Businesses, like individuals, work in all sorts of ways. Some are gregarious and outgoing; they work well with others. In contrast, others are introverted and like to keep things internal. The methods that companies use to handle their marketing efforts are equally diverse.

Some companies like to work with an external agency for some things and keep others in-house – social content is a frequent candidate for internal oversight to ensure the social media monster is fed regularly and cost-effectively.

Here’s a list of just a few in house agencies in the UK.

  • Unilever – U-Studio
  • No7 – BHive
  • Specsavers – In House Creative
  • BBC – BBC Creative
  • Google – Google Creative Lab
  • Channel 4 – 4creative
  • Lego – The Lego Agency
  • Oatly – In House Creative
  • Deloitte – 368
  • TSB – kindred TSB
  • Shelter – In House Creative
  • Pernod Ricard – The Mix
  • 3 Mobile – In House Creative
  • Sainsbury’s Bank – In House Creative
  • Kraft Heinz – The Kitchen

Some like to keep creative in-house and bring in an external production company for TV advertising projects. Many businesses share the load, spreading work across several agencies and their in-house creative teams.

An update for 2023

With a recession expected for 2023, Perhaps more businesses will be looking to pull their marketing services in-house. This approach comes with its issues. Keeping a large headcount during a recession is difficult for many businesses.

Picking a hybrid model may produce the best results. An agile and slimmed-down internal creative agency that can react swiftly to market changes and capture opportunities as they arise, combined with a lean external creative agency such as Toast.

Here at Toast, we are used to myriad ways of working with some of the best in-house ad agencies. We work with clients directly, receiving a brief and going all the way to delivering a film to TV screens. We’ve worked alongside the best in house ad agencies to align our live actions skills to their singular 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 incomparable experience in the regulatory environment to bring to fruition their live-action briefs.

Some of the best in house ad agencies

Specsavers Ann Summers, Ryanair and comparison site are just some 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.

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 its 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 can steal a march on outside agencies with their breadth of brand knowledge.

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

The best in house ad agencies

Do you need internal creative teams?

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.

You’ll need to recruit or promote from within to find a creative director. Encouraging someone who already knows your brand can work wonders but are they a strong enough influence to keep pushing new and un-tested ideas?

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

Can In-house creative speak truth to power?

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

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