How Agency Pitches Are Evolving; Creative Brand Pivots Encourage Fun at Home: Wednesday’s First Things First

Plus, agency leaders who have endured previous crises share how they persevered

people working remotely
Agencies are adjusting the way they pitch, relying on building human connections from the comfort of home via the computer screen. Photo Illustration: Trent Joaquin
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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Winning the Virtual Room: How Agencies’ Pitches Are Evolving During Coronavirus

When a toddler interrupt your video conference with co-workers, we all just laugh it off because kids are cute and it’s a moment of levity. But what about during a new business pitch if you’re an agency? Calamity has ensued in meetings with potential clients as kids barge in, cats take over and in one case a CMO sat so still that the agency didn’t know whether his screen was frozen.

In this new normal, agencies are developing best practices to pitch effectively through their video conferencing tool of choice. What’s working? Conciseness and tapping into the human element—after all, we’re all in this together. What’s causing problems? One of the biggest keys to a successful pitch is reading the room, which is now a challenge when your audience is a tiny box on your computer screen.

Read more: Agency leaders share tips on how to master the virtual pitch.

What Lessons Can Be Learned From Founders Who Started Agencies in Times of Crisis

Seeking some guidance in this challenging time, we asked industry veterans who started agencies during previous crises, like the Great Recession or during the aftermath of 9/11, how they got through tough times. This time might involve shelving previous plans and outlooks to focus on the problems at hand, but it could also open up doors. 

Read more: Persistence, positive attitudes, and creative pivots can go a long way.

Related: For the team at North Carolina agency Walk West, there’s no better time for businesses to commit to diversity and inclusion, which is why it is launching a new D&I consultancy, complete with an online course, called The Diversity Movement.

Adweek is introducing #MediaTogether, a place for media professionals to gather, tell your stories and find solutions for the future. To that end, we’d like you to tell us in 500 words who you are, what you do, what skills you have and your experience of working through these troubling times. Learn more and share here.

3 Creative Ways Brands Have Pivoted Their Experiences to Offer Self-Isolation Entertainment

“Pivoting” is the buzzword experts have pushed the past few weeks, and brands are beginning to show what that means with creative stunts and digital experiences that don’t require consumers to leave home. Experts say brands can be successful right now if they focus on connecting with established fans in interesting ways rather than trying to acquire new customers through selling products, and some are certainly delivering.

Read more: See what stunts Bud Light, Activision and Belle Bar Organic have pulled to connect with consumers.

Here are a few more ways brands are pivoting to reach (and support) consumers during social distancing:

Delays Aside, It’s Unlikely Even Coronavirus Will Curb Deliveries

As online sales from retailers like CostcoTarget and Walmart increase, delivery services like the USPS, UPS and FedEx have their work cut out for them. But according to analysts, despite the increase in orders and deliveries—and challenging conditions—it’s unlikely U.S. consumers will see much in the way of disruptions beyond delays.

Read more: FedEx and UPS are adapting to new safety measures, while Amazon is seeing increased pressure to meet its usual delivery timelines and has added staff.

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News & Highlights

Agency Fancy Helps ‘Mask Match’ Link Donors With Medical Professionals in Need

New York-based creative agency Fancy has created a shareable set of GIFs for the peer-to-peer platform called Mask Match, which enables people to send unused masks directly to hospitals and caretakers in desperate need of personal protective equipment.

Light blue background with the text 'Be a Hero'

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@JessZafarris Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.