Pitch Perfect Design

By Craig Marshall

48_sheet After commenting on this
issue on another blog. I thought
I would bring the same debate
to ours. It’s all about the pitch process and the relevant
amount of effort.

The debate began after reading about a production director, Huey Nhan. Who was recently sitting on the receiving end
of a pitch from two different agencies.

He stated that the first design agency started with a brief introduction and an overview of their credentials but quickly moved on to present their response to brief. It was comprehensive, design-led and visual. They’d interpreted their ideas into moodboards, layouts and artist’s impressions.
It was colourful, inspiring and above all, exciting. It helped that they seemed to understand the company values and personality completely, although he said that had they been a little
off-the-mark, he thinks he would have forgiven them.

The second agency chose not to put in the legwork. Their credentials were better and they made sure we knew about all the sexy projects they’d delivered before. He spent most of the hour looking at other work they had done, before revealing a small sample of what they would suggest for them and an offer to begin the creative process once they had the job. It was obvious they didn’t know what it was going to look like, yet.

Of course, they went with the first agency. The time they spent on the pitch, they can now make back and more. The little time the second agency spent on their pitch, they lost entirely.

Pitching is a time-consuming and expensive process. I have recently spent a lot of my own free time working on what you would class as unpaid work. Even though sometimes it can feel like a waste of time if you think an agency has already been selected before the day of the presentation.

However I still love the pitch process, it can give you license
to really tackle a brief, and push your ideas further. Personally I will continue to burn the midnight oil to achieve the result I want. The extra effort can be very rewarding.

The degree at which you respond to a brief though sometimes needs to be questioned. It should be all about communicating the idea, that’s the important bit. It needs to be worked up
to good level of detail, so you can capture the clients imagination and assure them that the idea translates from words and ideas to a finished design. You are looking for that wow!

BusSide-Advert Sometimes I ask myself though, why does it need
to be shown in every possible execution? It’s the same concept on a bus as it is on a billboard, as it is in a magazine, on a website in a toilet on a balloon a T-shirt, Need I go on?

In the end you need to speculate to accumulate have confidence in your work and ability. If you don’t win the pitch you will always stay in their mind for next time. All is never lost. Plus it’s fun and should be approached that way. If you don’t enjoy it why are you doing it in the first place.

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