Agency Auctioning 3 Unused Campaigns on eBay

It’s a sad and familiar story: You create good work, but it doesn’t make it out the door. The client goes broke, or there’s a management change. Whatever the reason, the work languishes in limbo.

Tired of that scenario, one plucky shop in Pasadena, Calif., is looking to eBay in the hopes of finding a home for its orphaned campaigns.

The shop, Mousetrap Advertising, is auctioning off separate campaigns created for a bank, a jewelry store and a hospital’s call-in patient-info center. Each was offered at a starting price of $10,000. At press time, the bank and jewelry store campaigns had both received bids.

“We were sitting around lamenting how some of our campaigns are just sitting there in file drawers,” said Terri Langhans, whose official title is big cheese, client services director. “We starting thinking there has to be someone out there who could use them.”

While the auction Web site is mainly used by individuals to sell memorabilia and antiques, it can also be used to sell professional services and products. “They are not just buying the creative elements. They are buying our services,” Dean Fuer oghne, big cheese, creative director, said of Mousetrap’s listing. “The winner will get a compete campaign that will be customized to their individual needs.”

The bank TV spots, for example, focus on people who have received bad advice, and are tagged, “Advice you can actually use.” A client’s ID can be added at the end.

The original client, Patriot Bank of Fleetwood, Pa., did not have the money to buy TV time, Fueroghne said.

Langhans and Fueroghne said they could extend the eBay experiment if they like the results. But they stressed that it’s not a strategy for combating the soft business environment. “The main reason we’re doing this is because we think these are good campaigns that someone somewhere will appreciate,” said Fueroghne.