Agency Approach: Female Narratives

Agency Approach sees Marketing Island get down and dirty with unique agencies from across the globe. In a bid to uncover new wisdom and opinion, we speak to some of the best professionals in our diverse industry. Touching upon individual approaches, valuable knowledge, innovative ideas and unique insight, we endeavour to well and truly... spill the beans.

Female Narratives is an integrated creative agency that operates using a collective of female freelancers to connect brands to real women and real stories. Working with world renowned brands, Female Narratives are based in London, but globally affiliated. Offer digital, social, print, immersive events, activation marketing and ambassadorships, while specialising in female millennial marketing, Female Narratives demonstrate innovative character in an approach that shakes the industry norm. You can follow Female Narratives on IG here.

Female Narratives on... inspiration and making the jump.

Marketing Island: As Co-Founder of Female Narratives, what were you doing before you created the agency? What inspired the idea and what made you take the jump?

Female Narratives: We both were, and still are fashion models, with over 15 years experience in the industry between us. We felt like agencies were missing out on the other amazing talents their girls had to offer. Brands were looking for authentic and inspiring personalities, but unable to find the real deal as there was no easy way of doing so. We were shocked to find that advertising agencies were essentially making stories up and finding actors or models to play a role when we knew, personally, incredible women doing spectacular things whose true stories were infinitely more interesting and relatable.

Aside from modelling, Co-Founder, Franzi, has a background in production and I (Tijana Tamburic) have a background in press and communications. So, together we felt like we had the essentials needed to create what we wanted to see in the industry. We decided to be the change we wanted to see, rather than just sitting on the side-lines, complaining.

Female Narratives on… storytelling.

Marketing Island: What defines storytelling to you and what does it mean to Female Narratives?

Female Narratives: Storytelling to us is an immersive experience where the audience is not distracted by the author, but fully engaged in what is happening in the narrative.

We think to do this in its most pure form, is to tell the truth and be authentic. To tell your story.

I hate it when I see a surf campaign and I feel really inspired by the surfer, but when I look her up she’s just a model who was pretending to surf. And the narrative bubble gets burst in your face. Why not use a real female surfer? There are so many amazing surfers out there who would love to be ambassadors for your brand.

We always work to tell real stories, using the real people those stories belong to. We find this more fulfilling for everyone involved.

Female Narratives on… being London based, but globally affiliated.

Marketing Island: Female Narratives are London-based, but globally affiliated. How does this work and how do you use your global collective and far-spread team to your (and your clients) advantage?

Female Narratives: The thing we didn’t like, among other things, about the modelling agency structure is that you have to be with a different agency in every city you worked in. So you’re constantly trying to keep up good relationships with different agents.

In our global and digital world we didn’t see a need to put boundaries up on where our girls should live.

"When you don’t put rigid structures up, the possibilities and directions are limitless."

Instead, we take on anyone from any city that we think makes sense for our collective and can add something valuable and unique. We either loop them in on calls for projects and let them work remotely (for example an illustrator or graphic designer). For some projects we require creating remote teams in other cities and now, with our network, we can do that with trust in places like NY, LA and Berlin – which saves the client a hell of a lot of money on flights.

Our aim in general was to move the agency structure along with the times – our girls are all freelance, our office is a co-working space, which we are hardly ever even in, our communication is often virtual, our meet-ups take place all over the world, and our collaborations are cross-platform and cross-dimensional. When you don’t put rigid structures up, the possibilities and directions are limitless.

Female Narratives on… making the cut.

Marketing Island: Female Narratives are open and proud about the woman it works with. But, what does it take to make the cut to become part of the collective?

Female Narratives: We haven’t ever set a strict criteria for this, we don’t care how many followers you have on Instagram or how niche your work is, we’ve always been looking for millennial women, like us, who are passionate about their craft and have been working hard at it.

"The grafters, makers, does and dreamers."

Our plan was to remain boutique in the sense that we know every girl personally and are able to help her grow in the direction she wants to. For that reason we never wanted to be more than 100 women. We’re at that number now so rather than continuing to grow in size we are re-focusing our energy on the women we have on board. If someone special comes our way, however, we will be making room!

Female Narratives on… being more than just a pretty face.

Marketing Island: ‘We are not just a pretty face’. This is a statement made on your website, and one that really stands out. Why is this message so important in today’s industry?

Female Narratives: We are really trying to stand up and stand against the notion that models aren’t good at anything else. We start with ourselves as the first example.

We also wanted to show our viewers more than just our girl’s faces – which is why every girl’s profile has a self-bio with links to her work and Instagram so you get a better understanding of who she is and what she does.

We also DO believe that all our girls could be the face of your brand’s campaign, but not because they’re pretty – because they actually know what they’re talking about, or can create something or build something really cool.

Founders Tijana Tamburic & Franziska Klein.

Female Narratives on… style, art and power.

Marketing Island: As an agency, you portray more than just a brand, a logo and a colour pallet. You boast style, power, art and meaning. Why is this an important attribute to possess as a company in the current industry?

Female Narratives: We wanted to be an agency that when brands collaborate with us they were proud to say we were the agency involved. We didn’t really see that much in advertising. You don’t really watch a commercial and know which ad agency created it. That’s all stuff only the industry knows about and finds out about on websites like AdWeek and through award ceremonies most people have never even heard of.

We wanted to build a brand that stood for female creativity and individuality; style, power, art and meaning, as you said. We wanted other brands to see working with us as a worthy collaboration that should be visible to the world - and they do. The brands we have worked with love to advertise that they’ve worked with us because it’s such a positive thing to be associated with. We love it when that happens.

With the way the world is changing and the speed at which it’s changing, companies are going to have to find ways to stand out and move with the times, or drown in the flood. Seeing your creative agency or advertising agency as a brand in and of itself is very important to keeping afloat - it also helps in being memorable.

Got more questions for Female Narratives or fancy a chat, you can shoot them a message here.

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Marketing Island is an award-winning online marketing magazine set to inspire those in the digital industry.