pitching in

Called into my old agency to team up with my former art director, and lend a hand with a new business pitch. Pitching is the most fun about agency work. In a masochistic way I have grown to like the adrenaline surge of the pitch presentation. You get a real sense of team too. And it’s funny that when all the fights, and tight-lipped conversations at midnight, exhausted rehearsals are resolved, and you’ve surfed a wave of adrenaline and shone in front of your potential client, how suddenly all these people you’ve gone through hell with are your best mates again.

Some quirk means that I find it easy to be ultra competitive if I’m part of a team. Kicking sand in the face of your opposition it feels less personal when there’s a bunch of you.

This time however I was firmly behind the scenes. Mike my art director and I in familiar territory. Gulping coffee, and up against a tight deadline with loads to do, but knowing each other inside out. And creating pitch work means you can do anything you want – the client not only wants to see that you can deliver the kinds of work they will need, but also are prepared to be wowed, and will give you extra points if you come up with material they’ve never contemplated.

In this pitch, to launch product x, we decided at the last minute to involve a blimp, and life size pictures for the sides of buses and so on. You can merrily suggest all this in a pitch because there is often a willing suspension of disbelief on both sides.

And sometimes, just sometimes the client will go for it, and you get to do something really spectacular.

Below “Hmm. Maybe you’re right. The aircraft carrier is overkill…”

By Peter Kenny

I lead a double life. Identity #1. A writer of poems, comedy plays, dark fiction and the odd libretto. Identity #2: A marketing outlier, working with London creative agencies and my own clients as a copywriter and creative consultant.

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