images in a controlled and collaborative environment, using instant messaging to comment and discuss, while its Download Wizard saves hours of time by automatically repurposing assets to the required file format.

“Third Light has been everything that we had wanted our DAM system to be,” says Aggy Kouzos, adding, “It was a bespoke solution to a specific need for a specific client. It has helped shape and structure the way we look at DAM and how we look to collaborate with clients. It’s a solution that we know can be implemented for any client or project where we have to deal with a large amount of assets and where client collaboration is required.“

He adds, “LGS has proven to be an excellent business partner who genuinely wants to work with you to develop a solution and not just a product. Their industry knowledge and experience is second to none and working with the LGS team has been a great success.”

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