Q&A: Intermarketing Agency explains thinking behind imaTV, its new one-stop TV campaign house

imaTV brings all the disciplines needed to produce TV campaigns under one roof.

Intermarketing Agency, an Advantage Smollen company with offices in Leeds, London, Amsterdam and Sydney, has launched imaTV, a new proposition for the integrated agency, bringing all the disciplines associated with producing and airing a TV campaign together under one roof. The Drum spoke to Paul Farquharson, creative producer at Intermarketing, and the agency’s director of media, Scott Gordon, to find out more.

Why now for this proposition? What factors led you to believe there’s market demand for imaTV?

Scott Gordon (SG): Clients tell us they prefer working with a smaller number of agency partners. So the ‘everything under one roof’ factor played a role in us packaging up the whole TV advertising process - a joined-up approach where creatives, media planners and production teams all work in collaboration towards a shared goal.

Put simply, imaTV is about us highlighting two agency services that have always been available but are now presented as a great example of our integrated offering. From a new business perspective, we also have a lot of conversations with regional brands and advertisers with more moderate budgets and there was a common theme that a lot of them thought they couldn’t afford TV. So we’re all about disproving that.

Paul Farquharson (PF): TV remains a very powerful medium for brands and the stats show (via ThinkBox) that television is still very effective. The way people consume TV has changed but so has the way brands buy it. We can now use hyper-targeting technology to reach the right customers at the right time. This opens up the market to smaller local and SME businesses. ImaTV is the easy, affordable and effective way for brands to get on TV.

What typical challenges does this model remove for clients?

PF: We are essentially a one-stop-shop for TV, combining our creative, production and media buying teams. This means clients can work directly with us from start to finish, without dealing with the usual agency, production company and media buyers format. This streamlined model provides clients with better communication, less hassle and a more reactive service. With less people involved we can also make the budget stretch further.

SG: From a media buying point of-view we’re talking to clients about the most efficient/cost-effective route to market, being media neutral in our approach means we’re removing waste from client’s media schedules and focusing their budgets on only the most relevant eyeballs. It’s about quality rather than quantity - though we can of course deliver quantity, if that’s what meets the brief.

How does the proposition make TV campaigns more accessible to a wider range of businesses?

SG: The TV landscape is now much more fragmented, opening up the channel to more potential advertisers. The wide range of channels to choose from gives clients a wealth of contextual targeting opportunities, facilitated by niche TV stations and programming strands. Add to that technical advances in the ability of TV to target very specific audience types.

This means TV should be on the radar for clients that it was previously out of reach for, in terms of investment. These improvements in the targeting of TV open it up to local advertisers wanting to target a post sector-level – for instance, only showing their commercial to viewers in South/East Leeds – or clients offering products or services that appeal to particularly discreet pockets of the UK population. They can now ensure they’re broadcasting the right messages to the right people at the right time.

Typically what sort of budget would a client require to leverage this sort of proposition?

PF: ImaTV has been created to allow brands to get on air. We’ve worked on national TV campaigns for established brands such as Chester Zoo and Bupa but also delivered great TV commercials for smaller local businesses for as little as £15,000 (media and production). We know TV is not one size fits all. Different clients have different needs and different audiences. We can work with you to establish what you need and deliver the very best for your budget.

What internal changes has this new proposition demanded from Intermarketing Agency as an organisation?

SG: The agency’s rapid growth in recent years has resulted in us taking on an additional property – The White House. Once refurbished it will be the home of imaTV and includes a purpose-built editing suite. We’ve recruited editing and filming personnel to ensure we’ve got the talent in-house and negate the need for outsourcing. It’s also brought myself and Paul together and we now form a pitch duo steeped in Scottish ancestry. In short, we’re here to reinforce the stereotype that suggests Scotsmen will always be ‘careful’ with money.

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Michael Feeley

Michael Feeley is The Drum Network's consultant journalist, advising and assisting member agencies on their editorial submissions and contributions to The Drum.

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