In a digital world, brands like Pepsi bring content production in-house to more efficiently and effectively develop content.

Pepsi has announced the creation of a content agency/studio in Manhattan called “Creators League” that will service the Pepsi organization by curating and producing real-time content. It will start with 10 to 15 full-time employees and build from there, eventually doing work for clients outside of Pepsi as well.

Pepsi is just one of many firms that are moving in this direction, as they recognize digital content is king; but content production needs to be enabled in a convenient, fast, and economical way. Such a trend is significant to those wanting to be players in the digital age and portends a radical change in the advertising world.

Consider some of the reasons why Pepsi has moved toward an internal content group:

  1. An internal agency is capable of delivering high quality, recognizable content that consumers activate when they come across. Without an agency, finding ad hoc ways to create content is a struggle which often leads to poor presentation. As a result, content tends to be forgotten or the production is delayed until it is no longer newsworthy. An internal agency allows a dedicated staff to establish best practices for creating well-presented content that is effective at delivering an intended message.
  2. An internal agency can bring content to the market in hours rather than days or even weeks. When content is prepared for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest or elsewhere on the web, it is often critical to react quickly and get it out fast (queue the legendary Oreo twitter story or Nike’s quick response to the Cavaliers NBA Finals win).
  3. An internally agency is closer to the brands; it understands the offerings, the people, and the mission because they’re a direct extension. Therefore, the content offering will be more coherent and consistent.
  4. The internal agency can be more cost effective than the use of an external agency or freelance creatives. A lot of coordination and overhead will be eliminated.
  5. The internal agency can help to deal with the silo problem that can confuse brands and undercut brand building synergies by helping silos communicate and coordinate instead of living in isolation.

When the marketing budget was largely employed to run advertisements in legacy print and broadcast media, an essential component was the creative message and its presentation. A long lead time was available and needed to create and test the right advertisements. As a result, a large advertising industry thrived.

When digital becomes a major (sometimes dominating) portion of the marketing budget, things are very different. The goal is no longer a lengthy campaign with a few ads, but rather, a variety of content, much of which needs to be live within hours or days.

Today’s digital effort requires different infrastructure. The role of an external advertising agency will be less and the role of an internal content agency will be more. The internal content agency will be staffed with people and equipment which can churn out compelling video and digital content quickly and less expensively. It will be a different world, and Pepsi’s “Creators League” is a glimpse at what is to come.


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