Nobody wants to get stuck in an elevator—that is, unless you’re a small agency and the person you’re stuck with runs advertising for the biggest marketer on the planet.
Fifty small shops will get the chance to literally give an elevator pitch to Procter & Gamble at Ad Age’s Small Agency Conference in New Orleans July 30-31. A fake elevator will be set up on site that will record 5-minute pitches for P&G executives to later evaluate for potential new marketing projects. Maximum elevator capacity: one to two people.
Pete Carter, group director of brand building integrated communications at P&G, said he got the idea for the elevator while attending last year’s Small Agency Conference. “I thought, ‘Wow, there is a lot of talent here and I’d like to get some of it on our business,’” he said. “Why not give them a chance to pitch us while they are there? It would be a win for us and them.”
Carter said the marketer believes small agencies have a particular knack for speed and nimbleness for today’s digital-first world, in what he defines as their “superpower.”
“We are looking for agencies with the skills to supplement the work being done by our larger agencies,” he said, on a number of projects. “That leads us to do better work, faster work and more economical work.” He noted that while P&G is skilled at splashy, Super Bowl-worthy TV campaigns, it can use more input on quick-turn creative. “Some of these smaller agencies can turn around an ad in a basement at night and have it ready the next day,” he said.
In order to participate, small agencies—defined by Ad Age as employing 150 people and under—must first sign up for the Ad Age Small Agency Conference & Awards here. P&G and Ad Age will then randomly select 50 shops who will be given a specific time for the pitch, which will be held during the conference at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New Orleans.
P&G is serious about small. Carter says he has conducted over 90 interviews and 60 visits with small shops over the last 14 months. “I don’t know if the rest of the world is aware of what they have to offer—maybe they haven’t figured it out yet,” he said. “I have found some marvelously talented people,” adds Carter.
So what is P&G specifically looking for in a elevator pitch? “Give me a sense of the skills you have to do a particular task,” Carter said. “The proof is in the work; talk about it in the context of what went into the decision behind the idea.”
And of course, “Tell me about your superpower. What do you do better than anyone else? What is your specialty—do you talk to babies, millennial moms or men?”
Register for the Small Agency Conference and sign up for the P&G Elevator Pitch at adage.com/saca2019.