Managed a search over the past year where two Agencies mightily impressed the client. Started with the initial Chemistry/Q&A call, worked its way into the RFP, and finally found its way into the pitch. Lots of energy, a lot of great ideas, smart strategic people, etc.
The Client decided after the pitch (where four Agencies presented) that these two Agencies were the finalists and with a few follow-up questions in hand, they would visit the Agencies to get their final questions answered and give a look to their digs.
Two things, did one of the Agencies in during the visit.
First, was the energy and enthusiasm stopped. The great “show” the Agency had put on since the beginning failed to continue through to the end. The things they could control when it was a 2-3 person performance stopped working when the Client had control of the situation.
The second, and a much more interesting thing that helped shut the door on their chances: Their work.
Not the work the Agency presented in the pitch – the Client loved that. It was the work that adorned the Agency’s creative department’s wall. The work-in-progress taped to the creative team’s work room was not in line with the kind of work the Client was presented. The work the Client saw was beautiful, high end creative that aligned with the very aesthetic, high end look and feel of the brand. What they saw was promotional work, fast food/QSR work…work that made the Client take pause and wonder if this Agency was really capable of sustaining the kind of work they presented to them – or maybe worse – question whether or not it was THIS agency that presented the creative.