The difference between a production company and agency

29th January 2024
Film crew with camera and sound equipment preparing a scene in a sunny field with trees in the background.
Three people sitting at a table in a meeting room, with one speaking and gesturing, and the other two listening attentively.

Are you torn between choosing a production company or a creative agency for your next TV or video marketing campaign?

Understanding the distinct roles of each can dramatically impact your return on investment and the overall success of your campaign.

In today’s evolving media landscape, where terms like video production and agency marketing are often used interchangeably, it’s more important than ever to recognise the unique strengths and services of both.

Whether you’re planning a high-impact TV commercial or a social media campaign, knowing the difference between a production company and a creative agency can guide you to the right partner for your specific needs.

From the technical expertise of a production company to the strategic planning of a creative agency, we’ll uncover the nuances that set them apart.

So, what is the difference?

In today’s landscape, the lines separating production companies and agencies are increasingly blurred. Advances in technology and evolving client expectations have led to a paradigm shift, where a single entity is often anticipated to manage an entire campaign end-to-end.

Production companies actually make the adverts for TV, Social Media & Radio, while agencies focus on creativity and how ads can get people to take action.

Production Companies: Primarily responsible for preparing advertisements for broadcasting and publishing. Their focus is on the technical aspects of ad creation.

Agencies: Concentrating on the creative side of advertising, looking at how the production can motivate consumers to take action.

Cameraman films a nurse for a scene, with natural light and set props in view.

Production Company vs Agency

Production Company

‘In the old days’ a typical production company wouldn’t heavily engage in the creative aspect of your campaign. Instead, they focused on providing comprehensive support to clients throughout the entire process – from producing to distributing their content.

Today, for any type of advertising production – be it DRTV commercials, BRTV commercials, brand adverts, social media content, or sponsorship bumpers – a production company should be able to handle all your needs.

With the rapid growth of digital media and the diversification of advertising channels, the role of production companies has expanded beyond traditional TV advertising. Now, they not only excel in crafting TV commercials but also in producing engaging online videos, dynamic social media campaigns, and immersive brand experiences.


An agency primarily focuses on developing and marketing your campaign concept to maximise sales or impact. However, this can lead to challenges. Sometimes, the campaign’s goals and ideas may not match the budget, time, or production capabilities.

Agencies are most beneficial at the beginning and end of your advertising project. They assist with creating ideas and promoting the campaign through marketing strategies.

For marketing across various channels like social, email and press, production agencies play a critical role in expanding your brand’s reach. They are adept at choosing the right formats and places for content, which helps increase traffic to your website.

However, without high-quality and cost-efficient video content, your ROI might decrease.

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Is Space City a production company or agency?

Both! We’re your one-stop shop for any video, TV or radio production.

We are a rare combination of a production company and an agency, providing a comprehensive production service. Whether it’s a TV advertisement or multiple videos for social media, we provide support from the initial concept brief to it being successfully seen on screen.

We’ve been producing TV, online and radio commercials for over 30 years, working with clients to produce creative and cost-effective advertising campaigns.

We are a rare combination of a production company and an agency, providing a comprehensive production service. Whether it’s a TV advertisement or multiple videos for social media, we provide support from the initial concept brief to it being successfully seen on screen.


Do I need a production company or agency?

Now that you know Space City are a hybrid of the two, you no longer need to choose. But for curiosities sake, here are some key points to help you make the right choice:

Think about the nature of your project. Are you looking for a technically polished ad, or do you need creative ideas to engage your audience? If it’s mainly about technical execution, a production company is a good fit. If creativity and audience engagement are crucial, an agency might be better.

Consider your budget. Production companies often offer cost-effective solutions for creating video content. Agencies, with their creative input, may come with additional fees. Make sure your budget aligns with your choice.

Think about your timeline. Production companies are known for efficiency, while agencies can introduce more layers of decision-making. If you need a quick response, a production company could be the way to go.

Decide how much creative control you want. Production companies execute your vision, while agencies can help you develop ideas. If you have a clear concept, go with a production company; if you want creative brainstorming, consider an agency.

Consider how complex your campaign is. If it spans multiple channels like TV, social media, and online ads, agencies can help coordinate and integrate everything smoothly.

How much money can you save by not using an agency for TV, online, or radio ads?

Costs can vary significantly, depending on the project’s scope.

For instance, creating an advertisement involving a one-day live-action shoot, location rental, casting, and several weeks for editing, clearance, and transmission can begin at costs upwards of £15,000 when engaging a production company.

However, if you opt for an agency, the cost is often double. This is where a hybrid agency/production company like ours can shine, offering businesses both efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Are production agencies worth the cost?

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

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.

Most 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.

At Space City, we offer the best of both worlds as a hybrid agency and production company.

With over 30 years of experience, we provide a comprehensive production service from concept to on-screen success. Whether you need technically polished ads or creative engagement ideas, we can help.

Choosing us means avoiding extra agency costs while benefiting from our expertise in producing creative and cost-effective advertising campaigns.

Whether you have questions about our services, want to discuss a potential project, or simply want to say hello, click the button below.

Drop us a line

020 7371 4000

0161 210 3330

0117 900 0444

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