- Ride-hailing service Lyft is offering one "wildcard" slot in its agency review to a small agency through a video contest and some boutique agencies are taking offense.
- Lyft is asking smaller shops to submit a 60-second, in-car video that shows "pure, unadulterated Lyft spirit, whatever you think that may be."
- Many at smaller agencies are wondering why Lyft -- a smaller competitor to Uber -- is predominantly considering large shops. "It's kinda funny that a small, new-world, underdog brand would have that old-world perception, that big equals better," Jamie Barrett, co-founder of barrettSF in San Francisco, told Adweek.
The small agencies taking offense to Lyft's messaging have a point. Why would a small agency want to compete just for a chance to be considered? Perhaps the big agencies should have to prove their ideas as well. The campaign will certainly draw in free creative ideas, but the question of who stands to benefit from this contest is valid.
Tod Seisser, co-founder and chief creative officer of Grok, told Adweek he's not keen on crowd-sourcing ads from small agencies, "especially if the prize is just the ability to give more free ideas" via pitches.
In a blog post, Lyft defended its unconventional campaign, saying "since doing things the traditional way has never been our style, we've decided to mix up the RFP process."
Of course some smaller shops could view the contest as an opportunity rather than take offense -- and on that level it could work for Lyft.