Taking retro to it’s logical conclusion…

In my recent Mighty Boosh post, I linked to a clip of them practicing for their show – they get spooked after by a rival performance duo comes in and tells them that electronica and the future is dead, and it’s all about retro.  So the Boosh second guess themselves, and decide that they will out-retro everyone. They will go back further. They will be more retro than retro itself…

Of course, after their disastrous performance, their rival duo comes out and performs Future Sailors and the crowd goes wild! The Boosh nearly give up, but at the end of a “crimp-off” (you have to see the episode…) they pull off a four way Crimp and win their loyal followers back.

So where is this post going you may wonder? Well, other than being able to put in some clips that keep me amused, over the past couple of days I’ve been (and still am) pulling together stuff for two pitches. Both of them a  very different. One is local, and features lots of ethnography and client/consumer workshops. The second is for a big multi-country brand tracking project.  We are up against specialist agencies – brand development for the first and the big tracking houses for the second.  All of them really nothing like us (we are a grab bag mix of freaks, who dabble in a bit of everything, but we dabble with dazzle!) While it’s important for us to know who we are pitching  against, it can sometimes cause us to second guess ourselves…they will probably do this, so we better chuck some of that in, they will have a view on that so we should too…

And sometimes you can forget about your own views and your own approach. It is really important knowing who you are up against, so you are not caught blind-sighted, but if you focus so much on them, you often leave out what the client is coming to you for in the first place – the stuff they have heard that we do, the way they have heard that we do things. And in the madness of the pitching prep, and when more and more of our work seems to be about winning three or four way “pitch-offs” (when they used to be about a phone call and a “hey – we have a project coming up”), and you want to make sure that the pitch is perfect, the second-guessing can sometimes lead you down the wrong path…but when you create a process that is authentic to what you feel is the right way, and reflects best your skills then (hopefully) that pitch rocks it.

Who knew the Boosh could tell us so much?

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