Decoupling advertising production from creative advertising agencies is a rapidly growing trend, especially in Europe. The business drivers behind this is the desire by advertisers to achieve greater control over campaign management, realize improved value for their production spend, and to leverage the benefits of working with specialist agencies whose core competence is production. The core competence of advertising agencies is not production—it is to develop big creative ideas for mass market consumption that have the potential to become fixtures in the hearts and minds of consumers and memorable markers of popular culture.
With a relentless new emphasis on cost-reduction, the ability to realize efficiencies in a global market is imperative. As well as looking for cost-efficiences in the creative deliverable, advertisers are seeking to wring greater efficiencies out of the executional process of advertising. By decoupling production from advertising agencies and centralizing the execution, or production of advertising deliverables with a single, scalable global source, advertisers can achieve significant benefits such as greater workflow visibility, transparency of activity, the centralization of brand assets, portability, brand consistency, consolidated billing, networked creative teams, and superior quality execution that helps push campaigns into the marketplace more rapidly and with maximum visual impact.
Advertisers are also looking closely at the value they gain from partners that invest in technology that allows them to connect creative deliverables globally and streamline the production workflow process. One of the significant benefits of a more efficient process is that media placements can be delayed to take advantage of more favorable rates. Not only does this help stretch media spends, it can increase campaign ROI.
The conventional model in the U.S. is typically characterized by dozens of people at dozens of agencies handling creative and production for different brands, different brand touchpoints, different media, different promotions, different languages, different targets, etc. Multiply that globally, and the inefficiencies are obvious. It also magnifies the number of opportunities to compromise executions, make mistakes, and dilute brand equity with multiple brand inconsistencies. While the weak global economy is impacting most advertisers, Europe is a bit ahead of the curve, while the trend is just getting started in the U.S.
Advertisers require the ability of a business partner to engage successfully with their advertising/creative agencies. This takes a global footprint, collaborative technology, best practices and account management, and demonstrated executional expertise. It also requires a business partner who understands the power of branding and the unique cultures of advertising agencies. But ultimately, it requires a unique diplomacy to create a sense of trust. Agencies need to be assured that a partnership with “executional experts” will not threaten their creative business nor compromise their creative ideas when rolled out.