Sometimes the best innovations come from clients. In this case from a famous brand in retail (confidential). It was an application of Ideasicle I had never considered. It was right there under my nose - like right there - particularly given my experience in pitching on the agency side and 8 years with Ideasicle. But it took a forward thinking client to make it real. 

The VP of Marketing at this particular retail organization called me recently to discuss a possible project. He was unhappy with his current agency and, so, was considering putting his business up for review. But he'd come across Ideasicle and was intrigued by our model.

 It was the flurry of ideas Ideasicle offers. (Photo by  Nine Köpfer )

It was the flurry of ideas Ideasicle offers. (Photo by Nine Köpfer)

While this VP loved the fact that Ideasicle promised a flurry of 20 campaign ideas within two weeks from tier one creative talent, It quickly became clear to him that Ideasicle was not equipped to become an agency of record (that's not our business model). But he also knew that most typical agencies would come in with 2-3 ideas and that's it.

On top of all that he knew his creative challenges were, well, challenging, and wanted the advantage of Ideasicle's flurry of ideas but he also wanted an agency attached for production.

So I recommended that I assign an Ideasicle Expert to the job who works at an agency so after the campaign was approved that Expert's agency could then manage the production. We'd done this successfully before with David Baldwin and Baldwin&. And it works because the agency being handed a concept to go produce has skin in the game, in that one of the Experts who came up with it is from that agency.

The VP liked this idea, but took it one step further.

Ideasicle became "Idea insurance" for this agency review

The VP at this retailer (pictured) still wanted to do an agency review with multiple agencies, but he hired Ideasicle anyway as a hedge, as an insurance policy against an always unpredictable agency-review process.

As he put it:

 VP Marketing at Major Retail Organization

VP Marketing at Major Retail Organization

"With Ideasicle, I was guaranteed at least 20 ideas from tier one creative talent. Sure, one of the other competing agencies might nail it, but Ideasicle greatly increased our odds of doing so."

According to the VP, Ideasicle was a natural pitch-hedge for three reasons:

  1. Agencies still seem to miss the mark on campaign "platform" ideas and some jump straight to scripts. This leads to a lot of one-offs. We felt good Ideasicle wouldn't do that and would think bigger.

  2. As we reached out to agencies, we had a hard time getting the larger shops interested due to our budget. Ideasicle gave us a way to access top creative talent without getting big-agency costs involved.

  3. The obvious, more ideas the better. While we asked for ideas in the agency pitches, we had no way of knowing how many ideas they would bring. So, knowing I'd get at least 20 from Ideasicle gave me confidence we'd find our next campaign platform.

And the winner is?

This Major Retailer has seen pitches from a number of agencies. Ideasicle has completed its two rounds of ideas (we ended up presenting 25 campaign platforms). And now the favorites of the VP and his team are in concept testing, so no winner just yet.

Three of Ideasicle's creative platforms were included in that research. We'd be thrilled to be the agency to come up with their next campaign. 

But even if we are not, Ideasicle served an important purpose. One that I'd never thought of before in Ideasicle's 8 years of existence. But this VP at this Major Retailer did.

Insurance through ideas. Further proof that...nothing is unthinkable.

Call us if you'd like to discuss a little Ideasicle Insurance in your next pitch.


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WILL BURNS IS FOUNDER & CEO OF IDEASICLE, AND A FORBES CONTRIBUTOR.

Email Will or sign up for our monthly Ideasicle Newsletter

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