Wednesday, December 18th 2019

Dec 18, 2019

Gratis. Free. And Gratitude for our Partners and Clients.

Jessica Darke, Producer

As we swing into the holiday spirit, we'd like to take a moment to express gratitude for our established clients. In an industry that is overwrought with gratuitous favors, there is an implicit acknowledgement for all those who respect the creative process enough to ascribe fair market-value for creative services, which includes even abstract, think time. We'd also like to thank partners of ours that have provided, conceptual ideas and creative energy to our agency for various projects over the years.

We've found there are more than a few types of pro-bono work. Sometimes we complete the work because we want the exposure, other times for the opportunity for larger projects or even retainers, and most rarely, but still occasionally, because deep-down, we love the creative process.

1. The Pitch This is an incredibly common practice in which different agencies are pitted against each other to prove their creative capabilities. Often a pitch will request the agency provide a sneak peek at creative concepts, executions, and strategy. These are incredibly time intensive but have the upside of a new project within the agency, or even better, client retainer. We are always grateful to be asked to pitch and even more grateful when the pitch comes with monetary compensation.

2. The Payoff In the day of start-up glory, there is often a request to do heavily discounted, or cost-free work with the promise of being paid when the company hits the big time and starts to make substantial money. Best case scenario, the work is compensated in full and a larger, higher-profile project is awarded when the company has additional marketing funds. Worst case scenario, the new company never goes beyond early fundraising and no payment is made to the agency. However it shakes out, we always at least hope to develop work we can be proud of.

3. The Friends & Family Sometimes the hardest type of work to turn down, or to accept is a request from friends or family. We love our friends and family and often take on these projects because we want to. But, they can be a drain on resources and mind-share. We've also asked our friends to roll-up their sleeves and help out with small budget projects, and for that we express gratitude.

All this accounted for, we are even more grateful for our clients and potential clients who respect the creative process and establish a fair compensation up front. We also acknowledge and apologize for being the bad-guys/gals on more than one occasion when clients have requested competitive bids from agencies, therefore pushing us into the position for asking our friends and partners to pitch for a piece of work. Thank you to all those who have completed free work for us, to all of our current & past clients, and to those rare companies who pay for pitch work. You keep our dream alive, allowing us to wrap another successful year as an independently owned Advertising Agency in one of the most desirable cities in the country.

Arcana Academy is an independently owned, full-service Advertising Agency located in Los Angeles, California. Original illustration by Jay Josue, Arcana Academy designer and illustrator.

Caveat: We may not always agree or endorse the opinions expressed on our blog. If something on our blog is polarizing, even if the management of Arcana Academy disagrees with it, we might leave it up. Then again we might not. We'll see how we feel.