Non-management creatives: what are some things ECDs + senior account/strategy people do that sabotage pitches?

As Patton said “the soldier on the front lines is always right.”

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Making the presentations overly complex rather than showcasing the idea. I've worked on a few where the agency was so preoccupied with showing how smart it was that the ideas didn't shine through as they should have.

Also: Showing too many campaign ideas during pitches. Hard to follow and appears desperate.

likeupliftingsmart

Come in at the last minute and change the entire pitch. Seems to be a symptom of fear and self-doubt when leaders do this. It starts a spiral on the team: staying up all night to completely redo the pitch then being so exhausted they can barely digest the deck and present for the pitch. This “swoop and poop” is also a way leaders avoid taking responsibility for losing pitches. If it’s won they can say it was because they made the team change the entire approach at the last minute. If it lost they can say it’s because the original approach was bad and they didn’t have the time to re-do it appropriately. Leaders like this always use the team as scapegoats when they lose and take all the credit when they win. These leaders also seem to be the norm rather than the exception these days.

likeuplifting

CD2 smart! they come in last minute totally triggered making anxiety induced decisions.

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Yeah, I’m sure you would’ve won the pitch if those pesky, senior, experienced creative/account/strategy leads didn’t “sabotage” it and just let the ACD call the shots... 😅

likefunny

Over-complicated pitch deck that buried the creative. Clients must have been exhausted by the time the work was presented.

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Management loves hearing themselves talk.

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They really do. I’m not interviewing you during this brief, boss, just tell me what’s up.

Creative ideas that could never ever be done but they are included anyway to "show the thinking."

Creative ideas from senior leadership that are clearly just recycled awards bait from 10 years ago and they think nobody will remember/notice.

Letting the account people weigh in on creative.

likeuplifting

I’m reading a book called “The Art Of The Pitch” and I’m learning a lot from it.

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Many of the examples of sabotage are also why they win as well.

likefunny

Having multiple creative teams produce tons of pixel perfect work for a one hour pitch meeting.

uplifting

Hate it when strategy over-promises or promises the wrong thing right before creative is presented. Sometimes, the creative deviates a bit from the brief, so when strategy doesn’t remember that and says “what you won’t see is...” and that’s what you see... well, that sabotages things.

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Wow. Painful.

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