Filmmaking / Directing : Pitch a Commercial Idea? by Erin Campion

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Pitch a Commercial Idea?

Hi, I have an idea for a commercial and wondered if there's a way to pitch it. It would be a great TARGET project, but maybe Home Depot as well. I realize some companies have in-house agencies, but I heard Target is working on a new image, etc. Thanks for a next step!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hi Erin. Well, advertising is a completely different industry. You would have to do research and appeal to those companies directly, or through their ad agencies. Target, I believe, separated itself from Wieden & Kennedy several years ago to pull its marketing/advertising in-house -- in fact they named it "InHouse." However, they've been working with Deutsch LA on some recent campaigns... So, who knows. :) Sorry, I'm not aware of Home Depot's ad agency/agencies. But, having worked in several as an art director and design director myself I can say that typically they are not open to outside pitches. It's all won on contract that encompasses the client's marketing and/or advertising campaign for a year, two years, for millions and millions of dollars. These agencies have teams of creatives; think tanks; social strategists; branding strategists; marketing experts. They don't think in "projects," but rather in "campaigns" which have a well-thought out strategy linking elements to every aspect of their client's brand. Rarely for this giant size of a client, like Target, do they consider a "one-off" that is outside the current brand message. You could try? If you knew someone personally, like the executive director, then perhaps they could contract out to you. But honestly, it's a long shot.

Erin Campion

Hi Beth, Thank you so much for you reflections and wise counsel. Yes, I have heard that much is locked in and not open to outside ideas. AND I am following through on a strong impulse to keep "acting as though" it is possible. I see the spot(s) so clearly. And I will take your suggestions to heart. Maybe I'll think in terms of a "campaign" as well! You're so kind to take the time to send me off such a great response. Take care, Erin

Beth Fox Heisinger

You're welcome, Erin! I hope that helps -- somewhat. I don't mean for this to sound flippant, but another approach is to seek employment at the ad agency in which one of these companies are clients. Honestly, most, if not all, creative comes from in house behind closed doors. This is a highly competitive industry. The execs/strategists/creative directors meet with the client or are asked to "bid" on the account; they build the strategy/creative brief off the client's needs/directive/RFP (Request For Proposal); then, the strategists/creative directors develop a brand concept and give the "assignment" to creative teams to come up with several concepts, working under the creative director; then, those concepts are presented to the execs/strategists handling the account. If they have a winning concept they then mock up the entire campaign -- create tv spots, ads, messaging, et cetera -- to present or pitch it in its entirety to the client, to perhaps win the account. ...You really have to be a member of the team to have your ideas heard. It's just the way it works. :) Anyway, I do wish you the best of luck! You never know what could happen, right?!

Regina Lee

@Erin, looks like Beth has you are taken care of. You may also check out Tongal, and see if they are accepting pitches for an appropriate client. There are a few platforms like Tongal, but I don't know the full list.

Erin Campion

Oh, Beth I understand the Secret Society element of it all. You are giving me such good information.... I'll call upon the Hero to figure out how to get by the Guardian at the Gate and connect with the Creatives in the Inner Sanctum. (a fan of Joseph Campbell as you might guess). I appreciate the conversation... stirring the cauldron. Thanks, Beth

Erin Campion

Hi Regina, Thanks so much for the suggestion to check out TongaI. know I am going to learn a lot from this research. Thank you!! Take care, Erin

Regina Lee

@Erin, my pleasure. Good luck!

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