Ogilvy’s Varun Katyal rolls out Clapboard, an automated content platform

Varun Katyal

The former Ogilvy Senior Creative Director’s new venture is an industry-first platform to package advertising services as a SAAS offering.

Former Ogilvy Senior Creative Director, Varun Katyal has launched Clapboard, the first automated content production platform. According to him, it engineers the skill sets of an agency producer into AI form, giving brands direct access to best-in-class talent. An industry first, the platform makes content production democratic, transparent & super quick.

Also Read: Hybrid, diverse & fairly compensated: How advertising’s work culture will evolve in 2023

It’s an agency-agnostic, brand content production platform that combines craft insight and technology to bring your creative work to life. As a transparent cost benchmarking tool, it’s an aggregator of directors, cinematographers, actors and lots more.

In its first offering, Clapboard helps brands and agencies line up full blown film crews with the click of just a few buttons. The app virtually assembles talent, generates three transparent quotations and gets brand teams PPM ready, all by the time one finishes a cup of coffee. It is a comprehensive ecosystem that automates the discovery and booking of talent, whilst gathering live data on availability and also automagically sorting out all the paperwork.

The platform also creates a level playing field for talent not associated with large production houses or who are not on the radar of big agencies. They claim that their coding team has gone to great lengths to create a fairly comprehensive portfolio management section so that creators can put their best foot forward, when it comes to pitching for upcoming projects.

Speaking about what pushed him to take the plunge, Varun explained that agencies create disruptive ideas for their clients, but as an industry, advertising has failed to reinvent its own act. With this in mind, he founded Clapboard. 

“I wholeheartedly believe advertising is transitioning into a new era of work where we need to rethink how our workforces are built and networked. We need to lean into a hybrid approach which enables access to talent with the right skill set at the right time. Using established and emerging technologies we can transform the agency offering,” he explains.

He said lack of transparency in film production and inflated production cost plague the creative industry. This is where technologies like blockchain can serve as the perfect antidote to the kickback culture that exists in film procurement. It is time the industry invested in tools to check for transparency and also make it democratic for the new talent in the industry.

“We set out to codify our experience and knowledge as creative directors and producers to create an automated process that better served the talent and the marketers. After a trip down the rabbit hole of technology, sharing the initial proof of concept with some clients and talents and countless hours of coding, the platform is ready. Next, there are a host of other services that will be rolled out in the coming months,” he adds.

The platform has delivered some big campaigns for some marquee clients and agencies. Next, they are building Clapboard into a creator platform for the future. One that always puts talent at the forefront and in control. They believe that if they best serve the talent, they’ll better serve the companies that need them.