Future of production

Craft, culture, consistency: Ogilvy's MD shares what makes good in-house production

Victoria Day, MD advertising at Ogilvy UK, says quality remains key

By Victoria Day

There has been a fair bit of noise around agency in-house production facilities recently. The perceived wisdom is that the impetus behind this is the demand for ‘better, quicker, cheaper’ (with a strong emphasis on cheaper and faster). No-one can deny that has been a driving force in production over the last decade. The proliferation of digital and social platforms, media plus eCommerce, has created the need for content to be made at huge scale. As the number of media placements shot up, the marketing budgets did not, so low-cost production solutions became a necessity.

The multitude of client, in house, offshore and tech enabled production solutions being utilised now is testament to the way in which the industry has adapted to meet that need. Some of this content is very high quality, and much of it is entirely fit for purpose. But a stat from Marketing Week should give us pause for thought - ‘only 5%[1] of the total content produced generates 90% of the impact’. That’s a lot of wastage. Also, it sets up the other need … for content that is creative, crafted and culturally relevant (and therefore actually effective).

At Ogilvy, the Makers Studio exists to serve this need. It sits at the heart of the agency, and an extension of the creative department. Our Studio brings together producers, directors and editors with context planners, data analysts and tech specialists who work hand in hand with our creatives. This combination of skills is potent, and enables us to create original, creative content, which has cultural and contextual relevance baked in. Context Strategy is the secret sauce in this, ensuring we never lose sight of where the content will actually show up in the real world and putting the consumer need front and centre.

Anthony Dziworshie, Creative Director and Director, who honed his skills at BBC and ITV before joining Ogilvy, believes that as technology weaves through our lives at a dizzying pace, content is becoming even more key for brand recall & innovation. Audiences all over the world want to spend more time engaging with the brands, companies & people that they love. However, one thing that is clear, with the growth of social media platforms, gaming, the metaverse and streaming services, there is more opportunity than ever to tell diverse stories. This allows for another canvas to express our creative ideas & insights for our clients & partners.

Craft is at the heart of the Ogilvy Makers studio, because for us, Borderless Creativity isn’t just an ethos, it’s a way to express creativity, whatever the platform. Content is being consumed at a higher rate than ever before, so it’s a very exciting time to create content that impacts and shapes culture and at Ogilvy we want to be at the center of that. The way of working is also critical, it cannot be a ‘baton-pass’ as in the old days when the creative dept conceptualized something then passed it over to production to make it happen. Sometimes this is a fast process, being able to be reactive and get something highly topical out is a must. When a certain red-haired Prince told the world that he shopped at TK Max, or when Facebook goes down for a whole day you need to be able to seize the moment.

As often though, it is about crafting something beautiful, that is enriched with deep levels of insight like our Mayor of London campaign which could only have been made by a team that comprised a diverse team of specialists.

If this all represents a trend in the industry where we re-focus on the craft of ‘making’ that is a necessary readjustment I'd say, and one I feel really good about.


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