Sylvain Tron, managing director of McKinney LA, discusses establishing production as one of the core capabilities of an agency
A creative idea is only as good as the audience it engages with. So, where that idea lives and how it is executed is critical. Data and technology have made us faster and better informed, but it’s up to us to use those tools to execute our ideas in the most powerful way possible. At McKinney LA, we use a production-first mindset every step of the way in the creative process — from strategy to execution.
Creative agencies have struggled with establishing production as one of their core capabilities. In an increasingly complex and competitive marketplace, marketers have more choices than ever to bring ideas to life. It is necessary for modern creative agencies to provide agile marketing solutions in this ever-changing content landscape.
The solution to this isn’t as simple as building a business within a business to replicate in-house what production companies have done historically. It goes deeper than that. It requires a complete shift in thinking in the way we staff, operate, concept and pitch ideas, and ultimately bring them to life.
Here are some principles to keep in mind:
• Talent acquisition needs to be focused on multidisciplinary talent who can concept as well as make the work. This not only allows for greater efficiency, it ensures budgetary constraints and feasibility are kept in mind and do not weaken the idea. The idea is thus rooted in reality, tailored to the platform it is going to live on and therefore to its audience.
• Throughout the process, those concepting the ideas become the creators; each approaching a creative problem through the lens of their speciality, whether it’s design, photography, video, writing, or motion graphics. The creative department merges with production and account management, leading to flexible project staffing based on specific needs as opposed to letting the legacy copywriter/art director model drive the process. A designer might be paired with an editor for one project and with a copywriter for the next.
• With this approach, data-driven iterations — which can’t be outsourced — are easily generated and replicated when a team with production-first capabilities is deployed. And when an idea does call for an outside production partner, it allows for a more seamless collaboration because the ideas are already production-friendly — nothing good comes from a $2 million idea handed off to a production company with $400K budget.
• Operating in this manner also dovetails effectively when working on a pitch — or when prototyping in any situation — where ideas need to be generated quickly and feasibly but also with power and immediacy.
Creativity is our end goal. It is a living, breathing organism that needs to be free of limits or boundaries. With the integrated structure of a production-driven approach, where everyone and everything is focused in this manner, it can flourish powerfully, reactively and with scalability.