Tobi Ogundipe

Creative Strategist

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Creative strategy consultant; accidental social-entrepreneur; and native Angelino looking for opportunities with innovative brands.



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Posts tagged The Pitch

The Nature of The Pitch

I wasn’t sure if I was going to post on AMC’s new show The Pitch. Besides the fact that I make a milli-second appearance in the show I just feel that the show didn’t not do the profession of advertising any justice. Wong Doody Crandall Wiener, the agency I was interning with at the time, came up with a total of three solid campaigns - only one of which was actually shown on the show. 

Such is the nature of television…the real story is left on the editing floor.

I did make it a point to monitor the twitter chatter from other ad professionals. Lot’s of negative which is fine but if you’re going to trash a whole agency why not check out all the material first. Totally get if you feel like you could have come up with something better but look at the whole picture before you put your two cents. But as Tracy Wong said….such is the nature of advertising. So many man hours and ideas never get recognized when it comes to pitch day.

I personally spent 9a-midnight….9am-3am days on the pitch which pales in comparison to the crazy hours our kick ass production team and creatives from LA and SEA pulled. My hats off to them. ‎

Of everything I participated in, out of everything that ended up on TV here’s what I took the greatest issue with: certain people made advertising seem like it was brain surgery. Now, I have the utmost respect for the John Jays and pioneers of the industry but, I know doctors and lawyers…advertising is NOT that hard. Sorry. I would never compare what I do to standing on your feet for 36 hours straight repairing someones vital organs. It just doesn’t compare. And that’s not to say that a world class surgeon could come have come up with the Apple Think Different campaign. Two different disciplines entirely but I think any true advertiser that doesn’t waste time mired in their own BS would admit that we’ve got it a tad bit easier than a surgeon or 1L law student. What bothered me even more is how certain made excuses about taking care of certain things at home on their profession. Maybe for that personal but I personally witnessed THREE colleagues -all in their mid to late 30s- juggle kids under 5, their accounts, and traveling for new business pitches. They came into work looking amazing every morning, full of energy, and always adding to the team, all with no excuses. Yeah sure, from time-to-time they cut out early but I didn’t bat an eye because I knew how much they added to the team…even answering e-mails into the dead of night after putting their little one’s to be: taking a page out of Sheryl Sandberg’s book and showing the young one’s how it’s done. 

That was a little rant-ish but it has been bugging me since the pre-season sneak preview. 

For the record, the pitch process was exhausting but so much fun. It’s the time where you see what your co-workers are made of, the time that the agency teams come together and bond. It shakes up the monotony of routine client work and forces you to stretch, grow, and frequently - fail. 

Also, yes…Tracy Wong is as bad ass as he looks. I mean who else wears a yellow tie and shoes to a pitch? I don’t think I could even pull that off.

So yes, bad ass yet incredibly humble and approachable for an industry vet with his name on the masthead. 

I will leave you with a quote from one of my WDCW colleagues.

Something to put it all into perspective. 

21,000 man hours
1,680 hours filmed
2,100 cups of coffee
150 subway sandwiches
84-page background deck
25 people on the team
14 days of work
8 “creative” brains
5 producers
3 Seattle team members in LA
3 campaigns presented
1, 60-minute pitch
10 minutes of “The Pitch”

Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener, #ThePitch

Is “The Pitch” Really Worth It?

I came across this article from a TalentZoo e-mail and it really made me think about the resources that are used in excess during the pitch process. 

Now being an advertising newbie I always looked at the sheer amount of man hours used for a new business pitch as an industry norm. All hands on deck, employee bonding, trying to shell out your best work in two minutes-kind of process. The pitch process is fun, exhilirating, and thorougly exhausting; which is fine but what happens when you don’t win? What happens to the accounts that were pushed aside for a week while everyone hopped on the new biz train? 

I would guess this is especially taxing for smaller agencies who are trying to grow their brand/agency. 

Thinking strictly as a business owner, I have to think about how much those flights, tissue sessions, and countless presentations eat into the bottom line. 

Now I don’t profess to know the answer nor am I advocating for a strict “no-pitch” policy as the writer of the Talent-Zoo piece seems to be. 

Of course there are many more factors that I have not addressed and some I can’t address because I’m not in a VP, SVP, Partner, or CEO position. But here are some I would consider:

  • Bigger/older shops like Saatchi, Ogilvy, DDB, etc. have holding companies they can pull from in the event of a large pitch but with that - one would assume - comes red tape, differences in agenda, etc.
  • If you don’t have a holding company to pull from but have major “street cred” to rely on like say Wieden & Kennedy, you can use your volume of work and ability to attract excellent talent from a host of creative and analytical fields to offer your services to brands before they even know they need it - so to speak. Even with the recent unfortunate loss of the Target account, W+K is still very much a heavy-weight in the ad world and can still use it’s catalog of excellent work to approach innovative, forward thinking brands. 

But everyone had to start from somewhere right? So what do you do when you’re a small fish trying to play with the big fish?

To be honest, I don’t have the answer and I’m not really sure there is one right answer for the advertising industry. It’s definitely a high-pressure, high-stakes business to be in but then again, what industry isn’t? 

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