Changes in pitch

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Even as account planners grapple with their future, one change already being embraced is a shift in the way they pitch.

Case studies of account-planning strategies used in a recruitment campaign for Google from Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, and a Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners' effort for AdoptUS Kids provide examples of innovative and result- driven planning that's changing perceptions.

Both campaigns won top awards at the 4A's planning conference last week. The Google effort yielded more than 4,000 leads and 2,400 qualified applicants after planners took Google's problem of not being able to attract the best and brightest and used target audience insights, such as love of brain teasers. Outdoor media placed in cities including Boston and San Francisco offered complex math problems to be solved. The answer formed a Web address where another challenge awaited. The riddle ended at Google Labs where the now-prequalified candidate was invited to send a resume. Direct, targeted print and event marketing supported the theme.

Kirshenbaum took its planning challenge for AdoptUS Kids and applied similar thinking. Research of potential adoptive parents showed the current messaging imploring them to save a child's life was helping fuel the fear potential parents felt of failing the child. So Kirshenbaum planners pitched the concept that you don't have to be a perfect parent to adopt.

TV ads for the Ad Council showed a dad snoring on the couch beside his amused adopted son and another who plays the saxophone terribly while his drummer son smiles. Direct and print carried the theme; phone inquiries tripled.

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