These In-House Agencies Came Out on Top

The results are in and it was our closest In-House Agency of the Year competition to date. This year favored the teams that overcame the challenges of the pandemic—from keeping the creative spark alive at home and through screens, to shooting and editing industry-leading videos with DIY production kits. Several high-powered nominees came within mere fractions of a point of the finalist teams!

In the end, three internal agencies rode their stellar performance to the top. As you prepare for a whole new year of collaboration and creativity, take inspiration from this year’s finalists and our undisputed champ.

Finalist: CVS Health

“During everything that went on, we became the agency we wanted to be.”

As part of the largest healthcare organization in the U.S., the team at CVS Health deftly managed a massive increase in project volume due to COVID-19. Timely, accurate communications were paramount—on top of their pre-planned campaigns, the in-house agency quickly found itself sharing life-saving information, public health reminders, and testing updates.

To pull it off, the team expanded its headcount and capabilities. Dozens of new hires were brought in to keep pace with the work while simultaneously training others on digital expansion and new production services. They delivered video equipment to teammates, directed shoots remotely, and produced a range of successful TV and multimedia campaigns.

Finalist: In-House Agency at Vanguard

“The pandemic forced us out of our old ways of thinking.
We’ve thrived working from home.”

Shifting from solely external support to a full-service in-house model is no small feat. That Vanguard’s brand-new internal agency did it during a pandemic while outscoring more-established teams this year speaks to the strength of this group.

By redirecting their ad spend in house, the team grew its capabilities to handle video production, motion graphics, direct mail, social media, web design and more. Employee satisfaction went up and production expenses went down. This high-performing crew certainly earned the right to be named an In-House Agency of the Year finalist.

In-House Agency of the Year: PwC

“We were already a virtual team. That allowed us to maintain a continuity of work and then apply innovations that would allow us to thrive under difficult circumstances.”

The team at PwC walked away from this year’s IHAF conference with the 2021 In-House Agency of the Year award, and we can’t think of a more-deserving group. While the competition is focused on a single year of team performance, part of PwC’s success comes from the futureproof systems and virtual model they had in place before the pandemic.

Heading into 2020 with this advantage, team PwC demonstrated a unique ability to respond to the unexpected in real time. They quickly began publishing pandemic-related thought leadership, supporting more virtual productions than ever before, and mailing analog materials to help combat screen fatigue. They also created the firm’s first-ever Diversity & Inclusion Transparency report amid a year of social unrest, documenting how their efforts affected corporate strategy.

Follow these Leaders

From adapting their processes to connecting their people, each of these teams earned the accolades they received throughout our In-House Agency of the Year competition. Watch each of the videos to get a full sense of their stories—then, consider how your team might follow their lead.

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