Businesses, a bit like individuals, work in all sorts of ways. There’s the rise and rise of the in-house creative department.
There are companies that like to work with an external agency for some things and keep others in-house – social content being a frequent candidate for internal oversight to ensure the social media monster is fed regularly and cost-effectively.
Some like to keep print in-house and bring in a moving image specialist for filmed creative output. Plenty of businesses share the load, spreading work across several agencies and their own in-house creative teams.

Some of the best in-house creative agencies

Specsavers, Ann Summers, Ryanair and comparison site Confused.com are just some of the brands opting to keep their creative skills firmly in-house. So what is the future of the traditional creative ad agency in all this?
The two creative approaches aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
Typically, brands look to specialist agencies for their creative ad campaigns and appoint them based on their pitching prowess. Businesses often feel more comfortable and confident in choosing an agency with a proven track record of success and an impressive body of creative campaigns to their name.

But equally, an external eye in the form of a specialist agency can offer some well-needed perspective on a product or brand and the agency can draw on their scope of experience to make the campaign the best it can be.

That doesn’t mean that creative ability resides solely in a creative agency. Some of the best In-house creative agencies live and breathe the brand and as such can steal a march on outside agencies with their breadth of knowledge of the brand.

They know how to navigate the politics of the company and access the “right” people to get things actioned. And of course, in-house is usually more cost-effective than using an outside agency.

Do you need to go in-house?

So does your business need to pull its creative in-house? Setting up one of the best creative in-house agencies doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll need a creative director who can drive the company’s vision and keep staff and the creative output fresh.

To find a creative director, you’ll need to recruit or promote someone from within the business. If you’re looking internally, be wary; promoting someone who already knows your brand can work wonders but are they a strong enough influence to keep pushing new and untested ideas?

One of the downsides to pulling creative in-house is the possibility that a “winning” brand style or campaign is rewarmed year on year. The creative spark that comes from dealing with hungry external agencies willing to push the boundaries is lost to a “don’t rock the boat” culture.

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Can In-house creative speak truth to power?

However, sometimes in-house doesn’t exercise enough muscle to speak truth to power. On occasion, in-house creatives become too close to the brand to truly stand back and bring a fresh perspective to it. And of course, a lack of knowledge of who might be the best person to direct their creative vision is a drawback.

Here at Toast, we are used to myriad ways of working with in-house creatives. We work with clients direct, receiving a brief and going all the way through to delivering a TV advert. We’ve worked alongside the best in-house creative agencies to align our live actions skills to their incomparable creative visions. We work alongside agencies to bring to life the live-action element of their campaign. And in healthcare, we work alongside agencies with their incomparable experience in the regulatory environment to bring to fruition their live-action briefs.

However you choose to work, we are used to working in all sorts of ways so if you have a need for live-action expertise, then contact us for a chat.

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