Bai beverage brand takes creative in-house

  • Beverage brand Bai has taken most of its creative in-house, per a Campaign report.
  • Last year, the brand dropped its agency, Barton F. Graf, and created a Super Bowl ad featuring Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken in-house.
  • According to Bai CMO Michael Simon, key strategic marketing partners are its in-house agency Tribeca and its PR agency, Alison Brod. Simon told Campaign that working with an in-house agency is cheaper and provides more agility.

Dive Insight:

Amid a growing number of brands handling marketing activity in-house, different approaches are evident as to how best to cut ties with traditional agencies. Last October Pepsi took its social media marketing in-house to give the brand a more direct line to a more personalized marketing channel, and Marriott created a content marketing production studio model in-house with its Content Studio creating short films, TV shows, webisode series, documentaries and influencer-supported offerings. Bai has taken a bigger step by taking its entire creative in-house rather than a specific marketing channel.
While Simon said taking creative in-house saves costs and offers more agility, other industry experts argue there are pitfalls with the approach such as the potential for groupthink clouding the marketing message and that cost benefits might not be so easily realized when factoring in training and talent acquisition.
“Building an in-house agency should be about something bigger than saving money,” John Ounpuu, co-founder and partner at Modern Craft, previously told Marketing Dive. “It should be part — and not necessarily the first or biggest part — of a larger mission to create the marketing engine you need to take your brand forward in these uncertain times.”

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