How to sell an idea.

I'm an outsider to the world of advertising, but I have an Idea (which I have been told is hilarious) for a television commerical for a specific large company. How would I go about trying to pitch it? Do I need to contact the ad agency for this particular company? Or come to the company directly with the idea.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

11 comments

ndejesus's picture
ndejesus
102 pencils

This really depends on your capability to execute the idea.

I have been in Business Development for ad firms over the past 6 years, selling over $20 million in fee for the companies that I've worked for and the one thing I can say is that if you can't execute the idea yourself, or you are not at an agency that can execute it (because of capability or conflict of interest) your best bet would be to call someone you trust at another agency, and get a written contract that says you will get a commission on the total fee of the project, if the client buys.

My previous jobs have put me in the same situation several times, and due to conflicts of interest, or the fact that we didn't do TV, etc., we would have to let a great idea go through the cracks. The solution I reccommended here is what I would do if I thought the idea was really awesome. Beware, though, not to give too much of your idea away when making the proposition to this other agency - ideas are the value we bring to the table, so don't give your value away for free!

Good luck -

rotto's picture
rotto
9 pencils

thanks...

And if I don't know anybody in an agency?

ivan's picture
ivan

Try to make a storyboard and send to the agency responsible for the account. They will hopefully tell you if the idea is on brief or not.

Ivan Raszl, admin of AotW

rotto's picture
rotto
9 pencils

Is there any sort of listing for agencies and their corresponding clients?

TRICKY's picture
TRICKY
3930 pencils

at least tell us what is the brand:)

The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time

rotto's picture
rotto
9 pencils

Ha, I apologize. It's Boost Mobile.

TRICKY's picture
TRICKY
3930 pencils

ok
1- try to look on the net in your area where is their offices
2- search for the responsable person name for the brand communication
3- try to approach him or her
4- if its a him take him to a stripper club
5- if she is a she buy her something worthy and fun
6- talk about your idea
7- if your idea is undestood then buy him another drink /buy her another gift
8- ask him or her to push you inside the agency
9- agency will be more than happy to make money out of your idea specialy if the client gave the blessings
10- when you get paid re-invite your client to a strip club (dont lie you enjoyed it too) if its a she then try to sleep with her

The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time

Bye's picture
Bye
1468 pencils

How to get your idea sold in 10 easy steps, by Tricky. Great stuff. But really, the odds of your idea being on brief are slim to none, it's already hard getting an idea past your CD when inside an agency, let alone being outside the industry.

JDizzle's picture
JDizzle
14 pencils

Kris is right.

I don't want to discourage you, but I get about 2-3 unsolicited ideas a month
(my client is a beer company). To which I very often reply with a formal, snail-mailed
letter stating that if you so chose, you can hand over your idea and for absolutely no
compensation or recognition the agency or the client can use it.

To this day (and the agency has been on the business for 5 years), not one idea has
made it through. The odds are truly against you.

Clients pay the agencies to develop ideas that are right for their brand(s). Unless you're
sure that the idea you have is "on" their current strategy, or impactful enough for the
client to change their strategy or position in the market, you're better off keeping
the idea to yourself.

ndejesus's picture
ndejesus
102 pencils

I'm not sure that I agree with this line of thinking. Don't get discouraged. When I was in Pharmaceutical advertising, the best way to sell a new idea was to research trends and current advantages and complications around a therapeutic class of drugs.

So for instance, if I were trying to pitch a drug for Alzheimer's Disease, I would read the relevant literature about the drug CLASS, not just the individual drug I was pitching.

So for you, what this means is that you would research the trends in the mobile market, not just on Boost Mobile. How do they aquire new customers in a saturated market (hint - you see more and more people with bad credit getting phones). What are some other themes you typically see in the articles you read in places like wired magazine, or maybe Harvard business review around the cell phone market?

Next, after I read about the CLASS of drug, I would read about my specific target, what are experts saying the advantage of the product I am targeting. Many times, the "experts" who are making noise about a product are approached by P.R. people to publish thinking along their clients thought process, something that is consistant with the brand image/promise.

Again, for you, this means look at the positive comments being made about Boost mobile in blogs and magazines. Its likely that some if not many of these are placed in those venues on purpose. If all you find is negative comments, then approach them with "a solution to their common negitive feedback regarding..."

By doing your research, selling an idea becomes less of a guessing game, and more of a science. Know that a brand manager doesn't let things happen by accident, that's why they have million dollar budgets.

If you really think you have a good idea, go for it. If it doesn't get bought off, then hey, you will have another idea. If it does get bought off, you might have a job.

Just my thoughts -

Nick DeJesus | Chief Growthologist | TopCreatives | nick@topcreatives.com | 212-686-6052

ndejesus's picture
ndejesus
102 pencils

p.s. check out http://juxtinteractive.com/ - boost mobile's interactive AOR

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