From Branded Content To In-House Agencies – Building A Content Brand

July 27, 2015

by Benjamin Potter | Creative Director, CLICKON

One of the hottest topics of Vidcon 2015 centered on the current state of branded content and where it is going in 2016 and beyond. In the beginning there was a brand and their agencies. Now brands are working directly with MCN’s and some are building their own in-house agencies to create ongoing campaigns and build sustainable communities.

Those that were fortunate enough to attend Vidcon were repeatedly told that traditional ad agencies are a dying breed. As the demand for print and television advertising goes down, brands no longer need their ad agencies like in times gone by. Some of the top brands such as Purina, Marriott and Pepsi have formed creative teams either in-house or with influencers – essentially shutting the door on their agencies.



Brands are now looking to reach audiences in different ways. They have figured out that putting a hardcore sell advert in someone’s face no longer works. Devin Graham – who was on the panel of From Branded Content To In-House Agencies – Building A Content Brand, is an example of a YouTube star who is now more influential than any creative ad agency working today. His channel, Devin Supertramp, is one of the top video creators online. With over 2 million subscribers and 30+ million views per month, Graham now produces native content for some of the world’s biggest companies, including Ford.

Brands don’t necessarily need to work with the biggest influencers such as Graham. Niche channels that are narrow but deep with engaged audiences can be just as effective – and save you money too. Smart brands are beginning to understand that their agencies are becoming more and more redundant. The symbiotic relationship between brand, content creator and audience means everyone can benefit.


sir martin sorrell

For decades, the advertising industry has been dominated by the agency networks of WPP (CEO is Sir Martin Sorrell, pictured above) Omnicom, and Publicis. David Jones, the former CEO of French advertising powerhouse Havas, admitted that the entire agency model could be dead within 10 years.

Earlier this year, Jones told Business Insider that brands are becoming frustrated with the service provided by their ad agencies – creative or media buying. Jones isn’t alone in his opinion.

In June, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertisers produced a study entitled “Mad Men to Sad Men” which found proof of a “widespread breakdown in between agency and client communications.”

“Many of the conversations were highly charged, expressing frustration and emotion. Both sides tended to point the finger of blame at each other.”

The future lies in the creators and influencers who already have an audience themselves. Purina fired 5 of their agencies prior to working with BuzzFeed on some of the most successful native ad campaigns in history. Why pay huge agency fees when you can go directly to a Devin Supertramp?

To learn more about the services at CLICKON, email