Unless you win the account of course. Then the undying stress of trying desperately not to lose the business begins.
Pitches are like life. The emotion and the drama. The anticipation and the joy. The disappointment and - perhaps - the relief.
pitch results should be delivered live via some sort of collective
Facetime conference call. Just so everyone can see the losers' faces
like in the Oscars broadcast. And the winners can pretend to be
surprised that their last minute decision to halve their mark up swung
it for them.
Perched a little outside the
agency world, on a tree looking through the window, it felt like most of
the Australian advertising business was in pitch mode for the entire
year. And I'm not just talking about the Tourism Australia one, which
lasted for most of it.
The thing about pitching is that it feels like you are capable of
doing anything. And doing it well. It's only when you win the account
that it suddenly feels like that this level of idealism is absolutely
But in amongst all the late night
pizzas and 11th hour strategy changes, some people in the rest of the
world were actually making work for existing, long-standing clients. And
some were being stupid enough to be idealistic, taking the time to
finally get to grips with the opportunities that the new media offer.
had a bit of time, because this was the year that the technologists had
other bigger issues to deal with as opposed to inventing the next big
The Facebookers, Googlers and
Twitterers were spending their days justifying that the big things
they'd already invented weren't corrupted or corruptible, damaging to
our collective mental health or indeed giving voice to illegal agendas,
swinging election results or causing entire countries to reach a state
And that meant it became possible
for some creative folk worth their salt to work out how to use the
various platforms to create something newsworthy of their own.
An Instagram post, for example.
Every bit as good as an old fashioned billboard.
Yet it had global impact because the medium allowed it to travel way beyond the confines of an out of home site.
It worked so well, Nike is now doing the same thing with Raheem Stirling.
is a brand using its core values to restate its reason for existing in
the simplest possible terms across the broadest possible platforms.
A YouTube phenomenon.
Every bit as good as an old fashioned music video.
it had global impact because it wasn't restricted to a TV station. And
the brand was smart enough to get out of the way and let the creativity
do the talking.
A PR apology.
Every bit as good as an old fashioned print ad.
Because this indeed was a single page print ad in two tabloid newspapers.
because it was circulated on Facebook, it caused more positive feedback
for a brand that was in crisis than most brands can dream of in good
The best work this year took
traditional, brave simplicity to new places. And used the idea and the
execution to create more than double the impact.
An artistic installation.
work by Adam & Eve/DDB where 84 sculptures of men with hoods over
the faces stand ominously on top the ITV tower in the UK helped record a
34% increase in the number of people reaching out for help with their
Every bit as good as an old fashioned poster.
But better because it was an event, an invitation to experience something and share that with others.
one dramatic moment, this powerful, provocative, eye-catching,
installation demonstrated how powerfully art can deliver meaning.
Constantly surprising, modern film-making and creatively entertaining, inspiring and rewarding.
And we should add Wieden & Kennedy's Tom Bender and Tom Corcoran's for Nike 'Londoner' and Three 'Phones are Good'.
are every bit as good as old fashioned cinema ads. But now taken to a
wider audience thanks to the power of social sharing.
A Superbowl stunt.
A Tide Ad'
may not be the most groundbreaking of work to earn itself a
D&AD black pencil (it's not a patch on Graham) but it's certainly
worthy of praise for bringing humour back to an otherwise emotionally
And it's every bit as good as an old-fashioned TV campaign.
the very best work of 2018 includes other examples of advertising pure
and simple taken to wider audiences through smart media choices and
opportunism afforded by the new tech.
This wasn't a year of the medium being the message. It was a year of the message exploiting the medium.
for at least the foreseeable future, audiences might be allowed to be
more interested in the work, than the way they consume the work.
Which rather annoyingly doesn't bring me back to the first sentence of the article.
Ah well. Life's a bitch.
Happy new year.