Photo: Deutsch LA
Jeff White, Deutsch LA’s new SVP/director of business development, tells us that when it comes to pitching new clients, it ain’t like the old days, when a storyboard for a TV spot would do. “Pitching has gotten harder,” he says.White succeeded Chad Saul earlier this month when the latter became MDC Partners‘ new holding-company wide new business chief.
White is a 13-year veteran of Deutsch LA; his former title was SVP/account director. During that time he worked on pitches for SouthWest Airlines and Diamond Foods, winning the latter.
Agencies with unhappy clients in the air travel, fast-food, apparel, hotel and alcohol categories be warned: Deutsch LA is currently open for business in those industries.
“10 years ago you could go in with a bunch of scripts and storyboards and that was your pitch,” he says. “Now we can’t go in with just TV spots. That hardly scratches the surface.”
Clients tend to favour media-agnostic ideas that can integrated in large or small, digital or traditional venues. “What is different about pitching now is the amount of work we do,” he says.
That amount of work militates against taking clients that only have short-term plans, or which aren’t a good fit with the Interpublic Group-owned agency’s ambitions and culture (the agency has 460 staff in LA and slightly more in its New York HQ). “We look for opportunities to get married, not to date,” White says.
Having said that, if clients want to see a Don-Draper-and-Megan-style show, White is happy to stage one: “We’re not above bringing storyboards and acting them out,” he says.
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