Advertising agencies use a variety of techniques to promote themselves in presentations to clients and prospective clients around the world. BBDO NY utilizes a simple, single page fact sheet while Vulpine Interactive has a 26-slide pitch deck. HUGE and Oglivy aim for providing added value to prospective clients while also demonstrating their philosophies and methodologies with timely presentations related to pressing topics (such as COVID-19). Aside from digital presentations, advertising agencies have successfully stood out with novel and creative campaigns such as Bloc D’s edible typesetting keys, while TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg’s innovative paper art campaign that increased its rate of new client acquisition by 450 percent. Additional details are provided below.
1. BBDO NY’s Fact Sheet
- Presented as a single page, BBDO’s fact sheet uses light orange text on a dark-colored background to succinctly capture and share its message.
- The fact sheet outlines the firm’s philosophy in “Our Mantra”, advises “Who We Are” in two sentences, encapsulates “What We Do” with a small graphic, includes “Key Facts” as a bullet list, provides “Who’s in Charge” with a second bullet list, lists clients in a simple but distinct graphic, and finishes with a list of bulleted awards.
- Other than using an alternative color scheme, BBDO’s approach minimizes flash and focuses on the basic details of the agency — even as the basic details in this case include several recurring awards and a list of impressive clients that comprises the largest portion of the page.
- BBDO’s philosophy of emphasizing “The Work. The Work. The Work.” comes through in this straight-forward approach.
2. HUGE’s COVID-19 Toolkit
- HUGE created a pdf document called “Post Isolation Personas.” that is freely available and shareable from its website.
- The presentation is intended to be downloaded and shared by all businesses (prospective clients) to assist them in understanding how COVID-19 has affected consumer personas.
- The 24-page report includes primary research and outlines five different types of consumers based on HUGE’s findings.
- This is a value-added report that serves to build the reputation of HUGE and establish trust with potential clients. While it includes quantitative data and addresses a major disruption in society, it does so with as gentle of an edge as possible (including pastel colors and soft drawings of butterflies, people, and animals). It closes with a simple but effective reminder about the agency that can help brands get through this challenging time period (HUGE).
3. Oglivy’s Red Papers
- Oglivy occasionally posts “Red Papers” on its website that contain valuable information for prospective clients and promote Oglivy as a reliable and trustworthy partner. One such Red Paper is 2018’s “Brands That Do: Building Behavior Brands“, which discusses Oglivy’s understanding of how taking social stands affects brands (i.e.: “There is evidence of a new type of consumer whose behavior forms a common cultural mindset. We’ve elected to call them Gen B, the behavior generation, even though they span different ages and classes. It’s enormously important to understand not just what they do, but why they behave as they do.”).
- The “Brands That Do” presentation includes a teal pastel color theme, light-hearted drawings, and ample blank space for message absorption. Because this report shares valuable information and highlight’s Oglivy’s insights and methodology, it is designed to attract clients.
- A second example comes from Oglivy’s 2020 “COVID-19: How to Communicate in Turbulent Times“. It includes references to Oglivy’s philosophy and methodology (i.e. “Here’s an explanation of what we suggest at every step of the process. This approach reflects much of what we are doing for clients now.”).
- The COVID-19-focused report has orange text on a dark grey background; it projects authority at the same time as catching attention through vertically-split slides. It not only adds value to prospective clients but also serves to highlight Oglivy’s work style.
4. Vulpine Interactive’s Pitch Deck
- Vulpine Interactive has an active pitch deck available that serves to promote the agency to prospective clients.
- Vulpine’s pitch deck is 26 slides long and emphasizes dark accents on a white background for a bold effect.
- The presentation includes an introduction to the company, a list of problems it addresses, a list of client segments, their mission, vision, and promise, a list of services provided, methodology, pricing, and a timetable of what to expect.
- Vulpine Interactive’s presentation is thorough, visually acceptable, and consistent. It subjectively succeeds in depicting the agency as competent, transparent, and capable of delivering the results it promises.
5. Embrace’s Pitch Deck for Music Industry Clients
- An example of a pitch deck from Embrace demonstrates how the advertising agency targets its clients in particular fields. This particular pitch deck is designed for clients in the music industry.
