There’s something liberating about going in to pitch for the business of a big brand, knowing full well you are the underdog. Perhaps it’s the sense of ‘what is there to lose?’ – aside from them the many hours of time that you invariably sink into doing the job justice – but also the will to approach the challenge from a new angle.
Earlier this year we were up against some of the most lauded agencies in the industry, duking it out for the PR and social brief for Rustlers, an extremely well known brand of microwavable burgers in the UK. Long story short, we won. And earlier this month we were invited to talk at the Oystercatchers Awards in recognition of the best pitches of the year, because we had set ourselves apart from the others by thinking bigger than the brief.
Oystercatchers are an organization focused on “accelerating marketing performance” and run pitching process in the industry, connecting some of the biggest brands with agencies across the marketing spectrum. They know their stuff, and for them to call out our pitch as one of the best was a huge honour.
I’d love to say that it was simply our creativity that clinched it for us, but apparently not: it was our approach to collaborating. The client had made a big point about successful integration being at the heart of success for them, and as part of the pitch we were invited to meet with the media, advertising and brand measurement agencies to get real insights into how the group work together. This is a rare luxury in pitching because we got a feel for where we sat in the grand scheme of things and where we can make a difference for the brand. I wish it were part of all pitch processes.
We are experts in collaboration. As part of the Omnicom/DAS network, we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by experts in every niche and facet of marketing, and we’ve sought to really understand how our discipline can compliment others or visa versa. We’ve developed a range of approaches to answering client briefs with ‘Power of Two’ thinking, where we gain perspective on a problem by seeing it through the lens of other disciplines. When we shared our ideas with shopper marketing agency TPN we were able to really understand how some of our ideas could play out in retail and have an impact on what really matters: selling product. This pragmatic perspective gave us a real advantage.
At the awards, we were able to talk about PR as part of the bigger marketing machine, and the value of agencies joining the dots between marketing disciplines when considering the response to a brief or tackling a business problem. This pitch process and our Power of Two approach enabled us to showcase PR as an increasingly important cog in the engine and, we hope, open the door to more collaborative work for our clients and their partners.
Check out this film we created for the panel: https://vimeo.com/244054652/6bb78b3df4