Former Channel 4 boss and St Luke’s founder David Abraham is bouncing back on the scene with the year’s most significant start-up, cross-discipline creative outfit Wonderhood Studios.
Wonderhood claims it will forge a new production model by “bringing together skills and capabilities that until now have operated separately.” The new company is structured in the form of adjacent studios: one to produce programming across multiple genres for broadcasters and platforms with the second operating as a full-strength creative agency for major brands. Both studios will be supported by a third specialism in media data insight and the development of future digital networks.
Abraham (below) says: “We began our new creative company with a blank sheet of paper in order to align our thinking with the opportunities created by unprecedented levels of change. In a world of increasingly connected consumers, channels and platforms require content that is more highly differentiated while brand owners are seeking editorial skills to engage with audiences. Combining deep story-telling abilities with new forms of creativity will allow us to address both of these challenges.”
Alongside Abraham is group managing director Sachin Dosani, a co-founder and former MD of media investment bank ACF. Dosani has extensive experience of the television production sector in both the UK and USA, advising on over 60 M&A transactions over the past 15 years.
Wonderhood, which has raised funds from British and international investors, says it has lined up its first “creative leaders” and will start operating in June. It then plans to raise more funds to expand internationally.
Abraham, as ever, seems to have got his timing right. Big advertisers are looking for better ways to source vast amounts of online content and also demanding that they have more and better creatives – and fewer suits – on their business. St Luke’s, still with us, was one of the key creative agencies of the 1990s and Channel 4 thrived under Abraham. Alongside its programming achievements it fathered 4Creative, the UK’s outstanding in-house ad agency which produced ‘The Superhumans’ for C4’s Paralympics coverage.
There should be a veritable tidal wave of UK creatives aiming at Wonderhood, desperate for the opportunity to escape big agency machinations. Clients across the board will also be attracted by such a starry entity, headed by a capable business performer in Abraham.