Everybody Say ‘Shhhh!’

If the company you’re pitching isn’t doing so well, does the client’s presumably bad mood make him more receptive to fun, lighthearted pitches?

Who knows? But that’s what Team One gave Movielink, the film-downloading service. Movielink has struggled to find users, partly because the five participating studios have limited its features due to piracy fears and partly because not many people seem to want to watch movies on their computers. (If the movies can’t be transfered to a TV, “they’re hosed,” a Forrester Research analyst told the Los Angeles Times recently.) But for its recent pitch, Team One lightened the load, sending a cadre of its younger staffers over to Movielink’s Santa Monica, Calif., neighborhood. In T-shirts that read, “Shhhh! I’m watching a movie,” they spread out and did just that—on their laptops. “When [the client] started asking around, we revealed that it was us,” says Brian Sheehan, chairman and CEO of the El Segundo, Calif., shop. “It was one of the ways we convinced them we had a passion and vision for the business.”

“It was clever and bold and characteristic of how they approached the process,” says Alan Citron, client svp of marketing.

The review was quiet enough—so much so that Team One launched print ads before acknowledging the account win. Executions include headlines such as: “Bandwuss: Person who has broadband and doesn’t download movies” and “Chick-flick clicker: A guy who downloads romantic comedies who’s too embarrassed to see them in theatres.” “The first generation of downloaders establishes the new vocabulary and the new behavior,” says ecd Chris Graves.