Prudential Financial is testing creative concepts pitched by Droga5 and Bartle Bogle Hegarty in the firm's search for a corporate image campaign, sources said.
No longer in contention is Omnicom Group's GSD&M Idea City, which also presented work to client executives but was cut last week, according to sources.
Prudential, which declined comment, hopes to conclude its search this month.
As explained in Prudential's initial request for proposals, the corporate image assignment is new and amounts to a project, albeit one that's expected to be backed by about $50 million in major media spending.
The image ads will run in tandem with work touting specific products and services that are created in-house.
In an unusual twist, the Newark, N.J.-based Prudential paid each of the three finalists up to $300,000 for the ideas they presented, including the labor behind them.
So, regardless of whose idea prevails, Prudential will own all of the pitch concepts. The agency presentations took place the last week of July at Prudential's headquarters, said sources.
Media duties are not in play and remain in-house. Ark Advisors in New York has helped manage the process.
Prudential Financial offers life insurance, mutual funds, annuities and investment services, including retirement planning.