A little more than five years ago, Itch was a production company, and a startup at that.
Their office was small and shared with three other startups – everyone working in a single room with two tables and a couch. Energetic and excited, the company’s forward movement was always towards bigger, better, and more meaningful work.
Today, Itch is an advertising agency housed in Ortigas, one of Manila’s central business districts. Embedded in a concrete jungle that churns out progress everyday, their office - with its multipurpose studio, its conference room, and its audio booth - is a far cry from where they started. Their first television commercial, a witty piece with a red beetle car, is three years behind them. Like the city they are in, they’re producing more work everyday.
How does a huge leap like this happen? They say the answer is simply hard work, agility, and being intentional.
In 2012, amidst their slew of video projects, Itch earned a gem of an advertising account: Sulit.com.ph. In the mix with experienced advertising agencies, the production-house-that-could won the pitch because of resourcefulness, creativity and what they call today as “understanding.”
With more experience under their belts, they say that aligning with clients and delivering good work is a matter of having a good understanding of the brand, what they’re trying to do, and how they communicate. Advertising is a two-way street where clients come in with a clear understanding of themselves and their market, as well as a great deal of trust. On this two-way street, creativity is born from collaborating, dreaming big, and opening the doors to new ways to say things.
It’s a method they’ve brought with them since the beginning along with the humble, fun startup work culture. In living out their new identity as an ad agency they’ve gained new faces, new processes, and new clients but they’re definitely still agile as ever. A small team that shoots big and aims high – Itch’s strength comes from being bold, brave, and simply enjoying the act of creation. When they land on a good idea, they have fun and run away with it. If it doesn’t work, it’s just a matter of drawing inspiration again. In the momentum of their growth they’ve attracted beauty brands, men’s accessories brands, digital products, restaurants, and so on. Biore, Hickok Leather, PayMaya, and Subway® are just to name a few.
As an ad agency, Itch’s focus today is to get a good spectrum of clients from different segments, coming in with different needs, energies, and creative challenges. The variety brings fresh insight and new learning about different market segments. The practice of creating and dealing with different clients brings them wider and wider perspectives on the societies they speak to, making their work more informed and more insightful every time. Itch’s work is always about giving their clients the absolute best quality for the resources that they have. With direction and intention, great work absolutely works.
In this growing culture of slashies, advertising agencies are bound to become more than one thing. In five years, who knows what Itch will add to its repertoire of services. It may come as a surprise, even to them. The only sure thing is that they are in the business of serving through communicating creatively, strategically, and, intelligently everyday.