How to win a brand pitch as an underdog advertising agency?

Having spent the past five months at the helm of an independent digital agency (read Creative Head), I have had the pleasure of participating in more than 20 brand pitches, or more. That’s roughly 4 pitches a month, or more. Creatively speaking, we as a team are yet to lose a pitch. Pretty much making us the advertising equivalent of Wenger’s invincibles from the early 2000s, or Ponting’s sledgers from the late 2000s. Either way, our place at the GOAT hall of fame is, more or less, assured. With this self-proclaimed titles and the new found entrepreneurial confidence, I shall take the liberty of giving out five or more secrets of winning an advertising pitch (digitally speaking)

A. Think of a hashtag that grammatically doesn’t make sense. Also, it helps if it doesn’t make any vocabulary sense. For instance, #NextIsWhat or #ImpossibleIsNothing. If incorrect English isn’t your forte, then #un any prevalent phenomenon. Consider these — #unUniform or #unFOMO or #unYOLO or simply, #unUn

B. Think of an obvious human insight — something so obvious that nobody can disagree. Like, something universal. For example, every man likes getting a blow job. Now, shuffle the words a little to arrive at a new brand insight — every job likes getting a blow man. Think longer till this makes sense. Decipher it as — Every job likes an arselicker. Hence, we are going to start a campaign that will encourage people to #unlick.

C. Link it to a social cause. In the government organisations, every babu believes it is his birthright to get flattered. It’s time we make it clear that XYZ brand is here to #unlick. If there’s no social cause - first create a social problem and then try to solve that, at a very miniscule level. Simple. Remember, a brand is always a savior, the one that got crucified for a cause.

D. Write a brand film where everything rhymes.

Hello Mr Chopstick,

Don’t make me homesick,

You deserve a frog kick,

I ain’t your joystick.

It’s time to #unlick.

E. Make influencers do anything you wish to. Like VirDas will start a web reality show (in your dreams) where he would find India’s next standup comedian as he gets licked all over by his pug . More you tweet with #unlick, less licks he gets helping him focus on the reality show.

F. Include a call-to-action which includes any or all of the following actions-







G. While introducing the team, refer to anyone in the team as Don Draper, preferably, somebody in a suit.

H. Keep referring to Indigo’s offline and Zomato’s digital strategy as your benchmark. If you don’t have any inspired ‘minimal’ creatives, use creatives of other brands sans their logos.

I. Find some international award-winning campaigns and mention the word disruption as your refer to them time and again.

J. End the presentation with a quintessential sexual innuendo and a sexist remark — like this Diwali only flame that will burn is my ex. As seen in the above example it doesn’t have to make much sense.

K. Show some fakestudies with other brand logos — unpublished and exaggerated. Usually, rejected ideas by the other clients.

L. Quote a measly five-digit retainer, preferably the lowest five-digit number.

M. Win the pitch.

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