Storytelling for New Business Pitches | Publicis

One of the specific sub-genres of corporate videos is the Pile and Company business development video.

Pile and Company is an advertising agency selection consultant based in Boston. Like Santa Monica-based Select Resources International(SRI), Pile and Company introduces advertisers to potential agency partners through a process that requires, among other things, a video presentation.

Think for marketers.

In the first step of the process, a large group of advertising agencies is invited to introduce themselves to a prospective client. Within their proposal is a corporate video of up to 10 minutes in length. This video needs to  include interviews with the agency team that will be working on the business, samples of the agency’s work, and a discussion of its communications philosophy.

A select group of agencies make it through this first round, and are then invited to meet the prospective client in-person.

It’s a highly competitive process that requires a considerable amount of strategic thinking in order to make your agency stand out.

That’s the challenge that faced global advertising agency Publicis when it was pitching Talbots, the fashion brand for women.

The Brand Storytelling Strategy

Working closely with its business development and strategic planning teams, together we decided upon the strategy of organizing the video around the agency’s belief that “A brand is a destination.”

As Publicis President and Chief Creative Officer, Rob Feakins, says at the opening of the the story: “Success today is about creating a brand that people want to engage with and spend time with. That’s what we mean by “brand as destination.”

“Brand as destination can be a literal place,” he continues. “It can be a store. It can be an online destination. It can be a spectacular on the street.”

But Feakins emphasizes that, “above all, it’s an emotional space.”

Marketing-to-Women expert, Stephanie Ooyomijan, amplifies the thought, introducing the idea of  brand storytelling: “It’s a place and a space in our culture, in the story of our society that says “we get you.”

This central strategic idea was driven home throughout the video, from beginning to end.

And the strategic discipline paid off. Pile and Company invited Publicis to meet directly with Talbots, and the agency eventually landed the account.