What have they got that we don’t?

It’s pitching season in the ad world. It’s also the season for FOMO and trying hard to make desperate dreams come true, writes Mitul Shah.

By  Storyboard18Apr 11, 2024 9:24 AM
What have they got that we don’t?
For though we may be the under-chickens in this great poultry farm of pitches, we have something far more valuable – the heart and the hustle to make our dreams a reality', writes Mitul Shah, founder and CCO, Calculated Chaos. (Image source: Unsplash)

By Mitul Shah

Pitches. Ah, yes BIG pitches. Probably the worst catch-22 disposition for an agency. No, not for the constantly changing-their-acronym-name kinds but for the young agency owner kind.

Picture this: You're like a kid pressing their nose against the glass, watching these so-called cool kids party it up inside. That's what big pitches feel like for us. We're dying to get in on the action, but we're stuck on the outside looking in. Talk about a serious case of FOMO.

And just when you start daydreaming about the glitz and glamour of it all, reality comes crashing down like Sunny Deol's 'dhai kilo kaa haath’. You can't afford to have your whole team tied up for weeks on end chasing a pipe dream. It's like trying to catch a greased chicken with your eyes closed.

But here's the kicker: it's not about the quality of our work. We can outshine the big boys any day of the week. The real challenge is getting noticed by those big-shot clients without being invited to the party.

Take KFC India, for instance. They recently threw open the doors to their creative mandate pitch, to which we weren’t invited. And let me tell you, I was feeling the FOMO big time, even had visions of fried chicken dancing in my head, whipping up some seriously finger-lickin' good campaigns. But once the adrenaline rush wore off, reality hit like a ton of bricks: how in the blazes do we even get our foot in the door at KFC India?

Now, I've pulled off some hare-brained schemes in the past. Like staging a full-blown creative coup at a multinational agency just to pitch a proactive idea. And what do you know? They loved it, we got invited to their official pitch, we pitched and guess what? We walked away with the IKEA in our kitty.

But back then, we had the big boys backing us up—the fancy offices, the gourmet sushi lunches and dinners, the Eames lounge chairs, you name it. We were living the high life, and our clients were eating it up.

Then what should us small chickens do?

So for the next 4 paras I am going to sound like Al Pacino from ‘Any Given Sunday’

‘And so, my friends, let us not be disheartened by our lack of glitz and glamour. Let us instead embrace our true strengths – our ability to understand the client's needs, our willingness to break free from the shackles of hierarchy, and our unyielding determination to make a mark in this cutthroat world of advertising.

Yes, we may not have the luxury of a fancy corner office or a hefty retainer fee, but what we lack in material wealth, we more than make up for in sheer determination and grit.

And so, my fellow warriors in the battle for advertising supremacy, let us rise to the occasion! Let us arm ourselves with buckets of crispy fried chicken and a slew of proactive ideas, and march boldly into the hallowed halls of KFC India (or whoever is your preferred target).

For though we may be the under-chickens in this great poultry farm of pitches, we have something far more valuable – the heart and the hustle to make our dreams a reality.’

Coming out of the Al Pacino mode, I think we are just going to buy a bucket of crispy fried chicken, fry up some crazy proactive ideas and walk right into the KFC India offices, and see what happens, because what is there to lose?

And that’s what we’ve got more than them. A lot less to lose, and a lot more of true grit, well apart from all the extra calories from all the of fried chicken.

Because the greatest loss lies in the regret of not making the attempt!

Mitul Shah is the founder and chief creative officer of Calculated Chaos.

First Published on Apr 11, 2024 9:19 AM

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