MDC Partners' 72andSunny is building out a new 13,000-square-foot studio that will almost double its current Los Angeles production facility in both size and head count. On the opposite coast, Omnicom's BBDO New York is busily expanding its in-house production studio beyond the current video and social-production staff of 35. And Interpublic's FCB Chicago says it now produces 60% to 70% of its work itself.
Where internal units once languished on the margins -- inglorious imitations of high-profile, independent production houses -- agencies are now at least several years into an arms race fueled by the rise of digital video.
Any shop today that can't quickly churn out clips for Instagram, live streams for Meerkat and commercials for TV will find itself at risk, according to agency executives. "It's requisite to the sustainability of the agency," said David Rolfe, director-integrated production at BBDO New York.
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