Those of us who work in creative positions have an
interesting by-product... other brilliant ideas. Some of these
ideas are so brilliant we quit our job and focus solely on
But most of the time we don’t quit our job and these brilliant
ideas never see the light of day.
The advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty changed that
when they invested in ZAG, offering refuge for brilliant
ideas. Previously agency employees have been the genesis of
these ideas, and now we are opening the new product
pipeline to people outside the agency.
Pitching to ZAG allows people to share their brilliant ideas
and see if something great comes from them.
WHAT IS ZAG?
BBH is one of the most respected ad agencies in the world,
and ZAG is the brand invention group within.
On the surface ZAG’s remit is simple and clear: ZAG
searches for “Brand Lag” areas where consumer behavior
outpaces brand development – we look to fill the white space
with new offerings.
If you have found a Brand Lag worth investigating, this
guide will provide all the information needed to pitch the
idea to ZAG.
After identifying the Brand Lag, the ZAG team will analyze
the potential business opportunity. If the opportunity proves
ripe, ZAG will build a commercial plan which includes;
developing the brand, engaging potential investors,
manufacturers and distribution partners, and tapping the
talented individuals of BBH to create messaging and
marketing materials for the product launch.
WHAT IDEAS INTEREST US?
ZAG is selective about the type of partnerships we will
engage in. Our team is small, and the brand building process
is extensive, so we focus on the opportunities that provide
the most reward for those involved. We get excited about
new ideas that have the potential to become significant game
We are attracted to ideas that are both relevant and different.
RELEVANT RELEVANT We are attracted to ideas that solve consumer tensions.
BUT NOT AND We are attracted to ideas that are insight based and have
inherent energy and potential for brand momentum.
We are attracted to ideas that can be executed in a reasonable
We are attracted to ideas that we can bring to market in
NOT RELEVANT DIFFERENT 12-18 months.
AND BUT NOT
NOT DIFFERENT RELEVANT
WHAT DO I GET OUT OF IT?
Most people that pitch ZAG have an idea spark, but other
times ideas are more baked. This variable makes it hard to
have one standard that fits every situation.
Our goal is to provide a platform where people who pitch to
ZAG are treated fairly for their involvement.
Each project is unique and each project requires a different
ZA level of ZAG involvement. Typically, our deals specify that
ran 10% of profits (which are made from brand inventions) are
distributed to those involved with the project. ZAG also
plit provides spot bonuses for extraordinary accomplishments
par Each year ZAG determines the profit split based on the
k+ variables of the individual project. We want the profit split to
t ure work for everyone, including you.
WHAT IS THE PITCH PROCESS?
ZAG’s new product evaluation happens three times a year.
We will open our doors to people who want to pitch their
ideas in the first week of March, second week of July and the
first week of November. We suggest scheduling the pitch a
month in advance.
Pitches can be in person or over the phone.
Pitches must be 30 minutes or less.
ZAG will then take 15 minutes for Q&A.
After the pitch, ZAG will spend up to 45 days evaluating the
market and any potential business opportunities. If ZAG
Green Lights the project, we will establish a partnership and
see the idea come to life.
HOW DO WE EVALUATE A PITCH?
1. THE ARTICULATION OF A CLEAR IDEA
Does it have a consumer tension that makes the idea
relevant? Does it fill a consumer need or solve a problem?
Does your idea have a clear way to make money in today’s
2. IDENTIFICATION OF A CLEAR BRAND LAG
BRAND LAGS Are people discussing the need for this idea? Does the
product already exist in the market place? Are there any true
brands playing in this space? Could another brand swoop in
HIGH TALK HIGH TALK and steal the idea?
AND AND 3. IDEAL PARTNERS FOR MASSIVE SUCCESS
Can ZAG find partners for distribution? What partners could
MANY BRANDS NO BRANDS lend credibility to the product? Who would be the ideal
manufacturing and distribution partners?
4. COMMERCIAL CONSIDERATION
How extensive are the research and development cost? What
LOW TALK LOW TALK is the size of the current and potential market? What ongoing
management will be needed to continue operations? What is
AND AND the margin potential?
MANY BRANDS NO BRANDS
DECREASING # OF BRANDS
WHO DO I CONTACT?
BBH ZAG Idea:
32 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013