How Do You Compete with the Largest Firms?

Fredrik Carlström is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Creative Director of Great Works America, a full-service digital marketing and communications agency that represents a diverse range of clients including Absolut Spirits Company, H&M and Nokia. In his dual roles, Carlström, a veteran marketing executive and acclaimed film producer, utilizes his deep and broad experience in both marketing and entertainment to spearhead Great Works America"s mission to create innovative and cutting-edge campaigns that engage consumers and encourage them to interact with leading brands.

Carlström joined Great Works America in February 2007 when the company opened in New York and signed an exclusive partnership with Carlström"s Third Factory, a film production company — the first deal of its kind between an advertising agency and a film production company. This partnership marked the transformation of Great Works America into a marketing agency that bridges the worlds of advertising, art, media and entertainment.

  • Transcript


Question: How Do You Compete With Big Companies?

Fredrik Carlstrom: We compete by, I mean, they’re at a totally different level. I mean, their model is being big, and being able to deliver certain things that we can’t necessarily deliver. We work with the beset people in the world. I mean, we have better creatives. I think we’re much more easily adapt-- we can adapt to things much more easily. And we don’t have to do a lot of the things. I mean, you were saying earlier, how do you motivate people? We don’t have to take on massive-really-not-that-fun projects to pay for hundreds and hundreds of people. We can be a little more picky with the stuff that we do. And in our model specifically is sort of borrowed a little bit, I guess, through my film work, that we’re-- you know, how a film studio would have, you know, they have a layer of kind of very experienced executives, and then they have a bunch of sort of more administrative people. But the people in the middle, it doesn’t make sense to have a bunch of directors and cinematographers and gaffers on staff, ’cause you staff as you go. And similarly, if we have-- in an ad agency, if you have an art director and you have a bunch of people sitting around, you only use them. And so we use a lot of freelancers. I mean, New York is the best for that. I mean, there’s just so many amazingly talented people that you can bring in for a project, specifically. And so I think people. We have better people.


Recorded on: 6/12/08