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Agencies: Coming full circle

While we have worked with creative agencies for well over a decade, recent years have seen a change in the nature and scope of these relationships. When EMS set up shop the market was missing a full service option for roadshows, and agencies were quick to approach us to deliver on this element of a client’s campaign. In fact, 50% of our clients were agencies. After the economic crash however, many agencies evolved their offer to bring experiential in-house. As a result, we found ourselves working less with agencies and evermore direct with brands.

In 2018, while our work with brands hasn’t eased, we’re also pleased to say our relationships with agencies have come full circle, and we’re working together once again on developing stand-out campaigns. It is no coincidence that this changing relationship has coincided with the tremendous rise of experiential marketing.

Barbican's Ultimate Gaming Experience

Experiential has moved from being a mere tactic to a strategic marketing channel in its own right, as brands and marketeers alike have recognised the value of face-to-face when trying to reach their target audiences.

The rise of experiential has meant that agencies are looking towards experienced suppliers with real expertise, to take their big ideas and bring these to life. The goal of any agency-client relationship has to be the ability to think outside the box, and with that, access the most effective tools and technologies. Whether it is logistics, knowledge of geographical markets, implementation of the latest technology or production skills, therefore, we are able to combine our expertise with that of a creative agency to create stand-out campaigns for brands.

Our technical expertise really has strengthened our relationships with creative agencies. The high level of support that comes from having a dedicated roadshow or experiential team gives them the flexibility to make quick and often last minute changes. Only recently we facilitated a vital external graphic change overnight to ensure a tour still ran to time, while we’ve also had to coordinate logistics around unexpected transport strikes that had the potential to be detrimental to a campaign.

We’re proud to have worked with the likes of The Marketing Store and CreateLondon to name just a few of our creative agency clients. These partnerships have been entirely based on trust and collaboration, with the results truly pushing the boundaries for what can be achieved through a roadshow marketing campaign.

adidas' World First 3D Content Cube

When Memac Ogilvy’s client – alcohol-free malt beverage brand Barbican – wanted to reach the KSA market (particularly young Saudi Arabian males) we worked with Memac Ogilvy to create an ‘ultimate gaming experience’. We took product sampling beyond simply handing out freebies – combining cars, video games and social drinking to produce one of the very first experiential campaigns to hit Saudi Arabia.

And, just this summer, our work with The Marketing Store saw the creation of a world-first virtual LED screen experience as part of Adidas’ global ‘Here to create’ campaign. Providing an intense, shareable experience for the 16-24 demographic, this was a real demonstration of the scope for creating fresh and exciting brand experiences when you have the right mix of creative and technical minds around the table.

If anything rings true, it is that working with experienced and trusted suppliers, agencies can achieve results far greater than what can be achieved working alone. Delivering for the end client and maintaining that relationship has to be the priority. With that in mind, now’s the time for us to work smarter – agencies don’t have to be experts in every discipline but through partnership, can assemble the right team to truely deliver on big campaigns for their clients.



About the author

Keith Austin

Keith Austin

Clarity of vision and years of big brand experience have helped Keith take EMS from start-up to market leader in just 10 years. The continual challenges he places on both the business and the team are keeping us in pole position, where we intend to stay.
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