Magazine article Marketing

Media Strategies Must Be Built on a Brand Foundation

Magazine article Marketing

Media Strategies Must Be Built on a Brand Foundation

Article excerpt

The first new-business pitch I ever took part in was for G Plan furniture. The marketing director had tipped us to win and all were quietly confident of clinching the account.

Ernest Gomme - the 'G' in G Plan - turned up with his acolytes and waited to be amazed. Our chairman said a few chairmanal words (a 20-minute saunter along advertising's leafier byways), putting the carefully timed presentation out by 18 minutes. One by one the account team talked about furniture with a zeal and sincerity that brought tears to the eyes. The creative - memorably forgettable - came and went with scarcely a flicker of client reaction.

By this stage the two-hour presentation had overrun by three-quarters of an hour and G's plan was not so much to applaud loudly as to doze off. (I witnessed another client snoozing in a new-business pitch a few years later. Our top man told the client next to the snoozer to wake him up in case he "missed anything important". But that was Peter Marsh for you.)

When we had overrun even more, our MD finally intervened: "May I suggest we don't present the detailed media proposals - they are all in the document anyway but if there are any questions ...?" All the questions, predictably, were about media, so I got to do my bit, albeit the abbreviated version, in extra time.

Inevitably, we lost the pitch.

Decades later, this sort of thing doesn't happen as much; clients won't put up with media being marginalised, and most now choose their media agency separately. …

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