It took me 9 years to figure out the difference between a video production company and a video marketing agency. I hope this 5 minute read saves you some time. You’re welcome!?
Now in case you don’t have five minutes, here’s the difference between a production company and a creative agency: a video production company is handed an idea from a creative agency or client and then adds their creative spin on the concept. They are mostly implementors of the agency’s or client’s idea. Someone else develops the idea and then hands the script and storyboard over to the video production company.
Why did this take me 9 years to figure out?
Let’s go back in time…
Starting a video production company
I launched the aptly named Guy Bauer Productions in 2010, smack dab in the middle of the Great Recession, despite having no professional experience or formal training. My first project cost fifty dollars and entailed editing some dude’s puppy videos to music. I found the gig on the freelance site guru.com. After the client left me a five-star review and a nice writeup on the site, I had the start of my professional portfolio. From there, I landed a seventy-dollar job, then a hundred-dollar job, and so on. Cut to 2015, and we’re doing $100k+ projects for Fortune 500 companies, and we have ten full-time employees.
How did this happen?
For years, I tried to figure out the roots of my company’s success. What was it about our videos that made people line up by the dozens? At the time, I thought it was because the video quality was great. But when I look back, the actual technical quality (lighting/composition) left much to be desired. Other video production companies could make better-looking videos for a similar price. Was it that I was a great businessman? The name? Our logo?
What was it!?!?
Who handles the concepts: My not-such-a-discovery discovery
One day, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Our videos were creative. They were different. They told cohesive, heartfelt stories. Some made you laugh; some made you cry. And our clients were getting results. They were getting unsolicited emails with praise from customers. Or getting promotions. Or best yet, increased sales!
It was the ideas for the videos we were selling—not the video production itself.
But since I was an amateur to the video marketing business, I had no idea this was happening. I just assumed it was the video production company’s job to come up with an awesome idea. And because I didn’t know the idea, or creative (as they call it in the business) was the real value driver for our clients, we didn’t position ourselves as a creative agency. It really wasn’t until I got into watching Mad Men when I thought to myself, “Huh, we kinda do what Don Draper does. And he works at an agency, not a production company!”
In 2018, we started a journey of re-thinking everything. We re-thought our staff (which was made up of 85% production people), re-thought our positioning, and re-thought our name.
Video marketing agency: strategy and concept first
The problem with Guy Bauer Productions was that it was positioned as a video production company that could also come up with the ideas. We were discounting our main value proposition: the well-thought out video concept.
Umault is the polar opposite. It’s a creative agency that can also do the production. We are doing what we’ve always done: taking our clients’ goals and messages and distilling them into an entertaining video. But we’re putting the strategy and the concept first. Because without a clear story that ladders back to a clever strategy, you can spend all the money you want on production (eg: Star Wars prequels), and still fall flat.
So here we are. Our name is Umault. We’re a hybrid of a creative agency and a production company. Our mission is to create the kind of videos that truly excite audiences. Videos that simplify complex messages into entertaining yet strategic spots, that look beautiful and deliver real results to our clients.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the name Umault, Umault is a play on the umlaut (you know, the ¨ mark). The umlaut is used over a vowel in German or Hungarian to indicate a different vowel quality. The umlaut pulls forward what was always there into a place of greater prominence. Umault does the same for our clients’ brands, products and services.
So that’s the story behind the formation of Umault. And no, we don’t make $50 puppy videos anymore. Sorry. BUT if you have a software defined storage solution and are struggling to close deals, tell us more!