Too many cooks in the content kitchen?

  • Production
  • April 16, 2015
  • Robett Hollis
Too many cooks in the content kitchen?

As I type this the entire ecosystem of content is getting turned on its head—and in a good way. Brands are now beginning to realise the true value of good content and how it can be used to increase sales/exposure/PR. It's an exciting time for content but now the big brands have a very big problem and a very big decision to make. Let me explain ... 

Rewind ten years and ''Big Brand A' had a new product or service to advertise. The marketing manager would pick up the phone, book in some double page spreads, drop a few hundred thousand for the agency to create a banging TVC and they'd be away laughing. But things have changed. Now, instead of two big TVCs a year, brands are needing a lot more content. They need content for all their activations to be used internally, they need content to leverage all their existing sponsorships externally and they need general day to day content for their social channels.

But here's the problem. To roll out just one video for a TVC the people involved would usually go: creative agency/media planning agency/media buying agency/production agency/independent subcontractors and all the way back up the food chain. 

For TVCs and all the big stuff this works fine and there will always be this infrastructure in place for TVC land as the budgets are bigger, the heavy lifting is needed and the outlets are massive. But if 'Big Brand A' needs to produce one video a week, this model does not work. It won't work and will never work because there are too many cooks in the kitchen, too many people involved, too many meetings, too much confusion and waaaaaaaay too many emails. This existing model is fundamentally broken for 'Big Brand A' to produce that much content.

  • Check out this article on Ad Age that shows how agencies are trying to change that and starting a production arms race. 

So the problem in a nutshell is this: "How are you going to create all this new content that customers are now demanding from your business? And how can you create this much content on time, on brand and, most importantly, on budget?"

The answer is actually very simple: New Zealand is loaded with talent. There are so many epic film makers, editors and production companies out there right now, which is good to see. So do a bit of digging, scope their showreels, have a browse of their clients and find a content partner that you like, that wouldn't be awkward to grab a beer with and that you could see working with your existing teams and agencies. Their job is simple. Roll in, delegate, do damage and deliver epic content, constantly. Because that's exactly what your customers expect. 

I've said it before and it gets truer by the day. Content is the new currency. Content is changing the game in every way possible and as I type this 'Big Brand A' and every one of its competitors are going through this exact problem. A TVC is a content project, but you need a content partner. The only question is this: which horse will you back?

  • Robett Hollis is a TV producer with over 15 years experience in the action sports/media industry and is the founding director of Frontside, Air Time and CoLab NZ.
  • This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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