Just as doctors make the worst patients, agencies are often the
worst at marketing themselves. But one PR firm, Abovo in Atlanta, has
decided to let the lab monkeys run the lab.
At stake were bragging rights for coming up with a PR campaign for the
firm, as well as concert tickets and a day off for each winning team
The staff was split into four groups, each pitching the firm's
They even issued an "RFP" and held a series of "bidders conferences."
Score sheets graded their efforts on strategic planning, creative
execution, presentation skills and even hourly utilization as the teams
were restricted to 60 group-hours and three weeks to develop their
After the presentations, internal "Oscars" were presented to the winning
teams. "Excelsior, Inc." (Latin for "hire") even won "Best Use of
Cocktails" for presenting shooters in chemistry tubes at the end of
their presentation which included an actual chemistry experiment to
demonstrate how agency-client relationships can result in something
outrageous. "Schmoozing the client is part of the pitch, isn't it?" said
VP Mike Neumeier.
In the end, "Voyant, Inc." emerged victorious. Their "It's Elemental"
campaign focused on using the concepts of fire, water and earth as
metaphors for the agency's capabilities. Abovo has indeed used the
campaign to revamp the firm website and collateral. The "It's Abovo"
effort launches this week and includes taglines like, "we have a fire in
our belly" and "we're cool under pressure" with fire and water images to
describe the firm's attributes.