The Benefits and Cost-Savings of Pre-Visualization Testing in Advertising and the Rise of the Power of the Creative Producer

By Andrew Kessler

As the ad industry and brands shift to be more effective and economical, the industry is seeing an increase in pre-visualization testing. By stressing the importance of thorough idea exploration, they are able to reduce their overall budget and ultimately tell a more effective brand story. More importantly, they are ensuring a much larger media budget isn’t squandered on ineffective work and lost opportunities.

Agencies and brands are now spending more time and energy on the pre-visualization process, visually mapping commercials, utilizing a combination of storyboards and animatics, with more input from their creative producers. This allows the hard decisions, and creative challenges to be conquered before costly principal photography. These decisions are especially important in a slow economy when consequences are amplified. 

While pre-viz testing may be considered the least “glamorous” part of the advertising process, no famous actors, or big-ticket directors, it is arguably one of the most important steps. 

WB+TDP, with a specialty in pre-visualization work, is seeing a dramatic increase in this shift. Agencies and brands are now putting  greater emphasis on mapping, and leaving less of the creative work to be done in later stages. Responsible agencies understand it’s easier to change ideas quickly, in the pre-viz stage, as its much more difficult (and expensive) to do it on set. 

This allows the client to have more power in the process and substantial savings within the overall budget. Directors are being asked to shoot what is already planned (and approved over several weeks/months by the client and the Creative Producer) rather than making massive changes on set, which had been the norm. As a result, the industry is seeing a rise in the power of the Creative Producer, who is now more involved in the decision making, and in some instances, a shift away from the Director as the decision maker. 

The precise planning in the pre-vis stage of the process allows for greater fiscal responsibility and true creativity flexibility to come together. 

Andrew Kessler is the President and CEO of WB+TDP

About WB+TDP

ABOUT WB+TDP: With clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to independent brands, WB+TDP provides full creative production – from the storyboard stage through post-production, including VFX, Sound Studios, Motion Capture, 2D and 3D to full up high-definition film and video shoots for animatics, cinematics, gaming or testing.  WB+TDP has a team of award-winning in-house creative executives based in New York and over 200 artists around the globe, the largest and most diverse artist roster in the industry. The company recently celebrated 40 years in business.