Difference between a production company and agency

14th August 2018

Knowing the difference between the advertising and marketing services of production companies and agencies is key to boosting ROI and improving business agility

A Difference can be found between the effectiveness of agency and production company processes, but when should you utilise the respective entities?

Advertising with full-service agencies can assist with absolute brand awareness and consideration throughout the marketing process, but utilising these valuable creative entities unilaterally can be detrimental to your flexibility and nimbleness.

Whenever you produce a TV, online or radio advert, the production and even elements of the creative process have to be sub-contracted out to production companies.

If you are looking to react to a particular news event with a quickly assembled and executed DRTV campaign, with the need to liaise with two bodies, rather than just one, your ability to deliver a campaign effectively and cost-efficiently is hampered.

As you look to define brand and delivering marketing campaigns across email, print and press for instance, the work of agencies is ineffably important in amplifying reach and relevance.

Knowing the correct titles, angles and premises where a piece of content would be lucratively placed is key to your business increasing outbound and inbound leads to your website, but without the cost-effectively and definitively produced video promotional content, your business will endure falling ROI.

The difference between a production company and agency

An agency will usually devise the creative, but without knowing whether the suggested creative directions are realistic, your business could be wasting time on unrealistic ideas, which cannot be delivered.

Advertising Production from script-to-screen with Space CIty
Take your business and advertise it with a difference using production companies for TV

A production company, on the other hand, can provide a bespoke advertising creative from script-to-screen without even needing agency intervention.

Knowing and understanding your brand will be key, but with that initial knowledge gathered, concepts can be conceived, conceptualised, edited and approved for broadcast through one company, transaction and team.

Agency involvement in this case only limits transparency and adds to costs, while having two creative forces trying to agree on the best concept will lead to longer periods between decisions being made, notwithstanding the lack of agility you will have in changing an ad quickly, should you need to.

If you need to ensure of flexibility and availability on the part of two differing companies, your desires cannot be as easily met as they would be through utilising a production company solely in this case.

Regardless of whether it is a partnership between an agency or not, the production costs from a company of this ilk does not change, however an agency will still charge their fee for having a creative input in the job.

How much money can you save from not using an agency with TV, online or radio advertising?

Enormous amounts. While this will of course differ from project-to-project, an advert that incorporates a live-action shoot for one day, hires out a location, needs a casting and several weeks to edit, clear and transmit the commercial will normally cost at least £15-20,000 with a production company, but the cost is usually double with an agency.

Although the agency/production company hybrid can and is regularly fruitful for businesses, efficiency and cost-effectiveness is reduced.

The savings made from the production budget could be used in the most prudent means of marketing you see fit, but an initial broadcast test — interactive or not — could be used to improve data streams and ensure of more consumer relevance later on.

For ads where production budgets are greater and the cycle is longer, the time where your agency would be needed increases, contributing to higher overall costs.

Good low cost TV advertising from Space City with a difference for Karcher
Ensure your budgets don’t spill over by embracing the difference between production companies and agencies.

Agencies can of course save you money given their knowledge of brand building, their contacts and skills, but unless they are equally a production company, significant additional costs will be added to your marketing spend.

Some elements of the production process do not naturally form a part of an agency’s daily remit, therefore outsourcing other elements like transmission will only add to costs, depending on the weight of your media spend.

Can I trust a production company with upholding my brand and boosting sales?

Yes. Before any production begins, you will ultimately still invite them to a pitching process where candidates can demonstrate knowledge of your business and other brand considerations – if they do not, ensure brand guidelines and templates with other marketing campaigns are sent across.

The greatest difference between an agency and production company remains their facilities and remit, but results are lucrative regardless.

Production companies will ultimately prepare your ads for broadcast or otherwise, while an agency will focus on the creative and how the production can leverage any call-to-action.

Overall, though, the difference lies within this conclusion: a cost-effective TV commercial cannot be delivered without a production company, but can be without an agency, yet the inverse goes for other marketing campaigns – so both are vitally important to your business.

Space City has been producing TV, online and radio commercials for over 25 years, working with agencies to become to the UK’s most cost-effective TV advertising production company.

Increased advertising ROI is possible with ads that compliment the difference between production companies and agencies.

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