Confessions of a Marketer Part 2: What I LOVE and HATE about the Creative Agency Pitch

If you missed the first section of this series, you can read it here

As a seasoned marketer, I certainly have sat through my fair share of creative agency pitches. While there have been pitches that have left me really impressed and excited, there have also been pitches that have left me asking if I can ever get that hour of my life back.

Thinking about the highs and lows of different pitches I’ve experienced, I’ve put together a list of what I have frankly hated (previous post), but also what has completely knocked my socks off.

This is the second of my 2-part blog series focusing on what I have absolutely loved from fantastic creative pitches. I hope this will be helpful for creative agencies as they think about pitching new work this year, and for marketers to know how high to put the bar when an agency’s pitching to them.

If you missed the first section of this series, you can read it here.

I LOVE IT WHEN CREATIVE AGENCIES…

LOVE IT WHEN: Instead of a static pitch, the creative agency involves the client in the build up of the idea. When BBH pitched to Google in 2005, they made us sit on the floor, with pencils and paper. We built on ideas together, and it was brilliant! We collaborated, mixing our knowledge of the brand and their amazing creativity. Pretty fast we knew we wanted to work with these folks, because working with them was incredibly easy, and we could witness first hand, live, the value they brought to the table and how it complemented our skills.

LOVE IT WHEN: The creative people, who actually worked on the pitch, presents to the client, their own work. It does not matter if they’re not so well spoken or well dressed, or even if they’re well structured… In the same way I want to speak to the artist and not his agent when I go to an art opening, I want to speak to creatives when I work with a creative agency!

LOVE IT WHEN: The creative agency takes a risk and has a strong opinion. I’ve had enough of Vanilla ice cream during my childhood thank you very much, there are too many competitors now to follow trends. Following is not going to differentiate my brand. Even if the agency is a bit off, having the courage to take a stance is what I am looking for!

LOVE IT WHEN: The creative agency actually tries to get under your skin and to become an extended part of your team. They all say they do that, but which one actually sends their creatives to sit in your office for a week, speaking to product, sales, customer support employees?

LOVE IT WHEN: The creative agency thinks about local relevance and implementations. Typically, I’d go to the UK to find a creative agency because so many great creative minds are based there, and so many times, I would end up with an idea that is really, only, UK-relevant. A concept that is impossible to translate into German, or impossible to understand for a Brazilian customer…

That’s my list!

  • Marketers, is there anything else that has really wowed you in a creative agency pitch? Share your thoughts in the comments.
  • Agencies, how about you? Anything you’ve done you think really worked? I would love to hear your perspective!