Creative agency 2C has relaunched as 2C 2.0, a boutique agency made up of former television network executives who aim to emphasize collaboration with clients by delivering curated content that matches clients’ personalized goals and styles.
“Sometimes you’ve got to renovate to innovate,” said 2C 2.0 Owner and President Chris Sloan.
After 15 years of experience that garnered 60 Promax Awards, six Clio Awards and two Golden Trailer Awards, as well as hundreds of projects with entertainment industry clients, that’s exactly what the agency has done.
In 2019, the Miami-based agency took note of disruptions in the industry – such as the growing popularity of streaming services and the importance of designing audio and visual elements for any screen size. With that in mind, the agency considered its own shifting values and decided it was time to shake things up.
“We switched up the game and are now even more hyper-focused on craftsmanship,” Sloan said.
Rather than trying to be “all things to all people,” 2C streamlined what was once a larger-scale operation, putting a renewed focus on quality creative, personalization and playing to its strengths. Over the past two years, the agency has assembled a team that works both locally and remotely from around the world.
“We had two options: continue to expand to keep up with demand, or break the system and double down on who we were as an agency and a team,” Sloan said. “We chose to break shit.”
As a result, the agency has evolved into 2C 2.0. A new microsite and brand film (shown below) highlight the next iteration of the agency, celebrating its recent work, growth, clients and successes. As Sloan said, “we aren’t new, but renewed.”
“We’ve never really tried to tell our story,” Sloan said. “We’ve now decided to tell the who and why and then what, when we previously only showed the what.”
2C 2.0 currently consists of about 15 core team members of animators, copywriters, directors, designers, editors and producers, all of whom collaborate from such locations as Ireland, Spain, Costa Rica and upstate New York.
“Boutique, bespoke and personalized is the new beautiful,” Sloan said.
So, too, is work-life balance.
The agency has always taken advantage of its distance from entertainment hot spots such as Los Angeles and New York City to pursue talent from across the globe, so it had a remote structure already in place before Covid hit.
That flexibility has helped attract many ex-network professionals such as Creative Director Cheryl King, who joined 2C after 16 years at CMT. She moved to Costa Rica just before starting her new job, and only recently returned to the U.S.
“We all have that common life-balance dream,” King says. “You work so much harder and better when you live in a place that you love, and have the hours that you love.”
She’s no stranger to spending 18 hours straight on a project that she’s into, “but the moment that project is done, I can walk away and go into the jungle and disconnect,” King says.
“The moment the project is complete and our clients are happy, we can take the time to disconnect our brains, enjoy life and take on the next project with a fresh perspective and renewed energy,” she adds. “2C gives us that flexibility to really live that ‘work hard/relax harder’ lifestyle that regenerates creativity.”
Indeed, 2.C 2.0 has been rebuilt on the notion that people who are “on a gig running 1,000 miles an hour” need time to recharge in order to be fresh and enthusiastic for the next project, says Sloan.
The agency has been entrusted with long-running franchises such as Street Outlaws, Major League Baseball Playoffs, NFL Pro Bowl, Snapped, Dateline, and Home Run Derby, and its clients continue to be among the most respected in the industry, including A+E Networks, CNN, Discovery, Disney+, ESPN, HLN, NFL, Nat Geo, Nickelodeon, Oxygen, NBC Sports, NBC Universal and more. 2C has also leaned into specific genres where it shines, such as non- scripted, sports, true crime, documentaries, digital shorts, OTT/FAST channels and brand work.
“Over the past two years, we’ve been proud of the work we’ve done and how our collective passion for that work is visible in every campaign,” Sloan said.
2C’s curated team, many of whom come from network backgrounds, can empathize with the content needs and goals of its clients. With each project, the agency’s goal is to be a true partner and to alleviate the load that, as former network creatives, they know their clients carry. 2C also aims to elevate content, treating clients’ A and B priorities as its A priorities.
“We got you … because we get you,” 2C says in its brand video.
For instance, in the spot “ESPN Fall Frenzy,” 2C came up with an idea based on layered graphics, where each shot took around eight hours. It had a team of three designers, three animators and two editors, working day and night to complete the project in just two weeks. The quick turnaround didn’t stop the team from holding back on a bold approach.
“We pitched concepts that almost felt like they were not possible to do in that time frame, but we wanted to do it,” King said. “It turned out really cool. And at the last minute they were like, ‘can you do it in Spanish too?’”
“The biggest compliment we get from clients is we give so many concepts they love, that they have a hard time choosing,” Sloan said.
One noteworthy project was a trailer for the Disney Plus show Behind the Attraction, which reveals how many of the Disney theme park rides came to be. While 2C had access to tons of intellectual property (IP) and vintage footage, one thing that stood out was the narrator’s style.
“She was what made the show for me,” King said. “She was just so funny and snarky and almost a little self deprecating.”
2C deviated from what was originally a graphics-heavy concept and instead wrote the script in the narrator’s voice and tone, letting that be what drove the story.
Another project was a collaboration with NBC Universal for Black History Month. 2C proposed the idea of using a spoken-word artist to develop an original message based on NBCU’s talking points.
“It’s so authentic because we gave him basically thought starters,” King said. “It’s nothing anybody else could have written and it’s just beautifully crafted.”
The project’s director had his own production company and was actually one of 2C’s competitors, but he and 2C put that aside. In its new state, the agency places an emphasis on what’s best for the individual project and the client.
“It doesn’t have to be about our egos,” Sloan said. “Everybody contributed and everyone shares equal credit.”
As 2C continues down its 2.0 path, Sloan is looking forward to new partnerships and collaborative opportunities as it shines a light on the positives that have come from the transformation.
“We broke it for a reason,” King said. “Sometimes you have to break things to build them back up better.”
Just as 2C is constantly elevating content for its clients, it took all the best parts of its previous incarnation, and improved upon what was already there, added Sloan.
“We’re still here. We’ve been here. We’re just different.” he said. “We took the best of 2C and upped the ante with 2C 2.0.”
Learn more about 2C 2.0 at Agency Marketplace.