The Agency Issue

Prominent In-house Agencies: Content Factory, Yellow Tag Productions, Fidelity Communications & Advertising

These Three Shops Are Doing Respected Work for the Marketers That House Them

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Innocean may be one of the more well known in-house agencies, but there are many other respected ones. Here, Ad Age takes a look at three.

AGENCY: Fidelity Communications & Advertising
STAFF: Jim Speros is chief marketing officer; William Fox, senior VP, manages day-to-day operations for the shop of more than 150 people.
CAMPAIGNS OF NOTE: "Turn Here," which encourages consumers to "stay on the line" to meet financial goals.

FCA is a full-service, vertically-integrated agency that also saves the company an estimated $20 million a year. "Generally, agencies have a markup, which we're willing to pay," said Mr. Speros. "But we do derive significant cost savings."

The in-house shop works in tandem with Arnold, which handles TV, as well as Media Contacts, part of Havas Digital, and MPG, which handles some media-buying duties. Often FCA attracts talent from Boston-area shops, lured by the stability, compensation, benefits and the ability to work on a major established brand. And, in fact, people tend to build careers at FCA, allowing the shop to cultivate a deep knowledge and understanding of the brand. That comes in handy in financial services, which is highly regulated, requiring those who work on the business to know "the rules of the road," Mr. Speros said.

AGENCY: Content Factory
STAFF: Stafford Green is a staff of one at the moment, but he has plans to make a few hires.
CAMPAIGNS OF NOTE: "Hand Revolt," an effort promoting recycling, and "Follow the Bubble," a 3-D spot. Also working to create a hoverboard by October 21, 2015 -- the date of the hoverboard chase in "Back to the Future."

The fledgling initiative is managed by Mr. Green, a 24-year Coca-Cola veteran, and can touch on any of the company's myriad brands. It's a nontraditional in-house capability with the focus on developing innovations. In the coming year, gaming will be a concentration.

Strengths include the ability to give longevity to a community. For example, Content Factory teamed up with EepyBird, a two-man team that first gained notoriety five years ago, to develop a video last year. The 3-D version of "Rocket Car" has 1.1 million views on YouTube, while the traditional version has 3.1 million views.

AGENCY: Yellow Tag Productions
STAFF: Bill Anderson is executive creative director of Best Buy Media Network and Chris Barry is senior director of Yellow Tag Productions, which includes about 20 full-time staffers.
CAMPAIGNS OF NOTE: "True Stories," an ongoing campaign featuring employee stories.

The in-house creative shop is viewed as Best Buy's "cultural anchor," and agencies are encouraged to use it as a resource, said Mr. Anderson. The group works hand in hand with agency partners, like CP&B. For the holiday 2009 campaign, Yellow Tag helped the agency cast employee carolers and created additional related content.

Yellow Tag is also getting more involved in producing co-op advertising, as well as content for Best Buy On, the retailer's media network. Like Best Buy's agency partners, Yellow Tag receives creative briefs and pitches ideas to Best Buy's senior marketers.

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