How the In-Housing Trend Affects Content

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Would you prefer a spot that makes you smile or a spot that makes you laugh out loud?

The industry is changing, and the traditional advertising models of the past are no longer viable. Everyday there’s a new headline about a holding company merging traditional and digital agencies, brands building in-house advertising arms, agencies opening in-house production companies and even some brands closing their in-house shops. It’s becoming clear that there isn’t one cookie cutter approach to creative anymore.

As we tap into a changing market of making content, we have realized that brands and agencies are seeing the benefits of using in-house capabilities. More and more content is being made, and therefore, the efficiency and transparency of in-house production and post-production is appealing. But at the end of the day, regardless of your agency model or vendor relationships, we’re all in the business of making content and building creative ideas that impact consumers and change the world. I believe that the depth of knowledge and expertise of a company’s pool of talent can be the answer to compliment what’s most important – the creative idea.

A creative partnership with a specialist company means that the brand or agency might not have as much control or autonomy as their in-house facility would, but that might be the answer they’re looking for. Bringing in more creative freedom and being pushed outside of the box, even for a moment, will help them find something different and push the creative boundaries.

There’s a difference between straightforward execution, putting an edit together, assembling the storyboards, recreating the script, and doing what specialist companies are passionate about and best at. We call this going beyond the boards at PS260, but all specialists have a version. We’re the experts, offering clients creative council in addition to editing techniques, ensuring that the story that we’re telling is effective and true to the brand and its audience. That’s not to say that we break the rules, but finding something in the story that no one expected is what specialists excel at.

Sometimes brands may feel like something just isn’t right. What might have worked in the heads of the creative or the director, might not be working on screen, but with the space to play and experiment, an expert partner can find parts of the story that make each spot special. This comes from a specialized skillset from constantly working with a wide breadth of different brands and agencies, and pulling from a deep well of knowledge of different genres. Helping brands and agencies break out of their siloes and see projects from a different light not only enhances the final creative, but also prevents tunnel vision from clouding a project. Look at Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner campaign from a few years ago; it resulted from a lack of external perspective that a specialist partner could have provided.

All of this is not to say that brands and agencies shouldn’t build their own in-house capabilities, or that in-house teams can’t produce top-notch work on their own. In-house and outsourcing should be a complementary model for brands and agencies, understanding that to create compelling content, you can’t always go one way or the other. No company can specialize in everything, and sometimes it’s necessary to bring in an authority on a specific aspect of a campaign, whether that’s strategy, production, post, etc., to make the strongest end product. By partnering with a specialized shop, brands and agencies can use the unbiased creative approach of the shop’s talent, surprising the audience and pushing a campaign to its furthest potential.

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