The Rise of the Production Agency
A few years ago, advertising agencies began adding production capabilities. This was in response to clients, particularly retail clients, seeking to cut their production costs, and as a way for agencies to land new retail business. Production “quality” was less of an issue than cost. Churn and burn. Meanwhile, an equal and opposite phenomenon was happening. It began in answer to the number of clients approaching production companies looking for someone to “help us shoot a commercial” when they had no script and no concept beyond a call to action. Typically, the production company would hire a freelance copywriter to provide one.
Production Company or Agency?
So in 2012, when Rob Tiisler started Company Man Studios, it was as a full-fledged production company. It was ready and able to work with advertising agencies in the production of TV commercials and videos for agency clients, but with account management and creative services available to work on projects with those clients that didn’t have an agency of record. A “production agency,” we’ll call it. I’d say the rest is history but, given the immediate and continued success of Company Man Studios, the reality is, the rest is the future.
Of course, clients aren’t just looking for TV production help. They need websites, social media campaigns, videos, animation, interactive, packaging, print, radio, point of sale, trade show elements, outdoor and whatever other ways they can reach their audience. As Rob says, “production means ‘whatever it takes.’” In fact, Company Man’s first project was to create interactive exhibits for MOSI’s Mission: Moonbase exhibition.
And while many clients came in the door needing one-off projects, many have become long-term clients. We do ongoing projects for Achieva Credit Union, Saint Leo University, Tribridge, and the world’s best neighbor, Buddy Brew Coffee. It would be easy to say that Company Man was ahead of its time. But, for clients looking for effective creative and high-quality production, it came along just in time.