Life’s a pitch – part two
Those of us in this industry with long memories talk glowingly of the time when prospective clients actually had something called a pitch budget. That’s right; they would see choosing a new advertising and marketing agency as akin to hiring new staff, and have recruitment costs built into their business overheads projections. They would pay agency pitch expenses. Those were the days.
Yes, they actually shot the pilot
Then they realised agencies would pitch for free, and the budgets disappeared. Of course, in advertising ‘free’ is a four letter word, so costs were recouped via other channels. But the expense was spiralling out of hand – some agencies were shooting pilot commercials for new business presentations – until a select band of London agencies stopped doing creative pitches altogether, relying on presenting their credentials instead. (Bartle Bogart Hegarty was one of them and they now work with British Airways, Dulux and Google, amongst others.)
Well, we tried that with The Caravan Club (see Life’s a Pitch – Part One) and it went down like an Elddis Buccaneer off Land’s End.
A hedgehog smoking a pipe
So for Parkers Cars – part of the massive Bauer Media group – we did it differently. We went in with three different strategic routes. We created concepts and wrote baselines for each route together with some carefully crafted copy. We created layouts with three different visual identities. And, because the art of advertising is to persuade people to buy stuff without them being able to see how you’re talking them into it, we produced full creative rationales for everything we’d done. So Parkers would see the full cunningness of our ideas.
Well, sometimes clients think you just make things up for the hell of it. I know – let’s stick in a picture of a hedgehog smoking a meerschaum pipe, that’ll flog a few cars!
A foot in the door. As it slammed closed
So did we win the business? Well, we made useful contacts and the people we impressed will certainly consider working with us going forward. So that’s a ‘no’ then. Maybe that hedgehog wasn’t such a bad idea ….