Back To Future

The wonderful world of speculative pitching. You may not get the nod from that potential new client, but work from STENCIL’s super-studio is no less worthy of celebration

Part of agency life – sometimes quite a big part – is deciding whether we have capacity and inclination enough to be prepared to enter into a pitching process when invited. Or not.

Ultimately, it is time-consuming, can be all-consuming and it is essentially real studio time dedicated to work undertaken on spec. And it never feels good if you don’t win the work. As it rarely even results in as much as a courtesy phone call to thank you for your time, let alone the work.

The studio ended up pressing ‘go’ recently on an invitation from Nottingham BID, a not-for-profit organisation with a mandate to improve the experience of our great city’s heart. We’ve done work for them in the past. They asked for a campaign idea to encourage a post COVID return to the city centre. 

Well, the long and the short of it is that we didn’t win. Abstrakt did – another great agency in town – but the team worked so hard on coming up with our uplifting campaign idea that instead of ‘filing it’ and going off to lick our collective wounds, the work deserved acknowledging, and in its way celebrating.

The campaign provoked a sense of optimism. Used playful punctuation. And is wholly uplifting. With individually created icons – a kiss, smiley face or heart – drawn by real people from the city, supporting an otherwise big picture message. A great job against a tight turnaround by a fab young design team. Deserving of celebration in itself. We thought.