"As the agency becomes more full-service, we found that we had extra digital production capacity. It just made sense to figure out a way to unbundle it, package it and offer it up to other agencies," says EVB founder/CEO Daniel Stein. "From a business perspective, there is a financial advantage to this type of work, as well. The pitch periods are shorter and timelines tend to be finite, which means we can realize revenue more quickly."
EVB Productions will be headed by OgilvyOne alum Andrew Walter and according to Stein will have a new business pipeline and staff that is separate from the mainline agency. The division, which has already won three undisclosed projects, fills the need of agencies that can't afford to spend on in-house digital capabilities. "One opportunity that we've identified is that a lot of the traditional agencies that we are working with these days are selling-in some great digital ideas," he says. "However, the economic situation is preventing them from investing in the resources they need in-house. This is a way for them to bring their ideas to life without adding the expense of hiring."
Stein insists there are few obstacles in terms of doing production work for competitors to their agency clients. "We've decided to keep this separate because the nature of the business is very different," he says. "Pitching and managing clients is done differently. The department is staffed and motivated differently. In addition, we want to make it clear that we are not competing with the agencies that we are working for."
In fact, Stein says that key to the future success of agencies is the "partnering" approach taken by EVB Productions. "The recent launch of Adidas.tv, an EVB site, was the collaboration of no fewer than seven agencies," he says. "We feel that agencies that embrace, rather than resist, partnerships will do better work in a media-fragmented world."