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Future Of Production

From GenAI To Audio Marketing: Welcome To The Future Of Production

To kick off our future of agency in-house production series, Wunderman Thompson's Pablo Bertero considers the evolution of production

By Pablo Bertero

Is production currently en vogue in the advertising realm? The answer is multifaceted. To grasp the essence of the matter, let's delve deeper into the enigma encapsulated within that single word: "production". What exactly is production, and what does it entail for a production company? What is driving agencies to invest so heavily in these capabilities?

Gone are the days when production revolved solely around the glitz and glamour of traditional advertising channels. These avenues have become commonplace, thanks to the widespread accessibility of content production equipment, the normalisation of content creation exemplified by influencers, the practice of offshoring, and the enthralling allure of virtual shooting, CGI, AI, and other cutting-edge automation tools that enable agencies to achieve more with less.

Yet there is another facet of production that has unexpectedly emerged as strategic for these prominent agencies. This involves the development of platforms and systems that support the entire content chain. Imagine content being distributed across different channels such as e-commerce, display networks, and social media. This creates a challenge of bringing all the scattered pieces together in a seamless and unified way. Furthermore, if the client wants to centralise content across multiple markets, it adds complexity to the operational process. Production, positioned between creation and distribution, has become a strategic partner to solve this.

Furthermore, the fusion of content, media and data, has opened up limitless possibilities for content personalisation and, more importantly, measuring performance. It's no longer just about creating impressive advertisements; it's about achieving marketing KPIs and driving product sales. In simpler terms, it is about maximising results to drive growth for the brands we work with.

That is enough justification for the big agency networks to actively pursue an integrated production solution.

As for quality, fear not, as it remains non-negotiable. However, the definition of quality has evolved. It is no longer confined to the realm of expensive cameras and opulent setups. Nowadays, bite-sized content captured on iPhones, tailored to the ever-expanding array of channels, possesses the ability to captivate consumers and be deemed of exceptional quality.

What do I see in the future? The present is already enough to keep up with. GenAI is already making significant strides in areas such as synthetic avatars, voice generation, and real-time image and video production.

While it is common for hype to outpace reality, clients are fervently pursuing the vision of a fully AI-powered content studio. At Wunderman Thompson, we are already making significant strides in this direction, partnering with a renowned FMCG company to establish their first AI-driven studio.

However, we are approaching it with utmost transparency and respect for the limitations and uncertainties that arise. It is important to acknowledge that Gen AI still faces significant barriers, particularly in the realms of data compliance, copyright, and, most importantly, ethical considerations. We don’t want to promote unrealistic standards and ideals to consumers.

Personally, I am still thrilled about the audio realm. In a world dominated by screens and keyboards, the days of using mice and clicking buttons are slowly fading away. With GenAI's voice-to-text and text-to-voice capabilities, we are only a decade away from a future where audio marketing takes center stage.

In conclusion, the production space is abuzz with activity, providing agencies and clients with compelling reasons to prioritise and enhance their production efforts. The future of agency in-house production is filled with exciting opportunities for visionary agencies to take the lead and shape the industry's trajectory.

Pablo Bertero is the Chief Content Officer and Head of EMEA Studios at Wunderman Thompson


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