Super Bowl new business prospecting: zig when others zag

Super Bowl weekend is almost here, peeps. Don’t know about you, but when The Missus and I hang with friends to enjoy the game, the hush falls over the group during the commercial breaks instead of the game. Love, love, love seeing the spots. Because inevitably, there will be a clunker or two.

And for large agencies, this could spell an opportunity. “Badvertising” is a marketplace change that can lead to agency change.

Today’s brief post will get your brain working around two approaches any agency can use to leverage exceptionally poor work. We’ll use the Super Bowl as an example. Because it’s easy and timely. Yet the principles can work in many situations.

Approach #1…

Don’t crap all over the work. Who wants to hear that? Some poor client and agency team spent HUGE money and time to craft the message. The last thing they want to hear is more carping. Because you’re not alone in recognizing the ugly. So…

Get some third party or target perspective. For years, USA Today has covered consumer reaction of the advertising. I’ve noticed our industry trades are chatting it up, too. (Seems like a lot this year. But it could be me.) And with vehicles like Twitter, you can easily grab all sorts of impressions.

Hmm…interesting big or digital agency prospecting idea in this social media thing. I wonder if there would be any value in creating a microsite that captures twitter reaction to a brand’s spots? Just sharing that with a brands’ decision-makers could be smart. It could include related little bits of agency how-to or thinking. And doesn’t necessarily have to focus on badvertising. But I digress…!

Anywho, think of badvertising as a way to build a relationship, not bulldoze to an immediate pitch. We ain’t used car salespeople. Or worse yet, ambulance chasers. No doubt the clients behind the work are in pain. They’re in damage control mode. The key question is how can you help? Find some good news? Provide a few digital ideas that can make lemonade? Provide counsel on internal management? Share competitive reactions? Find other, relevant worse news? Apply lessons from PR crisis management folks? There are all sorts of things that can be done. Let your insights into the company, the decision-makers, the work itself, and the reaction help you figure out a way to make a friend.

Then again, here’s a completely different perspective: don’t do anything…yet.

Approach #2

Simply add the name to your list, and start doing some digging. Know that there will be some agencies who will use this badvertising as an excuse to proverbially barge into a client’s life. And they’re going to do it the wrong way – looking at what it’s gonna take to put someone in a car today! Most times, just putting this on your list is the best approach. Zig when others zag. Your detective work will uncover a smarter way to introduce yourself. This avoids that whole ambulance chasing notion.

(Besides which, for the most part, shouldn’t you already have some sort of relationship with this company?! A topic for a another time, perhaps!)

Anywho, enjoy the game! Should you have additional thoughts or reactions, share ’em. Thanks.