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Why media and creative work best under one roof

Firms that encourage huddles, not hurdles, deliver the best results

4 min read

Marketing Strategy



Good campaigns result from solid partnerships between media and creative teams, but the very best work is produced by interdependent groups collaborating under the same roof. Clients may think they can save on costs by outsourcing media and creative to different firms, but they often pay a far larger price in terms of additional coordination, communication gaps and, ultimately, results. The reality is that both teams are most effective when they’re literally working together across the aisle. Take it from an insider, here’s why: 

We spend time working together, not briefing one another 

Too often, a media and creative agency status sounds more like a catch-up, with both teams losing valuable time as they update the other on their work. When you sit next to each other, you’re already caught up. When a big idea materializes, the media team is sitting with the creatives to bring it to life, and our time together is spent collaborating, creating and pushing the boundaries of what’s already been done.

So, what happens when we’re separate? Opportunities to work collaboratively can end up being very last minute, and last-minute surprises are usually not good news. It’s like showing up to the starting line of a relay race wearing different colored uniforms — you might have the same goal but you’re on different pages. Creatives might have designed a dynamite long-form digital piece. Media could have developed short-form sequential messaging. If the other team wasn’t planning for the same, well, you might be out of luck with presenting a cohesive idea to the client.

We can brainstorm together   

It’s a painful truth, but sometimes the work of creatives needs to be bound by the laws of reality. When media and creative work together, teams have a better understanding of not only what we need to do, but what we can’t do. Great ideas should follow “here’s what we can do,” rather than be crushed by impossibility. One of our favorite examples is the 2016 ESPN Body Issue. What started as a potential ad placement, evolved into a centerfold featuring Sasquatch — arguably the Jack Link’s brand’s most recognized asset. The media team had a spark of an idea that the creative team expanded and exploded into multi-media content, and which the PR team spun into an ESPYs event presence and red-carpet photo opp. All this collaboration was ignited in less than 24 hours, leading to a high-impact, fully integrated big idea.

We have commonality   

You might have a great relationship with your creative agency, but there’s a difference between people who can work together and people who are teammates. Teammates share more than just a spot on the payroll; they have a common workspace, common mission and common culture. We pass each other in the hall, drink the same coffee and share grievances when the office hasn’t turned on the A/C. We understand each other’s approach, and we begin every project with cohesion from the get-go. Guided by a unified big idea, we start on the same page. We work in this integrated way because it makes our clients famous. We like that.

We deliver the best results

It may sound like callous self-preservation but having media and creative in one house is a guarantee that we’ll be there for you. Furthermore, it ensures you’ll have your creativity all in one place. All our time and resources are devoted to your projects, and our workload is managed in tandem with yours. Because you deserve to be the attraction. Not the sideshow. 

In today’s world, media and creative teams need to work so closely that the term “collaboration” has evolved into something bigger still — interdependence. When under the same banner, two departments are transformed into one seamless, integrated and effective team. Your team.

Neil Goodspeed is the director of media at Carmichael Lynch and a thought leader in his own right, bringing innovative thinking and progressive, strategic approaches to media partnerships and activations. His work has been heralded with multiple Effies, the Facebook Gold Awards and multiple Media Plan of the Year awards. Originally from Canada, Neil would love to explain the sport of curling to you.

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