- Embrace’s pitch deck is 12 slides long. From the opening page it includes imagery related to the music industry with a bright, easy-to-read font and an orange background.
- The pitch deck includes an introduction to Embrace, an overview of clients it provides services for, a list of its services, case studies, and contact information.
- By using music industry-themed imagery and focusing on clients in or related to the entertainment industry (such as Red Bull), Embrace demonstrates it is capable of resonating with clients in this particular field and projecting the brand’s competency and desirability to consumers.
Case Study: Bloc D
- Bloc D is a branding and communications agency based in Barcelona, Spain.
- For the past 30 years, Bloc D has branded itself as “one of the leisure leaders” of Spain by creating noteworthy campaigns for products across a wide spectrum.
- Bloc D’s three primary values are empathy, essence, and meticulousness.
Bloc D’s Two Campaigns of Self-Promotion
- Bloc D distinguished itself for its creativity with an initial campaign that presented its clients and prospective clients with edible type in the style of the Gutenberg printing press, as shown below.
- More recently, Bloc D launched a second self-promotion campaign that featured a replicated Pantone color chart with edible chocolates for each of the color tones (shown below). These were sent around as Christmas mailers.
Bloc D’s Approach
- Bloc D’s self-promotion campaigns were effective at highlighting the brand’s commitment to one of its core values: meticulousness. The movable type successfully replicated typesetting keys down to fine detail.
- The second campaign similarly succeeded in highlighting the firm’s meticulousness and creativity by listing appropriate color shades that corresponded to chocolate flavors.
- Lastly, Bloc D successfully emphasized another of its core values by providing empathy through the second campaign. Providing its clients and friends with chocolates at Christmas time demonstrated its ability to be in touch with its clients and consumers.
Case Study: TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg
- TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris established an office in Johannesburg, South Africa, but all the clients were going for well-known agencies.
- To build business from its newly-established office in South Africa, TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris needed to develop an innovative campaign that would attract the attention of prospective clients.
- The design team recognized that all briefs in South Africa come from clients in brown paper bags, and saw an opportunity to stand out.
Sending Back Paper Art
- The team at TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg intercepted incoming briefs and set about modifying the bags and the briefs into intricate paper art.
- Included with each piece of paper art (shown below) was the message “we can do amazing things with your briefs“.
Impact of Paper Art Campaign
- The response from clients and industry followers alike was phenomenal with a 450 percent increase in new work orders in the first six weeks.
- The level of detail and creativity shown in the paper art inspired clients to not only keep the briefs, but to hang them on their walls as a lasting testament to TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg’s creativity.
Case Study: Vasava
- Vasava is an advertising and design agency based in Barcelona, Spain since 1997.
- As an agency, Vasava’s approach is based on “Catalan passion” and “a keen sense of the unexpected.”
- Creating “solid harmony” from a variety of “shapes, sounds, colors, words, and concepts” in each project is Vasava’s goal.
Vasava Socks and #VasavaSocks
- In 2016, Vasava sought to reach new clients and thank existing ones with the creation of a series of socks.
- The specially-made socks came in a personalized package with “It’s time to work your socks off!” one the front. On the back was a word challenge inviting viewers to search for hidden words.
- Along with the socks themselves, recipients were invited to post on social media with #VasavaSocks to challenge others to find the hidden words and encourage sharing.
Vasava Socks Impact
- The Vasava Socks campaign was successful in spreading awareness of the creative potential of Vasava’s agency.
- Since the socks were wearable, unusual, and reusable, they were walking advertisements for Vasava that generated constant buzz from prospective clients.
- On Facebook, there are numerous posts tagged with #VasavaSocks with hundreds of engagements between them.
After affirming that examples should come from dedicated advertising agencies, the research team began by scanning the sites of the agencies recommended by the client for files that were primarily or secondarily self-promotional in nature. Presentations were located on BBDO NY’s website and HUGE Inc.’s website. Both of these examples were provided above. The research team then proceeded to scan websites of additional advertising firms for relevant examples of pdf files, finding a few examples from Oglivy.