Ad Agency Campaign Process Case Study
Advertising case studies do not include any information or materials on the pitch to the client, as these materials do not represent the best-and-final work of the brand. Every agency that pitches a campaign to a brand uses one of dozens of pitch strategies, like those included here. Amp Agency offers a comprehensive case study of a brand overhaul (and marketing campaign) from the research and development phase to assessment.
Ad Campaign Pitch Strategies
- There are a variety of strategies used to pitch an ad campaign to a brand. One of these is called “Don’t You Agree?” which uses a bait-and-switch approach that ends up with the target agreeing with the preferred option. This strategy presents a solid truth, then makes a bold claim, and offers the why of that claim plus a solution – to which the participants will gladly agree (based on how it is presented).
- Another strategy for pitching is called “Fixing a Dichotomy,” wherein the presenter starts with “Truth A” (an undeniable good truth) then points out the opposite reality (or thing that makes Truth A problematic) – called “Truth B”. The presenter then outlines the path back to Truth A, presenting the contrast and forcing a comparison.
- Another pitching starts with a story, which captivates the audience, then segues into the ad pitch. The storytelling bit in the beginning triggers oxytocin (the feel-good chemical) in listeners’ brains, setting them up for deeper connection with the pitch.
- An additional strategy is a demonstration, like giving a quick infomercial to the target client. Yet another is to “give perspective based on your audience,” which means to know the target audience and fully understand their point of view.
- Using an emotional appeal is another strategy, which involves identifying the personal/business values of the audience and demonstrating how the pitch relates to those values. Educating and inspiring the audience is another strategy, which involves using persuasive techniques to lay a foundation of knowledge.
- The “Pique Technique” is another strategy, where the presenter will “make an odd request or ask a question that leaves your audience wanting to know more,” and leaves them wondering why the question is even being asked. Painting a visual (or graphically-represented) picture is yet another strategy, which involves highlighting “three or more points of similarity” between the brand and the pitch.
- Using flattery is another technique, provided those compliments are delivered genuinely and the ulterior motive is in their best interests. A final technique is to “show them that their time = your time,” by providing the target with research and efforts specifically focused on their needs.
- Examples of each of these pitches in action can be seen here. Notably, there are many many other approaches for pitches that are also successful; these represent a select few examples.
Ad Campaign Example: Apple & Eve (Amp Agency)
- Apple & Eve, the #1 juice-box brand in the US and who has been in business more than 40 years, found themselves lost in the growing sea of competitors in the juice box market. Many of these competitors had messaging similar to the brand, and they needed a way to once again stand out from the crowd. The brand hired Amp Agency “to build a distinct brand platform that would authentically connect with its key audience – busy moms and dads ….”
- Amp Agency built the brand a new brand platform and developed a campaign around the changes. The agency’s roles in the project included: “creative, content development, campaign development, web development, search and paid media, programmatic changes, analytics, strategy, and social digital marketing."
- Prior to launching the brand overhaul, Amp Agency delved deeply in the brand’s target audience, which they called “the Nurturer Mom,” and from this, focused their solutions toward establishing the brand as the “preferred juice option – as the brand that understands her values and purpose as a mom and why providing her family with the best is so important.” The company researched this demographic’s online habits and digital behaviors, and identified her preferred communication methods. They also found that this demographic will “prioritize quality over price” to keep their families happy.
- This in-depth target audience analysis helped the agency develop a strategy marketing plan that would be specifically relevant to meeting her needs.
- This overhaul included a website redesign that presented a more-friendly user experience along with a new content hub. Based on their target audience research, the agency developed a site that was “modern, clean, and family-friendly,” and which highlighted the wholesome goodness of the brand’s heritage. The content hub, which includes recipes, craft-making content, among others, added value to the site for visiting parents, and helped create a seamless approach to promoting the brand and keeping customers engaged.
- Amp Agency also created a series of branded videos “to bring the campaign to life” that ran “across paid, social, pre-roll, and programmatic” channels. These videos were focused on the “imagination and limitless potential that each day holds for a child,” and were blends that included both animation and live action. The videos proved to be “the most effective performance driver for the campaign, increasing both national awareness and engagement.”
- Since the “Nurturer Mom” persona is most active on her mobile device, the video assets were “programmatically served as static and HTML5 rich banner ads,” and were targeted based on the persona’s digital habits and behaviors – serving them to her at just the right moments. Amp Agency also partnered with Influenster to provide social sampling to increase brand exposure with potential customers.
- Lastly, the agency paired the intense digital efforts with couponing, which pulled customers from the digital world into the stores to purchase the products. They engaged iBotta and Checkout51 for mobile couponing (again to meet the persona’s habits and preferences).
- The results of the campaign propelled the brand forward “with unique positioning in a crowded category,” which helped the brand grow through in-store sales, new distribution channels, and through the creation of a genuine, interactive dialogue with consumers. They achieved 90 MM total impression, 1.9 M social engagements, and 80K product purchases from the coupons alone.
Overview of the Process (Featured in the Case Study)
- PRE-HIRE: Prior to being hired, Amp Agency studied the brand’s market, history, competitors, and direct consumers to identify all aspects needing to produce the campaign and materials. From this information, they presented their findings and solutions to the brand (the pitch). It’s not clear which pitch strategy (or strategies) they employed, as this information was not available.
- HIRE: The brand determined it would hire Amp Agency to prepare the brand overhaul and matching ad campaign. This likely included discussions on the ideas and materials presented, as well as the ideas and materials the brand itself wanted to convey. Creative discussions on these aspects permeated the entirety of the process (from pre-hire to launch).
- RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT: The project then moved into the R&D phase, which involved the agency delving deeply into the brand’s target audience, competitors, and core market. This phase likely included hundreds of meetings among different groups, all with the focus of discovering as much as possible that could be used to attract and engage the target audience, as well as various versions of creative materials being designed and re-designed (and re-designed) until they met the agency’s and brand’s specific needs.
- FINALIZATION, LAUNCH, & ASSESSEMENT: During this period, the materials have all been developed, refined, and approved by the brand, and the campaign is launched, or in this case, the new website is released, the coupons are released, and the videos are sent far and wide. The campaign runs an allotted amount of time (or the tracking of it goes for a specific time limit based on an agreement between the agency and the brand), and the results are tallied to determine the measures of success.
We scoured through hundreds of case studies compiled by various entities like Hubspot, AdForum, Epsilon, and Amp Agency, among others, to discover a comprehensive case study from an advertising campaign over the last two to three years. Despite this extended research, none of the case studies provided the pitch information or the design changes the initial campaign went through prior to finalization. It is important to note that advertising agencies rarely share their pitch materials for one simple reason: The brand to whom they are pitching would not want early (and un-finalized) versions of the campaign to be made public because it would likely detract from the overall impact of the final version. As such, advertising case studies do not include pitch materials within their outlines, nor do they include the creative changes prior to launch. Rather, most case studies identify the issue that prompted the campaign, highlight the materials and brand changes made during the campaign, and provide the results of the whole thing.
We changed tactics looking for outstanding examples of pitches or descriptions/case studies that presented the creative process prior to the launch of the campaign, however again, this search proved fruitless. What we found instead were hundreds of strong tactics and techniques to use during pitches – complete with examples, though none of them provided a full campaign outline from pitch to launch.
We then attempted to create our own case study by searching for one campaign that offered each piece (pitch to creative design to launch to assessment) separately, but could not cobble together a complete case study despite repeated attempts with multiple brand campaigns. As such, we have presented what we were able to find in hopes that this will still prove useful.