Yesterday I participated in what will most likely be my last agency pitch. The client was a grocery chain and the work we created was pretty damn solid, if I do say so myself. In a weird and somewhat sadistic way, I think I’m going to miss this whole song and dance shit show. The mad scramble for fresh, new ideas for an unknown client who may or may not have the capacity to understand new ideas. The adrenaline surge as you walk into the board room. The last minute technical failure. They all have a certain charm, particularly once it’s all over and you can view it with some healthy detachment.
This pitch went well. The room was right, the client was engaged, and we had smart, solid stuff to share. I could–and maybe should–write a book about the less successful new business pitches I’ve participated in. The chapter where the client falls asleep (no kidding). The one where the client summarily dismisses six weeks worth of work and sings us the jingle he created instead. The one where the client stops me at the height of my presentation and asks how much tequila I drank to come up with this crap. The one where the CEO asks the marketing director if there’s enough money in the budget to buy me a proper suit and haircut. The one where we are enthusiastically invited to fly across the country and pitch the account of our dreams, only to learn that they thought we were someone else and didn’t need an ad agency. The one where I fall asleep (still not kidding).
But again, this pitch went well. Even the technology cooperated for Christ’s sake. And as much as it won’t make a bit of difference to me personally–I’ll be in Honduras either way–I hope we win the account. This agency needs the work if my good friends and coworkers are going to keep up with their First World mortgages and mayhem.
Hopefully I was able to help take some of the sting out of the announcement I’ll be making in late July. It is a building full of talented people. They deserve to be treated better than the creatively and intellectually constipated dickheads they rely on for food, shelter and BMWs.