Best Buy helped kick off in-housing, and it's continuing the trend by creating all its holiday ads internally

Best Buy helped kick off in-housing, and it's continuing the trend by creating all its holiday ads internally

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  • Best Buy is continuing a yearslong trend of taking its advertising in house, making all its holiday TV ads internally.
  • The chain was among the first big brands to pioneer the in-housing trend, which has threatened traditional ad agencies' business.
  • Best Buy will keep working with its primary agency, WPP's Wunderman Thompson, though.
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Best Buy is moving more of its marketing work in-house, making all this year's holiday ads internally, a spokesperson confirmed.

The Minneapolis-based retail giant helped pioneer the in-housing trend when it dropped former agency of record Crispin Porter Bogusky in 2015 and hired Wunderman Thompson, a division of holding company WPP, to help build its own marketing division.

Best Buy has since doubled down on that strategy, though a Best Buy rep said Wunderman Thompson continues to be its primary agency.

Best Buy's creative division made all of this year's holiday TV ads

A source close to the matter told Business Insider that some work previously assigned to Wunderman Thompson had moved to Best Buy's own team in the past few weeks.

The scope and nature of the work in question is unclear, though Best Buy confirmed that all of this year's holiday TV spots were created in-house.

Best Buy has been for the past 18 months assigning more work to its creative department.

About 100 members of embedded agency Wunderman Thompson Inside work alongside Best Buy's team

One product of WPP's work for Best Buy was Wunderman Thompson Inside, a division launched in 2018 to help clients with in-housing by building teams within their offices.

WPP has more than 100 employees embedded in Best Buy's marketing department.

Wunderman Thompson also helped create the 2018 rebranding campaign along with WPP's Grey and Redscout, a design and strategy consultancy owned by MDC Partners. Spokespeople confirmed that neither of the latter two agencies is actively working with Best Buy at this time.

The home improvement chain's revenues have steadily risen over the past three years via cost-cutting and a push into healthcare services targeting senior citizens. Stock prices dropped after second-quarter sales failed to meet expectations and CEO Corie Barry predicted that President Trump's trade tariffs would affect high-margin goods like televisions and headphones.

According to market research firm Kantar Media, Best Buy spent $113 million in advertising in the first half of 2019 versus $250 million in 2018 and about $140 million in 2017.