Working With Creative Agencies
Recently, I’ve found that industry advice (from blog posts, my peers and info at industry events) has focused on completing projects fast, creating as much content as possible and “cutting out the middleman”. When people say this, they are usually referring to production companies working directly with clients, instead of collaborating with creative or digital agencies.
As a small production company, we work in both ways – depending on the kind of the needs of the client. But as we work with more creative agencies, we’re definitely seeing the advantages of working with creative agencies more than we’re seeing the disadvantages – not just for us, but for both for creative agencies and clients alike. So, we thought we’d open the discussion and share some of our thoughts on these kind of collaborations…
Clients benefit from a range of expertise. Creative agencies have a strong understanding in creative strategy, audiences, and what types of content (film, video, text) work well together. Production companies, on the other hand, know how to bring a brief to life for film or video, what kit to use, and what small details can transform a frame or full piece. Clients who seek macro (creative agencies) and micro (production companies) expertise are much more likely to see a return on investment – they don’t run the risk of a great video not reaching audiences due to a poorly executed strategy and a compelling creative campaign isn’t let down by video content that is mediocre. Our work for Crabbie’s Yardhead was an example of this – the wonderful Steely Fox designed their launch including branding and events, and we created their launch video.
Working with production companies helps agencies to build and strengthen relationships with clients. Agency and production company collaborations are lean – they create value for clients and mitigate waste (such as time, resources and money). Production companies have the resources and knowledge to ensure the right equipment and freelancers are used to bring a visually engaging piece of content to life. This enables agencies to spend time with their clients and creating value for them, rather than spending time recruiting an in-house video team or money buying equipment. It’s win win – creative agencies and production companies get to shout about great work that have reached audiences. By collaborating with us, Hillside Agency were able to offer a great hero video for JustEat Cycles, whilst they spent their time focusing on what they’re great at - building the campaign and creating a new website for the client.
Working with creative agencies means we get to make the best content possible, that aligns with the client’s values and the agency’s campaign. For video content that is part of a wider campaign but is made without an agency there are risks for us. Our work might not reach its full potential audience, or we might spend time advising the client on how to get our work seen – which takes us away from the jobs we love. Ultimately, we want to make creative and engaging content that enables brands to have meaningful connections with audiences and bring ROI to their marketing. The help and support of creative agencies is invaluable to us to help us achieve this.
When creating a series of videos for Stena Line, 8 Million Stories were a fantastic support – as they had a long standing relationship with the client and knew what the aims of their marketing strategy inside out – which meant they could guide us when we were creating the concept for the video content and helped to bring a fantastic series of videos to Stena Line’s social media channels.