Friday, 16 October 2009

How to choose an agency, part 4 - The Pitch. Yawn.

Well, you may have thought that all the fun of the chemistry meetings was free, but it ain't.

You pay for it by the frigging bucketload on pitch day.

On this long, sad day, 3-5 agencies (or maybe more, if you can possibly imagine anything so fucking hideous) rock up at whichever boardroom has been chosen as Boredom Sector 1, and tell you for an hour and a half that black is white, up is down and George Michael is an arm-wrestling father of three.

They'll spend the first 20 minutes telling you about their philosophy (incidentally, my philosophy is this: never go with a girl with big hands), the next 60 showing you the incomprehensible work they've done in response to the brief you wrote on the crapper, and the last 10 graciously letting you ask them questions. (Which you should never, EVER do because it just encourages them to keep on fucking talking.)

Anyway, here are some tricks to help get you through the day-long agony.

1) Write a ditty in your head.
Great tip, this. Make up a little song and keep singing it in your head - you'll be surprised how quickly the pitch flies by. My favourite was to the tune of the William Tell Overture and could be directed at whichever agency boy was killing me with Powerpoint: 'You're a cunt, you're a cunt, you're a cunt cunt cunt / You're a cunt, you're a cunt, you're a cunt cunt cunt / You're a cunt, you're a cunt, you're a cunt cunt cunt / You're a cuuuunnt, you're a big fat cunt.' (By all means use it, but remember to pay me royalties! In beerz!)

2) Mentally undress the agency girls.
Obvious, I know, but I thought I'd throw it in because, sometimes, they do have fantastic bristolas. It's a tried and tested method. But if it ain't broke, why not imagine giving it one up the funnel?

3) Pretend to take a call.
Remember - you're the boss. So if you need to take a call, just press your phone to your ear (it was on silent, if anyone asks why it didn't ring) say, 'Sorry, Brian - give me a minute', then walk out. Go back in when you've had a beer or a wank or a shit or whatever. It's your call.

4) Be a complete and utter fuck-end.
If you're really, really bored, be unpleasant. It can be very cathartic. Ask them stupid, aggressive questions, interrupt them with jokes only you laugh at, snort derisively at random moments and, if the fancy takes you, stop them and ask something like, 'If my brand was a vegetable, which would it be?'

In the end, though, you'll have 3-5 (or maybe more) presentation leave-behinds in front of you (which you should never read, under any circumstances). You won't remember any of the actual presentations. But you'll have to choose one of the agencies.

Next time, I'll tell you how to do it. And when I have, you'll want to blow me and buy me a beer! And I'll probably let you!

Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!


  1. Can I cut in?

    Let's not forget about the going to [insert meal here] bit, wherein it turns into a serious conversation about you. In as much as the conversation about you is inexorably linked to your opinion of them.

    I had the Creative Dir. of an agency tell me and my coworkers about the inordinate amount of hunting he did. This while eating and after two of the women politely and discreetly explained/complained that they did not approve of hunting. Still he went on to discuss -and I'm NOT exaggerating- gutting animals.

    That was bad, but worse still was that he looked exactly like Bon Jovi, circa when they were popular.

  2. Thanks a million for the comment, Corey!

    Are you telling me a Creative Director was a Ted Nugent-style hunter? I find that hard to believe - they're usually really, really clever and confusing and get all excited about whatever rubbish the Tate Modern is showing.

    If you're saying there's a CD out there who kills and guts animals - and talks about it in front of girls - I need to hire that agency!

    Then again, he'd probably shoot me in the face with a crossbow if I changed one of his ads (and I always change the ads!) so perhaps not.



  3. That's exactly what I'm telling you, Dave. The

    Ted Nugent disguised as Bon Jovi creative stunned us as well.

    And if for some reason that didn't dissuade you and you want his contact info, e-mail me. Though I won't recommend them; they were terrible. That's right, the Pres. & CEO hired them against the lamentations of each and every single person in the Marketing Dept.

    Now, if you really are looking for a great agency and/or talented advisors, e-mail me and I can give you some names. I don't work in marketing or advertising anymore, so there's no sales pitch here, promise.

    Now, resume ranting.

  4. Wow. A boss who totally ignores what the little people want and steams right on ahead. I'm impressed.

    These men make successful men. Great men. Powerful men. Men with towering alcohol problems and a propensity to fuck anything that moves.

    You have to admire them...

  5. Why with the short joke? (little men)-kidding

    Thing is, I was his Strategic Projects Mgr.; i.e., coordinated all aspects of new product development, developed and managed the business intelligence unit, aided the company in going international, managed the marketing dept., etc.--you know, small stuff. Suffice it to say, I'm no longer there.

    And I won't fuck just anything. It has to have a pulse. And I prefer it to NOT have a penis. As for the alcohol, yes please.