For Goodby, Waiting Was the Hardest Part: Agency Spent a Very Long Week Between Final Presentation and Porsche Win

SAN FRANCISCO – Some at Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein here might call it the longest week of the agency’s life. It was the time between their final presentation and the news that the shop won the Porsche Cars North America account.
Like the other finalists – Stein Robaire Helm/L.A. and The Richards Group/Dallas – GBS executives felt good about their final presentation to Porsche. But before they could catch their breath, they were summoned back to the carmaker’s Reno, Nev. headquarters for an unscheduled meeting. GBS executives figured that spelled trouble.
In fact, Porsche officials had planned to come to a decision over the weekend following the presentations. Instead, ‘We had stared at each other for close to 25 hours,’ said Joel Ewanick, general manager of marketing, of his deliberations with Robert Ford, vp of sales and marketing. ‘I think our wives were starting to wonder about us.’
Complicating matters, all three agencies had argued for similar solutions to Porsche’s marketing problems. So Porsche set up a second round of talks – GBS was scheduled to return for a dinner meeting last Monday night; SRH president Greg Helm returned Tuesday morning and Richards principal Stan Richards arrived later that afternoon.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ewanick had ordered a case of champagne and had it chilled to give to the winning agency. But he still didn’t know where he would be delivering it.
In the end, what distinguished GBS was the sophistication of its account planning, said Ford. GBS conducted 1,000 interviews with current and prospective Porsche drivers. And on Tuesday afternoon, they got their champagne.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)

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