Valve: Ad agencies almost worthless

Tired of ‘copycat’ campaigns, Valve has built the Portal 2 TV ads itself.

Because, it says, no one knows how to market a game better than the people that made it.

The studio said unoriginal ideas and late meetings make the value of creative agencies ‘pretty close to worthless’.

No one knows the product better than the folks who made it,” Valve’s marketing VP Doug Lombardi told MCV.

We’ve had many creative kick-off meetings with agencies over the years, and you’d be shocked by the treatments that have come back. Copycat treatments. Clich treatments. Treatments that reveal the agency wasn’t listening in the initial meeting.

With the Portal 2 ad, we playtested it and were able to make changes during production. With an agency, those types of tests are too often left to a post-mortem – at which point, the value of those realisations is pretty close to worthless.”

Valve spent eight weeks making its TV ad following a series of successful Valentine’s Day-themed online videos for Portal 2.

In the UK, an outdoor marketing push on bus sides and at train stations will complement the TV ads.

Portal 2 is distributed by EA and is due April 21st on Xbox 360, PC and PS3.

Valve also created the commercials for Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2.

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