We recently went in to pitch the Excite@Home business and chose to promote the theme of speed. We decided to go the route of auto racing and had pit crew outfits made with the Excite@Home logo embroidered on the suits.
Eight of us walked into the pitch meeting with a mock Excite@Home auto racing trophy, Matchbox cars with our business cards attached and a variety of other racing accoutrements. It was one of those situations where they would have either loved it - or thought we were incredibly silly. Thankfully, it worked. We won the business, beating out 15 other PR shops.
The Terpin Group
In 1987 I was a contestant on a game show where you were paired up with a celebrity partner. My partner was Daphne Maxwell Reid, wife of actor/director Tim Reid, who most people know as Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati.
Years later while with Asbury Communications, I bumped into the Reids at a tradeshow. They co-owned a film studio and were looking for a PR firm At the pitch, I whipped out the videotape of the show almost as a joke. Daphne was laughing hysterically about how funny she looked and couldn't believe I had the tape after all those years. We ended up getting the account.
We try to be creative in every major new business pitch. We have dressed as a baseball team to talk about our 'pitching' and ability to 'get hits'.
I've led a team dressed in camouflage to dramatize our 'guerilla PR' tactics. By far the craziest thing I've ever done is create a Web site with my head pasted onto a Rambo-like soldier's body for a pitch to a dot-com outfit that put resumes online. We built a site with our 'normal' resumes and then added our 'true' selves: Major General, Web Surfer Dudes, Martha Stewart clone, Killer Bee, Superman and International Spy.
Fargo, ND-based Great Plains was conducting its first agency search.
Great Plains was a bit hesitant about engaging a communications firm.
However, following a highly successful IPO, the company was ready to break out as the leader in the mid-market e-business applications sector. Our pitch was based on a Broadway show, which we titled 'From the Heartland to Center Stage.' We produced a playbill and had red velvet ropes leading into the conference room, which was arranged in a stage fashion. The receptionist was the usher, the team the performers. Great Plains applauded the presentation (and we won the account).