What’s Next For Advertising Production Managers: Chaos or Control?

Over the years, a series of expansions and developments have stirred the advertising industry: digital, social media and mobile….to name a few. With production departments and agencies having to deal with the changes brought on by these “revolutions”, what does it mean for advertising production agencies, departments and repro houses? What’s next?

With hindsight, we see that these changes were inevitable, driven by the rise of new technologies, changing consumer behavior, economic challenges and existing conditions in the advertising industry. But, instead of thinking of these changes as revolutions, we start seeing them evolutions?

A brief history of creative-production decoupling

What if we apply that same thinking to the “decoupling” trend that has come up recently? Advertising clients are now seeking to separate the creative and production processes – is that an evolution too? A quick look back at history shows us that this is just the latest in a long and ongoing process of change.

Then: The main driver for this evolution is marketers’ desire to derive more control over their advertising budgets. This has been true since at least the late 1980s, when advertisers started establishing in-house agencies and marketing departments, challenging the stranglehold of full service advertising agencies by bringing some of their functionality in-house.

During the 1990s/early 2000s media buying finally broke away from agencies.

Now: Production and creative are extricating themselves from their long (and often stormy) embrace. Advertising clients now have the option of sourcing creative, production and media buying from a mix of different providers.

What decoupling means for agencies and production houses

Greater competition

Decoupling has led to the rise of companies that specialize in producing, adapting and distributing advertising, separate from the creative agencies. From large production agencies like Hogarth down to local production houses, this directly translates to greater competition among production houses, who can now pitch for some of the work that was previously locked up within integrated agencies.

More demand for repurposing

Having paid for a great piece of creative, clients then seek extra value. At this stage, they turn to production houses and agencies to repurpose their assets and creative concepts for multiple audiences and destinations.

From a single piece of creative, production studios and houses may have to create a print ad, a billboard, a home page takeover, and an app. And perhaps go even further and translate it for a foreign market, or customize it for a local audience.

More transparency and intelligence needed

With such a variety of destinations for each creative (be it TV stations, print magazines, outdoor activations, and in different countries and languages), production needs to use intelligence from established advertising distribution networks to deliver content that is perfectly adapted to take advantage of the nuances of each destination.

And it can be a challenge working with 5 or 6 different departments and companies (sometimes crossing geographic and cultural boundaries) involved in designing, producing, adapting, approving and revising a single piece of asset throughout its life cycle.

With so many hands on deck, and such a variety of material and destinations to work with how do you take control of this chaos? Can you control consistency and messaging, minimize crossed wires, and ensure visibility?

Take control with asset management

You need to take technology and adapt it to your specific needs. Look at ways you can extend your asset management systems beyond your own department or company – and beyond their traditional capabilities.

Consider cloud-based systems that allow marketers, agencies, production houses, contractors and media buyers to seamlessly transfer and manage advertising assets, projects and workflow. More excitingly, look at evolving your asset management systems by integrating the intelligence that distribution networks already have about the final destinations of your ads, to create advertising content that is truly “native”.

Read our post on Asset Management — and how it can help you HERE.

The future of advertising production

As we start finding ways to more effectively analyze and interpret Big Data, we can expect to use those insights to deliver an increasing volume of highly localized and personalized advertising content.

Effective and connected asset management platforms will definitely have a large part in enabling you to control the consistency, and maintain visibility over the process.How will you deal with producing and delivering such a large volume of advertisement content?

The industry is not going to stop evolving, and the future is going to get even more exciting – and complicated. How ready are you?

You may also enjoy our blog post: 6 Tips To Boost Efficiency In Your Broadcast Production Studio.

Written by Isaac Leung for Dubsat.com

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