A New-Business Bonanza

“The leads are coming!” That was Kevin Spacey’s clarion call in Glengarry Glen Ross. And it’s Zipatoni’s mantra this month, as the promotions agency has leveraged the Final Four, held in its hometown of St. Louis, to extend a juicy offer to any stranger who might help it russle up new business. Looking to mine the crowds for their business connections, the Interpublic Group shop placed a 60-foot billboard across the street from the Edward Jones Dome. “100K. An open bar. The company car. Bag us our next client and you’re hired!” it blared. The client can’t be puny—it must generate at least $5 million in net revenue for the agency—but whoever reels it in should expect a grand old time. A “Night of Zipatoni Entertainment”? Who could resist that? He or she will get a cool $100,000, plus use of Zipatoni’s office bar and company car—a vintage “flamed-out” stretch limo. “It’s sort of ZZ Top-esque,” says Jon Maurice, the creative director who developed the promotion with fellow cd Chris Aguirre. In addition to the billboard, the company placed messages in its windows such as, “Your six degrees of separation are all here,” and drove around in the company limo, shooting orange Ping-Pong balls out the windows that were printed with “www.zipatoni.com/yourehired.” Visitors to that Web address are instructed to “Break out your Palm Pilot, cell phone or if you’re old-school, your Rolodex, and get busy making a connection.” “As creatives, it’s seldom that you’re unshackled and cut loose,” says Maurice. “We wanted to have a DIY, guerrilla attitude going into this thing.” Speaking of Glengarry Glen Ross, those who take up the challenge and try to lassoo a new client may find the words of Alec Baldwin ringing in their ears: “Always be closing.”