THE QUESTION: Was Agency.com's posting on YouTube about its pursuit of the Subway account a good way to pitch business?
THE FINAL VOTE: No 61%, Yes 39%
THE STORY: When Agency.com's nine-minute pitch for the Subway account was posted to YouTube, it wasn't long before the advertising blogosphere and the industry in general were talking about it. But almost all of the talk was negative, and the video's cast was ridiculed for their seeming egomania and cluelessness. That was echoed by 61% of voters in an Advertising Age poll. Carol Lewis, media director of AdForce, called the effort "mortifying-on so many levels." Ed Mangino, a creative director in Detroit, said: "In the video, one staffer says, 'I'm a little bit worried.' He should have been a lotta bit worried."
A few voters praised the effort. "Agency.com has created a video that has spread to thousands of people, generated media exposure and started a conversation about whether or not it's a good tactic. Everyone at Subway knows who Agency.com is now," said Casey Fleming, client services director, Grant Harrison Advertising. But many on both sides shared the opinion of Euro RSCG Worldwide International New-Business Director Jonathan Goldmacher: "Interesting approach; embarrassing execution."
Michael Duda, partner and director-business development and corporate initiatives for Deutsch, said Agency.com came off as "self-absorbed" and "insincere," but praised the cast's "conviction to stand out from their competition and showcase the power of viral." Peter Fontano, a contracts and procurements analyst for Shell Lubricants, agreed. "You have to distinguish yourself from the pack somehow. Even if this doesn't win them the Subway business, the exposure is pretty impressive. "
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What you say: 61% of voters said Agency.com's effort to win the Subway interactive account by taping its pitch and posting the result on YouTube was not a good move. Still, of that 61%, many faulted only the execution. And 39% of voters gave the idea an outright thumbs up.