Win the Pitch: Tips from Mastercard’s “Priceless” Pitchman


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As a growth officer in my early career with the mad men and women of McCann Ericksson, my mom could never quite grasp what I did for a living. But, when we pitched, won and delivered the phenomenon now globally known as Priceless for MasterCard, she could finally brag to her friends at my Aunt Rose‘s kitchen table. From the moment the very first television commercial appeared (You remember it, right? “Two tickets: $28. Two hot dogs, two popcorns, two sodas: $18. One autographed baseball: $45. Real conversation with 11-year-old son: Priceless.”), Mom told practically anyone who would listen that I wrote and executed the entire campaign single-handedly. My role, in fact (promise not to tell her) was that of the Pitchman.

In one of the industry’s most hotly-contested advertising accounts, dozens of agencies’ pitches were winnowed down to two contenders. In a surprising twist, MasterCard declared that the agency with the highest score in consumer testing would win. The heart-wrenching result: Our Pricelesscampaign did not test well. In an act of courage, and confidence, the MasterCard team awarded us the business anyway. When I asked Larry Flanagan, who went on to become MasterCard’s celebrated CMO, about their decision to award us the business for the Priceless campaign, he said, “We bonded because McCann Eriksson understood the deep desire of the MasterCard customer, but they understood MasterCard’s deep desire, too.”

We all make pitches every day — for that highly-prized account; to a client who’s reluctant to accept your scary proposal; for a skeptical CFO to loosen the purse strings; or for a wary new team to believe in you. Here’s what I’ve learned about winning pitches like these… Leer más “Win the Pitch: Tips from Mastercard’s “Priceless” Pitchman”

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