Just because an advertising idea has been rejected in a pitch doesn't mean it isn't good. Or at least, it doesn't mean it can't have value—to someone else.
Dublin agency The Public House, unable to let go of its orphaned ideas, is putting them up for auction on eBay, with proceeds going to charity You're Not Alone. The ideas come from three failed pitches—for a potato chip company, tire servicing company and auto insurance company.
Bidding is currently at 1.26 euros for each idea. You can see all three auctions, and bid of them, at an eBay page called The Public House Failed Pitch Emporium.
"Droga5 aside, losing pitches is an inevitable part of the business," the agency tells us. "But at The Public House we don't like to take no for an answer. We've decided to brush off some of our rejected pitch work and sell it to highest bidder. … Any bids will be like finding money in the couch cushions anyway."
The agency adds: "As they say, one man's trash is another's fully formed, multi-platform, through-the-line, potentially award-winning campaign."
We spoke with creative director Jarrod Banadyga about the stunt:
AdFreak: Tell me about how this idea came about.
Jarrod Banadyga: Equal parts sour grapes and not wanting to let go of what we think are good ideas. It started as a bit of a joke suggestion after an unsuccessful pitch, but then it built from there. We figured someone might find a bunch of good thinking for a nominal bid, or they might feel like they got a box of old military medals that are of no use to them. Either way, it's exciting opening up a mystery box, or Storage Wars wouldn't have such high ratings.
Are you worried about giving a peek under the hood of the agency like this?
We're fortunate at The Public House. We don't pitch often, so we don't have to deal with the heartbreak as much. We've been fortunate to pick up new work through word of mouth, having casual conversations with clients that end with us humbly asking for them to give us one brief to prove ourselves. It almost always ends up with more briefs. We have no qualms in sharing "pitch-losing" work. We're proud of the work, and hate to see it gather cobwebs when it might do another company some good. We think every agency wishes they could share their rejected pitch ideas with a client that might be more open to their thinking. In the case of one pitch, the client wanted more "coupon-driven" concepts. And that's not really our style.
You've started the bidding low. What's the fair price for one of these ideas?
We're not expecting a huge bidding war. A minor skirmish would be nice. We certainly think they are worth more than 99 cents, but to be honest, we've already done the work for nothing, so this would be a bit like finding money down the back of the sofa. Also, these ideas are already what we would call "lost," so being able to resurrect ideas and give them another chance at making it is what makes us tick. Like that warm feeling you get when you watch Toy Story.