Sand & Castle, The Model Explained

We often get the question how our model works. If you were wondering the same thing you came to the right place! In this article we’ll explain exactly how our model works and what sets it apart from other agencies. In order to highlight the differences we’ll start by explaining the traditional agency model. After that we will discuss the Sand & Castle model.


First of all let us highlight that we value and respect the big agencies out there. They come up with brilliant strategies and campaigns and they still amaze us at times with their creativity. That being said, the way they operate nowadays is based on an outdated model, that still relies too heavily on television campaigns to bring in money.

With an increase in the shear volume of (online) content over the past decade, big agencies have become too big and cumbersome to keep up with the demand. They have simply become too large to keep up with the call for content. In a traditional agency there are a lot of value adding chains in their workflow. Everything is geared towards billing hours to the client in order to make the most money possible. Just imagine you want to produce a video campaign. What would that process look like?

The first step would be to brief the agency. After the brief the agency will write a debrief and they will start doing their research. Out of the research comes a creative brief, that leads to an internal brief and an internal proposal. The internal proposal will be worked out into an internal presentation. After some fine tuning the first idea will be presented back to you, the client. By the time you get to see the first idea half of your initial budget will be burned by all the steps mentioned above. What’s worse is that until this stage you didn’t have any say in the creative process and the idea they’ve come up with. Since you aren’t involved in the process the first idea could be totally off mark. This could mean you just spent a whole lot of money on something that doesn’t match your needs! Even if you like the idea you only have half of your budget left to get to the production, and this is where things get even messier..

Since most agencies don’t have an internal video production unit or simply don’t have the expertise / style needed for the production in-house, they will hire an external production company. The external production company often hires freelancers since they don’t have all the required specialists in-house. Of course the production company adds a markup to the fee of the freelancers, and the advertising agency adds a significant markup on top of the fee of the production company (sometimes up to 100%). Everybody has to make money right? However, for you, this means your budget is not spent efficiently at all…

After the production the advertising agency goes through several feedback rounds with the production company and it’s freelancers which usually takes a few weeks (all billable hours of course). The penultimate version of the production is shown to you after which you give feedback that goes through the agency back to the production company and its freelancers. Resulting in a final version. All of this communication goes through the agency which means there is a lot of room for miscommunication. More often than not changes demanded by the agency are undone again by request of the client. This results in a lot of wasted time and money.

If you spend a whole bunch of time reading through this process you’re absolutely right! Now imagine this in real life..

Now, how does Sand & Castle tackle this problem?


We set out to make this whole process way more efficient. By reducing all these value adding chains in the production cycle and putting you in direct contact with the creative professionals we are able to cut costs and time while maintaining high quality. We built a large network of experienced creative professionals. Most of whom have years of experience in the industry and still work with large traditional agencies. Meaning you get access to the same quality that a larger agency offers. In order to ensure our quality we have also setup an internal jury that evaluates the work of potential new entrants. Since newcomers always bring new people to the network we have created an organically expanding ecosystem with everything you could ever ask for. After all, good people know good people.

Now how does this work? Simple. We start by analysing your needs during our first meeting. Based on this analysis we determine what kind of specialisms you need in order to successfully finish your project. We then build a creative swat-team around you that you get to meet during the second meeting. You brief the team directly so there are no misunderstandings. After the briefing we manage the entire project so you have one point of contact for the entire team. Of course you can discuss everything regarding the project  directly with the creatives as well. Since we will include you in all the steps in the process you are up to date on the actual developments, saving a myriad of time in the final feedback rounds. This process of co-creation makes sure there are no unexpected surprises at the end of the road.

Curious about how we can help you? Or do you simply want to have chat about the weather? You can leave your details here or call directly with Rob, our account director on +31 (0)6 20 07 29 10.

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