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Look around at print advertising from some of the top global brands and there's a good chance Splash is behind it. This month, we feature "5 Questions with Domenick Propati," COO of Splash Worldwide, a technology based communications agency.
What exactly does a technology-based communications agency do?
At Splash, we execute our client's creative concepts on a global basis across all media. As an example, a client will provide us a creative concept and ask us to create the content in our photo studio, retouch the images, and create the artwork for the United States media placement. We then complete translations/localizations and artwork for their markets around the world. Finally, we manage the execution of those campaigns, which can include releasing final print ready files and material to all media outlets. In many cases, clients ask us to manage the final production of outdoor advertising and in store graphics. As C.O.O, I implement systems and procedures and specify media to our partners around the world to insure that our client's requirements are met at the highest level of quality.
How do you work with specifiers? What expertise do they seek from you?
Splash deals with both advertisers and their agencies. The advertising market has gone through a major shift over the last several years. Clients, in their effort to get best of class providers while maximizing the effectiveness of their marketing and advertising expenditures, are "de-coupling" their production execution from their creative strategy. This has opened up a tremendous opportunity for Splash across all media channels. Splash has also developed a core expertise in outdoor advertising and in-store graphics production. As more of these types of campaigns become international, many of Splash's key clients ask us to manage the project through final production and execution.
What do you look for when you source labs?
Splash requires that all of its production partners produce the very best quality. It is also important that each provider has the same type of equipment and uses the same or similar substrates (materials vary around the world). Each lab must have the ability to profile their output devices and maintain calibration so that a file prints predictably and consistently every time regardless of the output required. At Splash, we identify partners in each geographic market and use them exclusively. We chose partners based on expertise, quality and relationships. We agree to fair pricing and work as a team to win business. Clients know who our partners are and can deal with them directly when needed. Since large amounts of the in-store graphics we manage are printed on backlit material, we require that each of our partners have Durst Lambdas, use KODAK ENDURA Display Material and Kodak chemistry in their processors. We also provide them with final files to print that have been proofed and approved on Kodak display material so that we know it will match anywhere in the world when it's produced by one of our qualified partners.
Why do you recommend Kodak media to your clients?
We recommend Kodak media because it is the most consistent and has the highest quality. In most offset printing applications, there are industry specifications that enable Splash to show a digital proof and know that no matter what press they will print on the printer can match the proof. The best examples of this are SWOP and GRACOL. No specifications exist in the out-of-home or in-store production business. By standardizing on Kodak media, Splash has created a de-facto standard.
On the flip side, why do clients request Kodak media? Can you mention specific brands that you work with and have used Kodak media?
We provide global advertising production services for Tiffany, Calvin Klein, Nike, Paul Smith, Coty, Eileen Fisher and others. The clients that care about image and brand need to know that no matter where in the world their images are printed and displayed that they will look consistent. When Splash specifies Kodak Display Material, produced by our production partners, our clients know that their images will look the same no matter where they are displayed, anywhere in the world.