Experian, the credit-reporting firm, has adopted a “decoupled production” approach to TV advertising that could be useful for other brands that want to have greater in-house control of this activity in the long term.

Daren Levis, Experian’s director/brand advertising, discussed this subject on a webinar held by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the client-side industry body.

More specifically, he reported that Experian has worked with Mike Teevee, a Los Angeles-based “decoupled production” company, to effectively separate production from ideation and media buying.

In other words, the task of production is handed to the partner that is most expert at it – a production company – and the brand team manages the rest.

“They managed the whole production for production costs [and] production contracts. They pay the vendors, the talent, the whole enchilada,” Levis said of Mike Teevee. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How “decoupled production” helped Experian’s in-house agency master TV advertising.)

“They have the expertise. They do this day in, day out. They know production inside out. They're tapped into the latest techniques, and processes, and rules.

“They also have a network – production houses, post-production houses, animation houses, musicians, composers, special-effects people.”

As part of a larger package, he continued, this affiliation gives Experian’s in-house team access to other capabilities.

“They offer digital content, pre-campaigns, corporate communications, and they’ll produce events. For a brand like ours, it's great. You have one source of contact for all these creative resources,” said Levis.

Unlike a traditional agency of record, Experian’s activity with Mike Teevee is flexible, too. “They're not on retainer. We turn them on and off when we need them,” said Levis.

Since this tie-up started two-and-a-half years ago, “we've seen record-breaking response rate and double-digit growth,” he added, and “increased our ad production by three to four times.”

Although Experian no longer has a proper agency of record for its broadcast work, it still partners with agencies on a project basis, with an emphasis on digital and strategic assignments.

“Don't get me wrong,” Levis added, “I totally rely on agencies for some things. But when it comes to broadcast, we have that wrapped up.”

Sourced from WARC