In August, AdWeek reported on the phenomenon of the "spec pitch," the practice in advertising firms of providing free work to a client so they can consider taking them on full-time as a business partner. Today, Toronto ad agency Zulu Alpha Kilo dropped a video (ad?) hilariously mocking the concept of providing free work, sending an actor to different businesses and asking them to provide their products "on spec." It didn't go well.
Zulu made the video for Strategy magazine's annual Agency of the Year event on Wednesday night, where a number of agencies presented comic videos. But despite the humorous approach, the topic is a serious one for Zulu.
The shop took part in spec pitches during its first two years of operation, but founder and CCO Zak Mroueh abruptly stopped doing so. "We haven't done a pitch that requires spec creative in five years," he told Adweek this year. "This approach allows us to support our clients' brands rather than using the resources our clients pay for to gain new business."
At the end of the video, Zulu prompts other advertising firms to start saying no to spec.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.