Tag Archives: Sweet smell of success

” The sweet smell of success”.

One of the great films of the late fifties, starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis at their best, The Sweet Smell of Success was a gritty drama about  getting to the top.


In any pitch this sweet smell is an essential  ingredient. Clients want to be associated with success  because that is what they want for themselves! Since they cannot easily assess this on actual performance, they assess instinctively. They sense success from all the people they meet  -in reception, in lifts, on the phone, on line  – responding to all the non-verbal clues that translate to a ‘corporate body language’. Do they like what they ‘smell’?

They sense it from the media where the power of a strong ‘public’ news headline works more emotively than ‘private’ online stories. In its heyday, Saatchi & Saatchi created an astonishing aura of success by getting every win, every story, however insignificant, as a headline in Campaign magazine and from there into national titles. It was seen as successful way ahead of performance- which followed as night follows day.

The ‘smell of success’ gets you on to short lists and gives you an edge in the pitch itself.  But it needs to permeate the entire company. not just the front line troops in the pitch team!