“No seriously, what is the difference?!”. I’ve had this asked to me by most entrepreneurs assuming they have what it needs to establish the next big tag. Many producers believe they know much better than the studios and can possibly do one better. But there are differences among building a studio and building a production agency or a creative agency.
Okay, I’m going to do my best to compress complex complexities and make it easy for anyone to digest. So, how exactly is a creative agency, a production company, and a studio, different (wipes sweat off brow, yikes).
Most creative agencies describe themselves in a different way. Generally, a creative agency assists a company define themselves creatively in several aspects and collaborates with them to draft their current creative direction. They fix creative and communication issues and build and forge an identity within the brand landscape (doing that through a multitude of creative projects). They could be hired for solo jobs or ad campaigns, or they could be in it for the long run, assisting their customers specify and shape their brand overall. Regardless if one works with creative firms for short or long-term, they do have a tendency to consider more "big picture" concepts-- it's just about integrating strategy with design, client relations, and tech.
These agencies might be commissioned to create brand guidelines, brand strategy, creative advertising campaigns, or anything that can be over-arching and all-encompassing.
Commonly, creative agencies will outsource to video production agencies and other production firms and do not have in-house video content creators. In these cases, we can be linked as a video production company via a creative agency. They function as a company, directing the projects while relating them back to the "big picture."
A production company can be a boutique or small-medium enterprise that creates content (or videos in our case). They source the literary property, package the film, and get videos made by setting up the team and by bringing a client through different stages of the production process to finally delivering a kickass video, photo, or animation, depending on what the production company focuses on.
Production companies are like the executioners for the top tier agencies. They bring ideas to life. Nowadays though, many production companies are taking on creative duties for brands and that negates the engagement of a creative agency to come up with a concept. This is exactly how CVP Group works. We ideate and conceptualise for brands, and then we execute for them, overall reducing the stress on client and bringing the burden of pre-production to post-production in house. We are the ‘whole’ in ‘holistic’.
Studios have assets and scope. Excellent studios run more like landlords and parents than artists or producers. They own backlots, prop houses, sound stages, post production facilities, restaurants, libraries, other companies, equipment, hardware, software, websites, networks, satellites, etc. omg the list just keeps going on and on. A massive part of the sustainable income originates from running and renting these assets. Good studios obtain things other artists use to tell stories, and they even invest in long-term strategy.
So to summarise, the creative agency is like the brain that comes up with ideas and big themes, the production houses are the hands and legs that executes the idea, and the studios are like the clothes you wear to make sure the body is whole. Nobody wants to see you naked.