A recent Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) report states that the penetration of in-house agencies has increased 16 percentage points since 2008 to a surprising 58%. That’s not a slight movement, more like a quantum leap.
If senior executives at major companies are still hesitant, it’s frankly hard to see why. Some companies have an in-house capability for certain types of “turn and burn” projects, for products where familiarity with regulatory requirements are key (financial services) or projects that don’t involve broadcast. Media planning/buying is another service companies often take outside.
But the reasons for doing so are less and less as time goes on. Major electronics developer Garmin, for instance, has a true in-house agency and much more, including a creative department, print production studio, video and audio production facilities, photography studio, media planners and buyers, traffic, legal and account service. It rarely goes outside for anything.
They and others have discovered that having the right expertise is simply a matter of hiring the right people. An in-house staff that includes major talents from major agencies is more the rule these days than the exception. In-house agencies are even winning creative awards. The in-house agency at Fidelity Investments even won the coveted Gold Lion at the Cannes International Festival recently.
Best Buy is a giant electronics retailer that has won creative awards including the RAC best of retail advertising with its in house group. Target is also doing more and more work in-house and its work is generally the envy of the retail category. Add these major names to the list as well: Wendy’s, Fidelity Investments, Brown Forman, Dell, Wells Fargo, IBM, HP, Marriott and Aflac.
Traditional advantages of in-house agencies go without saying. Speed. Efficiency. Affordability. And very few, if any, middle men in the process that slow things down and add needless expense.
As for being attractive to good people from outside agencies, I might add that the benefit package some of these companies with in-house agencies include: stock participation programs, cafeterias, fitness studios and more can be better than what you will find at outside ad agencies these days.
Looking for good reasons to go in-house? You don’t have to look far.
This POV brought to you by a member of Boom Ideanet, the creative department of the future.” (Link: http://boomideanet.com/)
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